Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bandcamp Picks: Necrophobic, Oranssi Pazuzu, Thrall, Temple Of Baal

Four years ago was when we last heard from the mighty Necrophobic, but the wait is over and well worth it. Womb of Lillithu is the band at their best, full of inescapable hooks and icy melodies, delivered with a confidence and panache that only true veterans possess. In a move that even Dissection couldn't pull off, Necrophobic successfully blows the scope of Swedish black metal wide open with a sound that takes them through the realms of NWOBHM and early thrash, for a spin on svart-metal that's both modern and classic. My vote for Swedish black metal AOTY. The album is available as a digital download for $9.99.

Since their inception, Oranssi Pazuzu have been dragging black metal into strange new worlds, and their newest album Valonielu is no exception. Pulsing with otherworldly menace, this is heavier than a psychedelic record has any right to be. If the idea of Unsane taking peyote and going black metal sounds awesome to you - and it should, because it is - then this needs to find its way to you, stat. The album is available as a digital download for $7.77.

Mid-period Darkthrone and Satyricon cast a deep shadow over Aussies Thrall. Aokigahara Jukai (named for Japan's infamous "suicide forest") has the same mid-tempo - dare I say, toe-tapping - swing that characterized the ever mutating second wave of black metal in recent years. If you rock out in the suicide forest and no one's around, does it make a sound? The album is available for AUD $8 (or USD $7.58 according to Paypal).

Of course, if scope, psychedelia or toe-tapping aren't your thing, there's always the devastating bludgeon of Temple Of Baal. Verses of Fire is black metal at its most brutal and direct, searing flesh from bone in a maelstrom of blastbeats, tremolo picking and bestial howling. In a word: Sublime. The album is available as a digital download for $8.