Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bandcamp Picks: Sea Bastard, Sea of Bones, Koloss, SubRosa

Rejoice - Sea Bastard is back! I've been Hulking out to their new album Scabrous since I first heard it at the end of October. Like its riff-tastic predecessor - their self-titled first album, one of my favourites of last year - Scabrous has some insanely catchy moments in its sludgy depths, like the brooding misanthropic spawn of Winter and Sleep. With four songs running just under an hour, expect your subwoofers to be tested. I'm going to put this back on and Hulk out some more. The album is available as a "name your price" download.

Back in 2009 I saw Sea of Bones play a free show in the Lower East Side, and liked them so much that I promptly downloaded their last album from Mediafire (it's cool, they put it there). The Earth Wants Us Dead (an apt sentiment here in South East Asia right now) is a primal slab of sludge verging on death/doom. Comparisons to Neurosis are well deserved, though Sea of Bones never quite reach the claustrophobic intensity of that band at its best. But they've clearly paid attention to how their heroes use dynamics to keep their music from being monotonous (a problem with most sludge bands). Even if there doesn't seem to be an end to the number of bands tackling this style, Sea of Bones do it better than most. $6.

When it comes to Swedish doomcore, KOLOSS have a lot to live up to - not only has 2013 seen members of the mighty Breach return as The Old Wind, but Cult of Luna have released possibly the best album of their career. Empower the Monster is no slouch, though: Heavy, dark and sombre, with long post-rock influenced passages, the band wear their CoL/Isis influence proudly on their sleeves but make up for it with some rock solid songs. The four song release is available for €5 (or $6.75 according to paypal).

There's been a lot of love heaped on Utah's SubRosa in the past months; first by Decibel and Terrorizer for their album More Constant Than The Gods, and then by fans when thousands of dollars worth of gear was stolen from their van and they had to raise money for replacements. Well, who am I to stand in the way of all that love? Especially when the juxtaposition of proggy doom with female vocals is reminiscent of DoC faves Grayceon and Giant Squid. Emotive in a way that manages to sound both powerful and fragile, it lives up to the band's self-description of "Ancient Magickal Doom". $10.