Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bandcamp Picks: Second Grave, In The Company of Serpents, Sun Black Smoke, Big Business

DoC faves Second Grave are back with their new two song EP, Antithesis. If, like me, you heard the latest Sabbath album and wondered who stole all Iommi's riffs, the answer is here. This is flawless traditional doom metal, with vocalist Krista Van Guilder's sorrowful wails taking a turn for Grief/Eyehategod territory at one point. But eighteen minutes just isn't enough for me; I may only have discovered them earlier this year, but I'm growing impatient for a full length. I guess I'll just have to play this on a loop in the meantime. [$5]

Denver's In the Company of Serpents are on their second album and they're shaping up to be more than just another sludge band. Of the Flock teems with some killer riffs and the occasional grind part, avoiding the monotony that plagues most of their peers. Make no mistake, though: This is still some dark, soul crushing stuff. [$7.77]

Sun Black Smoke have an obvious bro crush on Matt Pike, as their second untitled demo sounds like the missing link between Sleep and High on Fire. The sound quality is rough and definitely demo-level, but it doesn't detract from their songwriting or playing. If this had come out 5 years ago they'd already be signed to Relapse. The 5 song demo is available as a "name your price" download.

I've always had a soft spot for Big Business, even if they're closer to Pitchfork territory than my curmudgeonly taste usually allows. Battlefields Forever is irresistable, riding that sweet spot between heavy and catchy for the duration of its nine tracks. Comparisons to the Melvins are a no-brainer, since two-thirds of Big Business are half of the Melvins - how's that for some metal math? But for my money, Big Business write the better, more anthemic songs ...and don't get me started on how sweet Jared Warren's vocals are. [$9]