Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bandcamp Picks: Cynic, Deformatory, Yautja, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

Cynic are less "progressive death metal" at this point and more like ambassadors of prog rock to heshers; Kindly Bent to Free Us ditches whatever they once had in common with Death and Atheist for an updated version of Yes. Gone is the frantic thrashing, and in its place is something serene and tranquil; guitar noodling as transcendental meditation. I'm digging this a lot, even if what I really wanted was Traced in Air V 2.0. Masvidal and Reinert were always an odd fit for death metal, and anyone who heard the last few Cynic EPs could have predicted that they were headed in this new agey direction. "Yoga metal" is upon us. [$9.99]

Someday Canada will be as recognized for its technical death metal as it is for hockey, maple syrup, and crack smoking mayors. Deformatory were clearly raised on a steady diet of Cryptopsy, but tempers the hyperblasting madness with Schuldiner-ish melodic flourishes; the result is the accomplished debut, In The Wake of Pestilence. 2014 will see the release of new albums by Origin, Vader, Skinless, and Obituary; albums like this should serve as a reminder for the veterans to come correct. More like this, please. [$8 CAD]

Similar to Brooklyn's Mortals, Yautja drags the sludgy metal so beloved by Decibel into more extreme waters. Songs of Descent finds the common ground between Mastodon's more technical early days and Gorguts' sludgier side. The band's prog/math metal leanings are reigned into digestible bites, with most songs ending under two minutes. Just enough time to tie your cerebellum into a knot. [$7]

Travelling further into proggy weirdness is the wigged out space pop of Yamantaka // Sonic Titan. Despite half of their band name being derived from a Sleep song, there's very little UZU has in common with Matt Pike and company, besides (I'm assuming) a fondness for psychotropic substances and seventies fuzz. Imagine Beach House's lush singing and pop sensibilities wandering around stoned at a Hawkwind concert. Equal parts mesmerizing and confounding. [$7.99]