Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bandcamp Picks: Mortals, Tombs, The Sheltering Sky, Wolves in the Throne Room

The long awaited full-length debut by Brooklyn's Mortals is finally upon us. Cursed to See the Future is described by their label as "equal parts High On Fire and Darkthrone". You should always be wary of label write ups, but this is the rare instance where that's truth in advertising. There is a definite similarity to Matt Pike's steamroller riffing, and some blackened melodies cover the songs with a frostbitten sheen. But most impressive is the trio's use of dynamics. Not since Kylesa went all psychedelic has a band done something this interesting with the style. Big things loom on the horizon. [$7]

Brooklyn's Tombs were early pioneers in mixing black metal with doomy post-hardcore; while in the past I may have found their black metal sections to be stiff and uninteresting, on Savage Gold they're definitely the best the band has ever done - so much so that it doesn't matter that the other elements of the band's sound have largely been muted. When they do slow things down, it results in the kind of cold menace that Red Harvest did so well. One of the better chapters in the ongoing story of USBM. [$9.99]

Speaking of of the best forgotten bands of the last decade were NYC's Cattlepress. And so it was a big deal for me when I learned former Cattlepress guitarist Eddie Ortiz has returned with The Sheltering Sky. That Which Obstructs The Light is in some ways a sandblasting throwback to the late 90's/early 2000s when hardcore was bursting at its seams with unique and groundbreaking albums (and not coincidentally, when Cattlepress was at their apex). I'm glad Ortiz has a new vehicle for his unorthodox style after The Dying Light and Cattlepress called it quits. [$3]

Black metal bands releasing instrumental synth albums is nothing new; in a way, it was the next logical step for Wolves in the Throne Room. Celestite evokes the keyboard-heavy soundtracks of classic 70's horror and sci fi films by Tangerine Dream and Goblin. To that end, I tried syncing it up with the only sci fi movie I had handy, 2013's Riddick. As goofy as that movie is, the results worked surprisingly well. The Weaver brothers may find a second vocation scoring films. [$9]