Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bandcamp Picks: Sea Bastard/Keeper, Weedeater, Shape of Despair, Freedom Hawk

Somehow the best doom/sludge metal band around right now released a new song months ago and it slipped past me; on their latest split EP, mighty Sea Bastard offer the 20 minute dirge "Astral Rebirth", which feels like having your head smashed into the pavement over and over again in slow motion. Meanwhile, California's Keeper hold up their end with "777" recalling Khanate at their filthy, hateful best. I'm looking forward to their upcoming split with Old Witch. 777/Astral Rebirth is available as a "name your price" download.

Weedeater are back in all their moonshine-drenched, misanthropic glory. Goliathan contains the hook-driven sludge and puckish humour that fans have come to know and love, including the appearance of a banjo and harmonica. It's sometimes hard to tell if Dixie Dave likes playing up regrettable stereotypes or merely inhabits them, but songs like "Battered and Fried" make the case that it's the former. [$9.99]

Finnish doom titans Shape of Despair don't flinch when it comes to maintaining their glacial pace. Monotony Fields is as funereal as funeral doom comes: Oppressive chords smothered in icy keyboards and haunting vocals (plus the typically guttural Finnish death growls). But somewhere in the despair is something beautiful and uplifting. This is the best introduction to this band/genre that anyone could hope for. Just clear your schedule beforehand. [$9.99]

Virginia Beach's Freedom Hawk probably would play some Skynyrd if you asked nicely. Into Your Mind is upbeat stoner/doom a la the Obsessed topped with T.R. Morton's fantastic Ozzy-ish singing (if Ozzy could actually sing, that is). Need tunes for a road trip this summer? This may be the album you're looking for. [$10]