Friday, August 14, 2015

Bandcamp Picks: INI, Krallice, Outre, Gates of Holocaust

2015 is turning out to be a banner year for the progressive end of Norwegian black metal; joining new albums by Arcturus, Enslaved, and Dødheimsgard is the debut of Trondheim's INI. If Nothing Is is a remarkably accomplished and ambitious album, with razor-sharp guitar playing worthy of Blasphemer or Ihsahn, and the distinct influence of Mayhem's under-rated Grand Declaration of War. Paradoxically, this is an album as indebted to second wave black metal as it is a rejection of its tenets. [90 NOK]

Guitarist Colin Marston does time with Dysrhythmia and Gorguts, so maybe it's not surprising that Krallice would wander down a similar path. Ygg Huur takes a bat to preconceptions about USBM, delivering an album that's as intense and chaotic as it is intelligent and challenging. I can't pretend I understand everything that's happening here, but it's obvious more thought went into each song than most bands put into an entire album. [$7]

Like their countrymen Thaw and Blaze of Perdition, Poland's Outre use black metal as a jumping off point for their own musical digressions. On Ghost Chants, the band employs restrained tempos and layered guitars to eerie effect; though when they turn on the speed, they can blast with the best of them. A band to keep an eye on. [ €7]

Brazilian metal isn't known for being particularly progressive, and Gates of Holocaust aren't out to change that with their sophomore album. Void is as free of pretension as black metal gets, embracing speed like a South American Dark Funeral. It's nothing you haven't heard before, but it is fun, solid, and completely free.