Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bandcamp Picks - Abbath, Naðra, Hyperion, Grafvitnir

After Immortal's very public and very embarrassing disintegration  - who could have guessed that a band with a predilection for make-up and costumes could be capable of such drama? - mainman Abbath has struck out on his own. Predictably, his eponymous debut sounds like a mix between I (his last solo excursion) and the most recent Immortal albums, taking the galloping NWOBHM-isms of the former and melding them to Immortal's trademark speed. The result is damn near irresistible. The gates to Blashyrkh may be closed for now, but its most prominent ambassador is still out there crusading on its behalf; I don't know about you, but I take comfort in that.  [$9.99]

Apparently Iceland is quite the hotbed for metal these days; I've gushed about Sólstafir and Beneath in the past, and am ready to add Naðra to that list. Allir vegir til glötunar juggles black, folk and occasional post influences with style, and shows that the band has a refined sense of pacing and structure: Even when their songs stretch to the 14 minute mark, they never feel like a chore. The album is available as a "name your price" download.

Hyperion are nothing if not ambitious on their debut full-length. Seraphical Euphony marries the folk and faux-classical elements of early In Flames and later Emperor, respectively. Sometimes their symphonic tendencies fall on the wrong side of twee; but you have to admire their moxie. The album is available as a "name your price" download.

If you like your svartmetall as svart as possible, Grafvitnir are only too happy to deliver. Necrosophia tears off all frills and burns them in its rush to deliver black metal in its purest and truest form. Black as coal, and just as likely to start fires. [$6]