Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bandcamp Picks - Ulver, Entropia, Spektr, Aluk Todolo

After the invitation to nap that their collaboration with Sunn O))) ended up being, Ulver returns with something actually good. As the cover suggests, ATGCLVLSSCAP's mostly instrumental, ostensibly improvised "soundscapes" (because of course Ulver no longer perform anything as prosaic as "songs") show Garm is expanding from his black origins to explore infinite other shades. This is the most engaging Ulver album since Shadows of the Sun. [€7]

Following up their stellar (and still free) debut Vesper, Entropia deliver another dose of forward thinking black metal. For all the psychedelic overtones on Ufonaut, it's never less than utterly heavy. This joins recent albums by Thaw and Blaze of Perdition in making Poland one of the most exciting black metal scenes around. [$7.90]

French duo Spektr aren't afraid to take a bat to the black metal paradigm. The Art To Disappear re-contextualizes the dissonant scales and razor sharp riffing that characterized the second wave, and reassembles it alongside trip hop beats and shoegazing ambiance. But don't let their avant sensibilities turn you away; this is as dark as anything 1349 have done. [$7.90]

Speaking of French duos and breaking paradigms, Aluk Todolo have been redefining what it means to be a metal band for over a decade now. Essentially a single song broken up into 6 parts, Voix is an immaculate display of tension and release, creating drama through pace and dynamics. Layering skronking guitars over a driving rhythm section, this is what a film score would sound like if you let Unsane do it. [€7]