Sunday, March 27, 2016

Bandcamp Picks - The Body, Holy Grove, Deadsmoke, Son of a Witch

Few bands I've seen live can top the body when it comes to sheer volume. [Right now I can only think of two: Sleep and The Swans]. But for all its suffocating weight, No One Deserves Happiness spends as much time exploring the band's (relative) softer side, with actual singing (provided by Chrissy Wolpert of The Assembly of Light Choir) and plenty of ambient moments. It goes some ways in backing up the band's insistence that they're more noise than metal. [$9]

The difference between a good band and a great band is often the difference between a good singer and a great one; lucky then for Portland's Holy Grove that they have the latter. On their self-titled debut, their groovy Obsessed style of doom gets a considerable lift from the searing vocals of singer Andrea Vidal, who knows her way around a good vocal hook. I've heard a lot of stoner and doom metal albums this year, but few as memorable as this. [€7]

On their own self-titled debut, Italian trio Deadsmoke keep things as monolithic as possible. The 5 songs herein approach Godflesh levels of crushing heaviness - a comparison helped along by some pitiless (you might even say Merciless) machine-like drumming. Not stoned, just stone cold. [€7]

All doom metal bands owe their existence to Sabbath in some way, but few make a point of that fact as brazenly as Brazil's Son Of A Witch. Thrones In The Sky announces its roots immediately with the "Electric Funeral" swipe on its title track, and continues from there with nods to Down and Orange Goblin. It's a familiar journey, but Son of a Witch make it enjoyable all the same. [$7]