Sunday, March 6, 2016

Bandcamp Picks - Primitive Man/Northless, Atrament, Totem Skin, Cease

Primitive Man continue on their quest to release the grimiest, most misanthropic sludge imaginable on a new split. "Empty Husk" is 15 minutes of caveman chords and feedback; the sound of every migraine you've ever had joining forces. Milwaukee's Northless contribute three sludge tracks of their own that bring back fond memories of nights spent at CBGBs seeing bands like Cattlepress and Anodyne make the barriers between metal and hardcore porous and irrelevant. [$7]

Oakland's Atrament takes crust into a place so dark it verges on black. Their full-length debut Eternal Downfall isn't content to just conjure up some crushing d-beat a la Skitsystem, but pushes forward into grind and church-burning riffs; not to mention the bestial vocals of Mattia Alagna, which make most recent death metal bands sound puny by comparison. Heavier than every crust band that's followed in Tragedy's wake. [$5]

Intentionally or not, Swedish five-piece Totem Skin provide as complete a picture of what it means to be a "hardcore" band in this decade as you're going to get. Weltschmerz is a bouillabaisse of power violence fury, screamo melody and post-hardcore discordance, along with plenty of rousing class HC moments. The digital version is available as a "name your price" download; in addition, my new friends at Halo of Flies are handling the vinyl release.

Joining the likes of Nails and Trap Them, Fresno's Cease bond surly hardcore with a gnarly Swedish death metal edge. Their latest EP Unfold has 3 originals and an Entombed cover, all showing the band's commitment to steamroller riffs and swathes of feedback. How long before Southern Lord snaps them up? [$4]