Friday, April 8, 2016

Bandcamp Picks - Wode, Palace of Worms, Rorcal, Sulphur

If UKBM has a reputation for silly costumes and twee affectations, it's well-deserved; but Manchester's Wode gleefully defy expectations. The 6 tracks on their self-titled debut deliver frozen melodies at blistering speeds, and are never less than utterly heavy. No frilly shirts here. The album is available as a "name your price" download.

Oakland's Palace of Worms make black metal that is green, and, it has to be said, uniquely American. The Ladder casts several shades of Agalloch in its assimilation of neo-folk, prog, and indie influences, never quite going where you'd expect. "Cascadian" in all but location. [$7]

At what point does fast become slow? Swiss band Rorcal take black metal riffs and stretch them out to sludge tempos. A concept album based on the Greek Tragedy Antigone (with titles named after the main player, in Cyrillic even), CREON's six songs will test your attention span as they punish your speakers/earbuds. "Tragic" in the oldest, truest sense of the word. The album is available as a "name your price" download.

"Technical blackened death metal" is how Bergen's Sulphur describe themselves, but for all their razor sharp riffing and flawless musicianship, to these ears they fall more in line with Norway's proud tradition of progressive black metal. In particular, Omens of Doom shares many facets with Enslaved - though without the soaring tenor or spacey keyboards, and with a focus on pure speed. Maybe "progressive technical deathened black metal" is too long a descriptor? [€10]