Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bandcamp Picks - Swans, Terra Tenebrosa, eyeswithoutaface/IRN, Endless Floods

The current incarnation of Swans is coming to an end, but apparently not in any kind of hurry. With most songs running over 10 minutes - and a couple well over 20 - The Glowing Man is a testament to Michael Gira's scope and ambition. Swans have always utilized minimalism and repetition (not to mention Gira's imperious baritone) to maximum effect, only now that effect is restrained and meditative; though I have no doubt that it'll be delivered at ear-wrecking levels in concert. As unlikely as it seemed a decade ago that Swans would reform and deliver four albums as good and as relevant as their Eighties output, it now seems equally hard to believe that this is the last we'll hear from them. But it would be a hell of a high note to go out on. [$15.99]

It was big news for me when members of my beloved Breach resurfaced in Terra Tenebrosa. Ignoring all musical boundaries, third album The Reverses sees them integrating Breach's driving rhythms and discordance with sinister atmospherics, topped by Tomas Hallbom's hellish rasp. Even without the costumes and mystery, this is one of the most intriguing bands active right now. [€7.77]

It's been a while since we checked in with our friends eyeswithoutaface, and all has not been quiet. On their recent split with IRN, they punish the listener with four bleak new noise and electronics-tinged dirges; this is what the robots will be playing when they finally rise against us. For their part, IRN contribute one sludgy original as well as covers of Electric Wizard and that old hesher standard "Combat Swine", slathered in feedback and bad intentions. Death and hatred to mankind all around. The split is available as a "name your price" download.

Say this about Endless Floods - they're committed to the idea of doom. On their self-titled debut EP, the Bordeaux trio shuffles along like a funeral march, one oppressive chord after another and not a bong or Seventies riff in sight. An audio suicide note. [€3]