Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bandcamp Picks - Anaal Nathrakh, Deathspell Omega, Cara Neir, Veilburner

Nine albums in and Anaal Nathrakh still do what they wilt, while the rest just wilt. The Whole of the Law mixes up the band's usual distillation of face-searing death/black metal and Dave Hunt's unhinged vocals with some electronic flourishes. Few surprises, except a more obvious attempt at crafting anthems and a terrifying re-working of Maiden's "Powerslave" that ends the album in suitably mangling fashion. Slaves to the power of death. [$9.99] 

Deathspell Omega's unique take on black metal has caused tectonic shifts in the genre. But for all its quirks and idiosyncrasies, The Synarchy of Molten Bones is as uncompromising and unsettling as anything released at the onset of black metal's second wave. Even at just four songs, there's a lot of meat on these bones. [€7]

It's been a busy year for Texans Cara Neir; with their recent (and very good) split with Wildspeaker serving as an appetizer, the follow-up is a hell of a main course. On Perpetual Despair is the Human Condition, the Dallas band force black metal, dark crust and shoegaze together for an album that is just as rewarding for its abrasive speed as its solemn atmosphere. A virtual Bingo card of everything that's great about American black metal right now. The album is available as a "name your price" download.

With the conclusion of a trilogy they began with their debut, Pennsylvania duo Veilburner defy categorization. The Obscene Rite, their third album in three years, contains plenty of nods to the likes of Arcturus and Dodheimsgard, but strays from even that wide canvas with moments of bleak industrial and the occasional metal Ren Faire section. With the wealth of ideas and influences on hand, this is a band that lacks nothing except focus. [$5]