Friday, December 23, 2016

Bandcamp Picks - 2016 Stocking Stuffer Edition

[All albums listed are available as name your price downloads]

Overlooked members of the British death/grind scene, Brighton's Necrosanct were ostensibly lost in the early 90's death metal glut. Which is a shame; Incarnate and Desolate (their second and third albums, originally released by Black Mark in '92 and 93, respectively) combine the chaos of peers like Bolt Thrower with the jackhammer intensity of South American death/thrash in a way that foreshadows the "war metal" to come. In many ways, a band that was both behind and ahead of the times.

DoC friends eyeswithoutaface were one of this blog's first ever Bandcamp Picks, and their phenomenal Warguts album almost single-handedly resuscitating my faith in heavy industrial music. Their last release, a split with fellow Toronto residents IRN, showcases their ability to fuse slab-heavy riffs with unsettling noise and electronica. All their releases are available on their bandcamp page as "name your price" downloads.

Similarly, Second Grave are a band I've been plugging in this space for years. Their debut album, Blacken the Sky, is unfortunately also their swansong; but showcases their knack for memorable hooks, in a way that recalls both the Obsessed and Soundgarden.

Montreal's Dopethrone have had a busy year, following up last year's Hochelaga album with a split with Fister and the three song EP 1312. One of the best up and coming sludge bands, they keep the riffs catchy even as their drug-laden subject matter gets increasingly bleak. As of this writing, everything on their bandcamp page is available as a "name your price" download.

Some of the most intriguing metal I've heard in the past few years has come out of Iceland, and arguably none more impressive than Rekjavik's Naðra. They can blast with the best of black metal's Scandinavian second wave, but pull in folk melodies, atmospheric interludes, and full-on horns-in-the-air hesherdom. As "Icelandic black metal" becomes its own descriptor, there's no better place to start exploring the scene than here.

I don't know much about Ohio's Vit, aside from the two albums they have on their Bandcamp page. Banjos and violins give their Dry Season album an atmosphere and sonic texture quite unlike most sludge releases. Their debut, recently remastered, also makes good use of traditional folk sections, though the haphazard drumming somewhat dulls the impact. Both albums are available as "name your price" downloads.