Sunday, October 22, 2017

Bandcamp Picks - Iron Monkey, Ufomammut, Deadsmoke, Stonebirds

One of a handful of bands that pioneered what we refer to today as "sludge metal", the mighty Iron Monkey have returned to sack the kingdom they helped build. 9-13, the band's first album since calling it quits at the end of the Nineties, sees them sticking doggedly to what they do best by molding piercing feedback around Sabbath sized riffs. A cogent reminder that beyond volatile personalities and gig drama, Iron Monkey's reputation was built around some really fucking heavy songs. [$10]

The inclusion of Ufomammut on the Neurot roster should be taken as a sign that they're a cut above the usual sludge/post-metal band. Album 8 puts them within spitting distance of psychedelic warlords Hawkwind, cramming effects into every available sonic space in the band's repetitive grooves. Black light poster boys for hell's own head shop. [$8]

Fellow Italians Deadsmoke shake loose most of doom metal's bluesy roots, leaving behind something primal and monolithic. The seven songs on Mountain Legacy won't be rushed, nearing doom/drone austerity in their sleepier than Sleep trudge. An arduous climb to the land of Nod. [€8]

Though rough around the edges, French trio Stonebirds are incredibly nuanced in their approach. Their third album Time sees them navigating between fragile melancholy and oppressive heaviness, finding common ground with the dronegaze of The Angelic Process as well as post-metal usual suspects Pelican and Isis. Doom for the thinking man. [€5]