Saturday, February 24, 2018

Bandcamp Picks - Wake, Violent Opposition, Aureole of Ash, Misery Index

I have seen the future of grindcore, and it is Canadian band Wake. Bolstered by a production that's a quantum leap forward from their previous releases, Misery Rites is so fast it frequently sounds like two bands playing simultaneously. The band are no slouches musically, either, starting and stopping on a dime while sharing the experimental tendencies of late period Napalm Death. Once its 26-minute running time is over, I can't wait to hit play again. [$9.99 CAD]

Bay Area trio Violent Opposition will dispel any notion that grind is inherently sloppy anti-music. Exemplifying what the band describes as "Zappa grind", Utopia/Dystopia is ridiculously technical and impossibly tight, packing more convoluted riffs into 2 minute songs than you can shake a Rush album at. Somewhere in their doomsday bunker, Creation is Crucifixion is nodding and smiling. The album is available as a "name your price" download.

Hailing from the German town of M√ľnster, Aureole of Ash may be relative newcomers but display the songcraft and savvy of veterans. Morbid Reality adopts the legendarily gnarly Swedish guitar tone in the service of short blasts of grinding power violence, wisely slowing things to a feedback-soaked crawl to let the damage sink in. The likes of Rotten Sound had better start looking over their shoulders. The album is available as a "name your price" download.

After their disappointing last outing (The Killing Gods wasn't bad, just badly in need of an espresso), I'm happy to report that Misery Index are firing on all cylinders with their latest single. "I Disavow" is a reminder of why this band is so special - they're death metal OGs who dedicated their talents to crafting the fastest, most sophisticated music that can still be labelled "grindcore". Coupled with a reverential cover of Nailbomb's "Wasting Away", my faith in this band is officially renewed. [$2 USD]