Sunday, July 1, 2018

Bandcamp Picks - Abscess, Maggot Casket, Gruesome, Oxygen Destroyer

I never checked out Abscess while they were active - which, as a new reissue from Horror Pain Gore Death makes clear, was a severe oversight. On Horrorhammer, the visceral simplicity of Autopsy was given a gutterpunk shot in the arm, somehow upping the filth quota of Reifert's previous band. It's nothing short of phenomenal, and I like to think Reifert answered his many Swedish emulators with a garage-raucous death'n'roll of his own. [$6.66; HPGD has made a limited edition vinyl version available for $25.]

It would be easy to dismiss Kentucky's Maggot Casket as another old school revival bandwagon-hopper, but there's more than meets the eye. Their eponymous debut contains enough unexpected tempo changes and melodic twists in its tweaking of classic death metal that it approaches the avant/prog approach of early Finnish death metal. It's too early to tell, but this could be the next Demilich or Convulse in the making. [$6.66]

Any question as to how committed Gruesome are to their gimmick should be answered by their third full-length. From the cover art to Matt Harvey's astonishingly accurate Schuldiner impression, Twisted Prayers is a loving tribute to Death's own third album Spiritual Healing, wherein Evil Chuck reshaped the monster he created into a more thoughtful musical creature - thereby setting the table for the progressive and technical death metal we know today. Schuldiner's disciples have grown exponentially since his passing, but Gruesome are the most committed to bring Death to life. [$10]

Metalfest meets Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con with Seattle's kaijuphiliac death-thrashers Oxygen Destroyer. Bestial Manifestations of Malevolence and Death draws inspiration from classic Godzilla films as well as the equally monstrous sound of early Sepultura and Vader, resulting in an album that smokes all other old school pretenders in its atomic fury. A split with fellow B-movie fiends VHS has recently been announced, so grab the popcorn and prepare for Toho destruction. [$6]