Saturday, September 29, 2018

Bandcamp Picks - Convulsing, Imperial Triumphant, Mutilation Rites, Churchburn

Australian solo act Convulsing is one of the most interesting acts in death metal right now. Atonal, atmospheric, and dynamic, sophomore album Grievous never gets stuck in one style or one tempo, taking the listener on a claustrophobic voyage through everything the genre was and could be. Ending the album with a moody re-imagining of Porcupine Tree's "The Sleep of No Dreaming" is perhaps the most indicative window to the man behind the project. This is a death metal meisterwork that deserves to be counted among the best of the year - and since it's available as a "name your price" download, there's no reason not to get it right now.

New York's Imperial Triumphant have been chipping away at the boundaries of death metal from day one, but their latest album takes their ambition to a whole new level. Vile Luxury combines the dissonant, skronking style of past releases and expands it to include a horn section and choir, combining death metal and hard bop in a way that recalls both John Coltrane and Immolation. An Ascension of death metal. [$9.99]

Fellow New Yorkers Mutilation Rites keep their death metal relatively straight-forward and brutal. But Chasm has just enough progressive and and punk rock digressions to its blasting fervor that these six songs never get tedious. And the production (recorded, among other places, at Brooklyn's infamous Saint Vitus Bar) brings the most out of the band's onslaught. Death done right. [$6]

Revolving around Vital Remains co-founder Dave Suzuki of and one-time Grief sticksman Ray McCaffrey, Churchburn sounds pretty much like what you'd expect. On their debut full-length None Shall Live... The Hymns of Misery, the quasi-black metal riffs of early VR are dragged to the depths and slowed to a crawl, resulting in one of the most evil death doom albums of recent years. As grim as a New England Winter. [$8]