Sunday, October 28, 2018

Bandcamp Picks - Behemoth, Outre, Entropia, Lucifericon

The mighty Behemoth have returned, to once again set the internet ablaze with fiery debates. At times, I Loved You At Your Darkest hearkens back to the band's folky early years, when acoustic guitars overlapped shards of freezing guitar. Gone is the blatant appropriation Morbid Angel's schtick of recent Behemoth albums, replacing blessed sickness with a progressive black metal sound that inches towards what countrymen Thaw and Blaze of Perdition have been doing - thus hinting that what's simmering underground hasn't escaped Nergal's attention as his star continues to rise. Elsewhere, a chorus of chanting children on "God=Dog" are employed for Christ-denying blasphemy - a sort of Satanic Mickey Mouse Club. Whatever your opinion of Behemoth was beforehand, this album probably won't change it. [Personally, I remain convinced that Apostasy is the band's most accomplished and underappreciated work.] At this stage of their career, Behemoth has joined Emperor and Opeth as bands too big to be constrained to a single genre or subculture - for better or worse. [$10 AUD]

Similarly, the death/black scene from whence Nergal emerged has grown past the simplistic Satanic and neo-pagan obsessions of its early days - a fact exemplified by Krakow's Outre. Anchored by a drum performance that's meticulous in its blanketing assault, Hollow Earth employs eerie melodies and unsettling dischordance without losing the pure venomous speed that gave black metal's second wave its cachet. [€7 EUR]

From their earliest recordings, Entropia declared themselves explorers on the vanguard of extremity - but they've outdone themselves with their latest release. Vacuum stretches its blackened wings into post-punk and kraut rock domains, breaking up its bleak atmosphere with jangly guitars, new wave keyboards and funky drums. Rivaling Dodheimsgard for genre-blending audacity, this is the most adventurous black metal album of 2018. [€7 EUR]

With members of Dutch veterans Pentacle in its ranks, it goes without saying Lucifericon know a thing or two about death and evil. Restrained in terms of pure speed, Al-Khem-Me nonetheless is uniformly sinister in its melange of mid-paced death/black/thrash. Proof that blasphemy works without blastbeats. [€6.66 EUR]