Sunday, May 19, 2019

Bandcamp Picks - Origin, Abnormality, Nocturnus AD, Hypoxia, Ancient Torment, Devouror

It was over 20 years ago that Origin exploded out of Kansas to show that American death metal was capable of more than endless variations of Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse. Abiogenesis - A Coming Into Existence compiles the band's demo (songs that would later appear on their eponymous debut) with re-recordings of Paul Ryan's previous death/grind bands Necrotomy and Thee Abomination. It's these tracks that will be of most interest to Origin fans - with Ryan handling all the instruments, they provide a window into the influential guitarist's development as a songwriter, starting with short blasts of Brutal Truth-style grind before growing into the unique technical death/grind band they are known for today. [Also, they provide some clues as to how much of Origin's uniquely percussive style is thanks to drummer John Longstreth.] With Origin seemingly treading water for the last couple of albums, hopefully Ryan's return to his roots will mean a return of the immediacy and inventiveness that made his band so special all those years ago. [$7.90]

Of the newest generation of American death metal bands, perhaps none are more compelling than Boston's Abnormality. Their third album Sociopathic Constructs shows the band has no intention of backing off from their jackhammering onslaught, combining speed and flawless musicianship with a confidence that speaks to their progression from ambitious upstarts to assured veterans. [$9.99]

Death metal lifer Mike Browning returns with yet another incarnation of Nocturnus, this time calling themselves Nocturnus AD. Ignoring the complicated history and legal issues behind the band name, Paradox hews as close to the original Nocturnus albums as you could hope for: A frantic display of classic Florida death metal with ethereal keyboards and convoluted riffs, with the ultra-compressed mix adding to the early Nineties authenticity. The best thing ever released with the Nocturnus name, give or take a couple of letters. [$8.99 CAD]

Hypoxia subverts expectations of what it means to be a New York death metal band. Their second album Abhorrent Disease shuns slamming breakdowns, opting for a speedy style more reminiscent of early Hypocrisy. Kudos to the band for somehow managing to sound fresh and old school at the same time. [$8.99]

Rhode Island's Ancient Torment clearly know a thing or two about the cold. Their debut EP Satan's Legacy Come Flesh cuts right to the bone with four songs of unadorned thrashing black metal, trebley second wave chord progressions assaulting the listener like demonic frostwinds. As cold and merciless as a New England winter. [$4]

Formed by Impiety frontman Shyaithan and other notable members of the Singaporean underground, Devouror are already causing headaches for churchgoers and promoters alike in South East Asia. The four song EP Slay For Satan is as brutal as Impiety, but sticks to a more straight-forward style of thrashing death metal. Unlike their Western contemporaries, Devouror's rhetoric has very real ramifications as they run afoul of government censors and religious organizations in their part of the world - all the more reason to support the band. [€7]