Sunday, June 23, 2019

Bandcamp Picks - The Odious, Inanimate Existence, Atlas Entity, Archaic Decapitator

It's been seven years since The Odious released their last album (which was one of my first Bandcamp Picks, to give you an inkling how long it's been). Vesica Piscis sees the band tweaking their Tool-meets-Opeth approach with percussive discordance and the addition of moog keyboards. Meanwhile, Spencer Linn is showing more confidence and range in his clean singing (though it's just as Layne Staley-ish as in the past). An unpredictable, somewhat uncomfortable listen - all the things progressive metal is supposed to be. [$8]

Five albums into their career, Inanimate Existence have morphed from scrappy prog death upstarts to savvy veterans. Clockwork highlights the California band's maturation as songwriters, shifting without warning from fretburning riffs to palm-muted chugging and jazzy bass-driven interludes. In fact, it may be too mature - the band could benefit by re-injecting the playfulness of their earlier albums. But right now, there's no better standard-bearer of progressive death metal than this band. [$8]

Atlas Entity is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Alex Gallegos and Decrepit Birth drummer Samus Paulicelli. The second installment of a planned trilogy, Beneath the Cosmic Silence uses folky acoustic passages and Gallegos' sombre tenor to bridge the divide between tech death and melodic (dare I say, "cascadian") black metal. A surprisingly clean variation on nature-inspired metal. [$8]

For Connecticut's Archaic Decapitator, keys are the key to separating themselves from the melodic death metal herd. Their latest EP The Apothecary heaps tinkling keyboards over their speedy blast-driven melodies, giving their songs an added dimension. It's amazing how one additional instrument can make a well-trodden genre sound fresh. [$8]