Saturday, September 21, 2019

Bandcamp Picks 180: Kostnatění, Serpent Column, Arnaut Pavle


Even if Fallen Empire's fires have been doused, the embers refuse to fade. Releases from their former roster and associated acts - as well as brothers in darkness Mystískaos - continue to trickle through Bandcamp and beyond.

Case in point: the full-length debut of Kostnatění, whose demo Fallen Empire released last year (and whose sole performer I mistakenly assumed was from the Czech Republic - he's actually from Tennessee). Written to channel the author's fears of mortality, Hrůza zvítězí  is a discordant, unorthodox affair that outdoes its predecessor in noisiness and discomfort, and should come packaged with a box of Advil. Fallen Empire's legacy of avant-noire craziness is preserved. [$3]

I'm not quite sure what to make of the one-man band Serpent Column. Though labeled a discordant black/death metal project, the second album Mirror in Darkness bears more resemblance to the noisy hardcore of Converge and Orchid - albeit with an emphasis on speed, and stripped bare of any groove or acquiescence to the pit. Beyond genres, though, this is an unabashedly chaotic record that always sounds like it's about to careen off the a good way. [Name your price.]

Taking their name from an alleged real life vampire, Finland's Arnaut Pavle are a fitting addition to the Mystískaos roster. The self-titled debut makes no bones about its influences, delivering a raw and unadorned take on second wave black metal so pure, so cold, that it'll have Fenriz on the phone with his lawyers. Transylvanian plunder. [Name your price.]

Arnaut Pavle didn't come out of nowhere; the project emerged in 2013 with a demo that Mystískaos also recently re-released. Confusingly self-titled as well, the demo is even rawer than its eventual follow-up, and shows that in six years the band hasn't progressed so much as refined their attack. [Name your price.]