Sunday, October 6, 2019

Bandcamp Picks 182: Exhumed, Cloud Rat, Drugs of Faith, No One Knows What The Dead Think, Rank and Vile

Having proved that they can be conceptual and cinematic with their previous album, gore metal pioneers Exhumed strip everything back to basics on their newest release. With most of its songs flying in under the two minute mark, Horror is the most condensed, concise album in the band's decades-long history, rivaling Repulsion's Horrified as the most direct expression of furious death/grind whilst retaining Matt Harvey's sizeable thrash influences and knack for catchy hooks. The Carnage, Master, and Genocide covers included as bonus tracks perfectly encapsulate the old school vibe. [$9.99] 

[Listen to my interview with Exhumed here.]

DoC faves Cloud Rat have been making strides due to their tireless work ethic, both in the studio and on the road. Pollinator is set to capitalize on that work ethic, turning in the best version of the trio's chimeric mix of grindcore and screamo: A seamless meld of dissonant melodies and frantic speed which never lets any song settle on a single tempo. Released concurrently with the album is a bonus EP that explores the band's interest in ambient and electronic music, as well as their hopes of uniting disparate music scenes. [$10]

[Read my interview with Cloud Rat here.]

Are Drugs Of Faith grindcore? With Richard Johnson of seminal Virginia grinders Enemy Soil leading the band, there's only so far they can run from the label, even if the unvarnished vocals and sparing use of blastbeats place the trio more in the realm of noisy hardcore. Their new 7" Decay retains the brevity and immediacy of grind even as it channels Deadguy's chuggy discordance - in short, an abrasive and angry affair. [$5]

[Read my interview with Drugs of Faith here.]

No One Knows What The Dead Think reunites Discordance Axis vocalist Jon Chang and guitarist Rob Morton for the first time in almost 20 years; and with Defiled's Kyosuke Nakano taking over the drum stool, their eponymous debut is as frenetic and unpredictable an addendum to The Inalienable Dreamless as one could hope for. Like the best grindcore albums, it's over almost as soon as it starts - but anyone wanting to emulate Chang's piercing screams can do so with the instrumental "karaoke" reprise of the album included at the end. [$8.99]

Is there too much HM-2 pedal in metal? Not if you're Portland's Rank and Vile. Their first EP Redistribution of Flesh delivers eight short slices of power violence-inflected death metal and a healthy amount of groove, all pulled together by the guitar tone that has had Stockholm garages shaking since the late Eighties. Bonus points for keeping the vocals guttural - something that's often lacking from American bands who venture down the Left Hand Path. [$8]