Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Bandcamp Picks: Vader, Ulcerate, Azath, Venomous Skeleton

Emerging from death metal's primordial era and never stopping since, Vader have been more consistent and prolific than any of their peers. Not quite a return to the sonic overload of the Litany period, their 12th album Solitude In Madness is nonetheless a brisk slice of thrashy death metal, allowing the band to graft some catchy Bay Area hooks and mid-paced Priest-styled bangers unto their blast-heavy style. The empire chugs along.  [$11]

Listen to my interview with Vader here.

Since they pioneered dissonant death metal with their third album (and inspired a legion of imitators in the process), it's easy to understand why Ulcerate would want to mine their own territory before going in search of new ones. With its pandemic-appropriate title, Stare Into Death And Be Still fleshes out the band's distinctive style a panoply of dischordant riffs, atmospheric interludes, and Jamie Saint Merat's disorienting, amorphous drumming technique. An album of the year contender, for sure.  [€7.77]

Read my interview with Ulcerate here.

Like Vader, newcomers Azath plant themselves in the fertile delta where death and thrash metal meet. Committed to the joys of pure speed, Through a Warren of Shadow recalls the frantic thrashing of Merciless and Grotesque, with a garage-worthy production to maintain that old school fidelity. Quibbles about the recording budget aside, this is one of the more enjoyable debuts I've heard in the last few years. [$7]

If a new Ulcerate album isn't enough to fill your atmospheric death metal needs, Tel Aviv's Venomous Skeleton should scratch that itch with their first full-length. Drowning in Circles lets tremolo guitars slither over mid-paced beats and through heavy reverb, resulting in an intensely claustrophobic, near-psychedelic album. Bad vibes from across the dead sea. [€7]