Thursday, October 6, 2022

Bandcamp Friday Picks [Oct 2022]

October 7th is Bandcamp Friday, that blessed day in which the streaming company waives their cut of all purchases made through their platform. If you're interested in showing some support for the underground, here are some recent and upcoming releases that are currently testing the robustness of my new computer speakers.

Back after a 17 year hiatus, Sweden's Defleshed are continuing where they left off. Grind Over Matter is exactly what you'd expect from the Uppsala trio - a speedy, precise, no-frills attack rooted in thrash and enamoured with blastbeats, that cuts like a buzzsaw and leaves you wanting more.

The members of Chicago's Bones are probably best known for their time in Usurper (who were ahead of the curve on Celtic Frost/Hellhammer worship by a few decades). With their fourth album, Vomit, the underground lifers toss in Motörhead, the Stooges, and Eighties hardcore into their already retro-fitted mix of proto-death, black, and thrash. It's the kind of cross-polination that found Entombed at odds with the kvlt kids all those many years ago - but ending the album with a cover of Van Halen's "She's The Woman" is a good indication that Bones don't care what the scene police think.

Though they only have the six-song Sepulchral Lacerations demo to their name, Hedonist are already gaining attention for their riffs and songwriting chops. That demo has been disseminated by a few labels since its original release in July of 2021 - Dawnbreed Records being the latest, with a CD version that they released last month. [Name your price.]

DoC friends VHS are back, and this time they're really getting loopy with their love for all things lo-fi and Eighties. Deep Gashes And Long Lashes combines leaden power chords with 8 bit synths and drum machines, mashing up death metal and new wave to arrive at the most interesting and inspired album these gore fiends have ever released.

Philadelphia's Daeva are here to bang heads and raise the dead. Their debut longplayer Through Sheer Will And Black Magic... is a black thrash riff-fest, with some stellar shredding from the erstwhile members of the doom metal band Crypt Sermon. Not quite a full witching hour, but definitely a brimstone-scented 40 minutes.

If Trey Azagthoth and Fredrik Thordendal were ever to co-parent, Labyrinth of Stars would be the lucky adoptee. Spectrum Xenomorph worships at the altars of sickness, but also displays a fondness for off-kilter rhythms, atonal melodies, and skittering leads.

Wisconsin's Choke are here to help you get that pit started with their debut EP. Grinding power violence is the dish of the day on Desiphon, seasoned with that buzzsaw HM-2 tone, and served with a side of groove. At five songs and lasting 12 minutes, this is more of an appetizer than a main course, but it's still a tasty preview of things to come.

War metal from a place where that's always a possibility, Tel Aviv's Deathsiege have delivered their most convincing statement to date. Their third album Throne Of Heresy is a blasphemous assault that loves blastbeats as much as it hates religion - an unholy screed straight from the holy land.

Fargo's Phobophilic are a deceptively thoughtful and forward-thinking band. Built on a bedrock of classic death and thrash, their debut full-length Enveloping Absurdity has a proclivity for the unconventional that calls to mind Demilich and Alf Svensson's unique riffs on the first two At The Gates albums.

Sfeerverzieker is a solo project from multi-instrumentalist Sven Post (who's also active in several other bands in the Dutch scene). Death is the Desired Ending creates tension through restrained tempos and discordant chords, with release coming by way of tremolo guitars careening over big crashing drum hits.

In nearby Utrecht, two other Dutch musicians took music deemed "too close to funeral doom" for their main band, and used it as the jumping off point for Angmodnes. Featuring three songs and running just under 40 minutes, the aptly-named Weight Of Eternity is a solemn work of icy gloom.

Proof that a squid-obsessed New Englander has become metal's most popular muse, Blut Aus Nord returns with a paean to that noted Rhode Island shut in, Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Lovecraftian Echoes is a discombobulating maelstrom of discordant notes, awkward rhythms and indecipharable screams - a fitting tribute to a man whose work mined our fear of the unknown and the unknowable.