Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Bandcamp Friday Picks [Nov 2022]

Today is Bandcamp Friday - that blessed day in which the streaming company waives its cut of all purchases made through the platform. Here are some recent and upcoming releases that I think are worth supporting with your cash, hard-earned or ill-gotten.

The year wouldn't be complete without a new release from purveyors of psychedelic filth Blattaria. Dismantle The New Cult combines noise, black metal, and grindcore, then distills the screaming mess down to pure unhinged chaos. Six million legs and endless nightmares. [Name Your Price.]

Danish band Orm have made epically long songs their staple, but their latest release may be their most ambitious yet. A double album broken up into four long compositions, Intet • Altet breaks up unfettered black metal with folk and classical interludes, periodically galloping into Viking metal territory.

With Vallenfyre put aside, Paradise Lost guitarist Greg Mackintosh has found another vehicle to revisit his death-doom OG roots with Strigoi. Viscera is a crusty death-doom bouillabaisse that recalls Peaceville's early releases (not least of which being Mackintosh's own grim and grimey Lost Paradise), adding some modern black metal dissonance to prevent this from becoming more revivalist cosplay tedium. A song titled "Napalm Frost" sums up their intentions better than I can.

Speaking of Peaceville, those classic albums must have had a profound effect on Australia's Estrangement. Violins and keyboards on a metal album will always recall the gothic doom of "The Peaceville Three"; but Disfigurementality is even more ambitious in its scope - this debut leaves behind the genre's familiar song structures and instrumentation to venture into the realms of classical and dark ambient.

Anyone missing sludge/post-metal band SubRosa will be happy to hear that most of their lineup has re-surfaced in The Otolith, and has picked up where their previous albums left off. On Folium Limina, classical strings cast a forlorn ambience over a bedrock of deep rumbling guitars, with Kim Cordray's ethereal vocals woven in throughout. Bonus points for utilizing Charlie Chaplin's closing anti-war monologue from The Great Dictator.

Black Math Horseman are for the Beach House fan under that Neurosis hoodie. Their self-titled EP (only their second release since 2009) anchors dream pop vocals to weighty reverb and dedicated floor tom abuse.

Italian newcomers Griefbringer know that minimalism, dissonance, and doom go together like garlic bread and marinara sauce. The Horrible Wilting hammers minor chords like it's nailing Christ to the cross, and at the pace of a snake digesting its prey.

A side project from members of the hardcore band Bleach Everything, Harmonic Cross allows its participants to explore their interest in dark ambient, drone, and experimental soundscapes. The Grand Paradise is the soundtrack to an unreleased film of the same name; if this score is anything to go by, expect a lot of moody atmospheric moments and long introspective scenes.

Oakland trio False Figure have been making a name for themselves with their extremely reverential take on Eighties post-punk/deathrock. Their first full-length album Castigations came out on The Day of The Dead; with its dancey rhythms, dolorous vocals and driving bass lines, it's as good a way to celebrate the holiday as any.

I'm lifting my unofficial moratorium on covering new thrash bands for Doomsday. Though I remain a cynic about old school revivalism, Depictions Of Chaos is such an enjoyable emulation of those classic blood-bonding, toxic-waltzing Bay Area thrash classics that I can't help but raise the horns in appreciation.