Friday, December 2, 2022

Bandcamp Friday Picks [Dec 2022]

Today is the last Bandcamp Friday of 2022, the final day of the year in which the streaming company waives its share of all purchases made through its platform. Here are another dozen recent and upcoming releases that I think deserve your support.

With members having roots in both Norway's hardcore and metal scenes, Reaping Flesh are able to utilize the best of both backgrounds. Their self-titled debut delivers a brisk mix of thrash, screamo, and scan crust that never overstays its welcome. [Name your price.]

Brevity and brutality go hand in hand for Athens' Vile Species. Their second album Against the Values of Civilization delivers 15 no-nonsense grindcore ragers in the style of Phobia and Terrorizer, riding the line between punky exhuberance and death metal precision. [Name your price.]

Sweden's Sickrecy know that when it comes to deathgrind, it's best not to overthink things. Their first full-length Salvation Through Tyranny uses classic Napalm Death as a starting point, adding some Scandinavian gnarliness to personalize the brutality.

Horror Pain Gore Death continue to mine the improbable overlap between pro wrestling and metal fandoms with self-described "strong style grindcore" act Shining Wizard. On their second EP Tournament Of Death, the Tampa quartet pay tribute to deceased wrestling icons via six blackened grind anthems, going off the top rope with a cheeky cover of Body Count's "Cop Killer".

HPGD is also releasing the debut album from Philadelphia's The Crippler, featuring grind legend Rich Hoak (of Brutal Truth/Total Fucking Destruction infamy). On I'm Just Gonna Let Myself In, impossibly tight performances meet circle pit knuckledragging, placing them high on the list of bands who understand that a good hook makes deathgrind that much more impactful.

Minnesota's Nothingness plant their feet in the middle ground between classic death metal and its more recent dissonant variations. Their second album Supraliminal intersperses shapeshifting rhythms and restrained tempos with dissonant riffs and unsettling guitar scrapings, joining fellow Midwesterners Phobophilic and Sunless in nudging the genre into the future.

Seattle's Re-Buried, on the other hand, are happy to wallow in death metal's gore-swamped past. Repulsive Nature is a breakdown-riddled ode to USDM's gutteral history, spiritually located somewhere between Tampa and Long Island.

Crypt Rot haven't been together long, but you wouldn't know it from their debut. On An Ancient Summoning, the Welshmen sound like old hands at brutal death, filling their songs with intricate leads, unfettered blasting sections, and slam parts that'll get the pit bros running in circles.

Anyone in the mood for the old ultraviolence needs to check out the audacious new album by Italian lifers Necrodeath. Singin' in the Pain reimagines Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange as a blackened thrash concept album - enlisting Venom's Tony Dolan to narrate, and presumably reimagining the film's protagonist in a denim vest with Bathory and Kreator patches. Anthony Burgess must be rolling in his grave (but he was a reactionary prick, so fuck him.)

Unlike some of their countrymen, France's Iffernet aren't interested in deconstructing black metal. The duo's second album Silences sticks to a minimalist view of the genre, albeit with the "gazey" tendencies of its American adherents.

Black Lava know there ain't no cure for the Wolverine Blues, but calling their music "black 'n' roll" only tells part of the story. The Aussies explore an unholy (and unlikely) mix of black metal and power violence on their debut album Soul Furnace, serving it all up with as much dimed-out HM-2 as your speakers can handle.

For Copenhagen's Grava, "post", "black", and "doom" aren't mutually exlusive. On the concise Weight of a God, tremolo riffs and ominous chords crash over sledgehammer beats, leading to an austere and unsentimental vision of doom metal.