Saturday, December 24, 2022

Bandcamp Picks [2022 Stocking Stuffer Edition]

[This post contains excerpts from previous Bandcamp Friday Picks, along with some new reviews. All releases were available as "name your price" downloads at the time of posting.]

On their second album Regrets, the Canadian trio Alienatör adds some classic rock riffs to their jagged noise rock rhythms - a chocolate + peanut butter combination that works so well, it's surprising more bands haven't tried it.

If spending the holidays with the family or barhopping on New Year's Eve isn't your bag, you can always take a trip to the land of Nod with French instrumentalists Atomic Trip. Their third album Strike #3 adds two more stoner sludge epics to a release history that's built on them.

They share two members with DoC faves VoidOath, so rest assured that Crypt Monarch know how to craft a slow, heavy riff. The three songs on their unvarnished debut The Necronaut make time stand still with a surprisingly thoughtful approach to psychedelic doom.

Texans Duel are making a name for themselves with their throwback style of Seventies heavy rock. Valley of Shadows casts a reverential eye to the swaggering early albums of Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, and Motörhead, and is aided immensely by a singer whose tenor is part Glenn Danzig, part Ian Gillan.

Lest you think that prog and psych are intrinsically "retro" affectations, Belgium's Psychonaut make metal that's progressive, psychedelic, and also thoroughly modern. Their second album Violate Consensus Reality is more Tool than King Crimson, and is strongly reminiscent of The Ocean - not surprising, then, that they found a home with The Ocean's label, Pelagic Records.

Demonical were early adopters of "NWOOSSDM" when they first emerged in the mid-2000's. In League With Death provides a short overview of their recording history, featuring 5 songs (including covers and live recordings) that show the band's commitment to the Sunlight Studios era.

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.

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.

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.

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 this year.