November 30, 2011

Mose Giganticus - Gift Horse - Relapse Records



Mose Giganticus - Gift Horse from 2010 is one of my favorites from the Relapse Records Bandcamp. Few concept albums tell their story so well as this one does. The story here being the struggle between a vengeful god and the deposed angel Lucifer leading to the Battle of Armageddon. It's starts with the Mastodon proggyness of Last Resort and the lines
master of light
creator of sky and sea
And ends with the massive riffing and soloing of The Seventh Seal
you keep telling me I'd have everything
you promised me everything I want
and you'd keep telling me you're going to help me
that you're going to save me, but you won't
and now I'm in too deep
all I have left is sleep
Read the reviews from Angry Metal Guy and Doommantia and check it out.


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November 28, 2011

Afgrund - Vid Helvetets Grindar


Willowtip added Afgrund's Vid Helvetets Grindar from 2009 to their Bandcamp. Political Scandinavian grindcore in the Nasum and Rotten Sound vein. Excellent drumming and touches of sludge and doom spices things up. Here are two reviews from Metal Review and AllMusic


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November 27, 2011

Æsahættr - Æsahættr


Æsahættr is one-man band from Canada that plays black metal inspired by Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Lovers of the books will recognize song titles like The Sundering Blade of Bolvangar and The Fury of the Panserbjørn - and Æsahættr itself is off course The Suble Knife, a knife with a blade so fine it can rip through the fabric between the worlds.

The music is atmospheric black metal with pained croaks buried under layers of riffing. The closing epic Teleutaia Makhaira ends with a long rainfall outro that is very calming. Here is a review from Cvlt Nation that somehow misses the Philip Pullman connection entirely.


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The Devil's Blood - Come, Reap


The Devil's Blood 2008 debut Come, Reap is now available on the Ván Records Bandcamp, together with the rest of their discography. This is occult psychedelic rock, at times reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane. Read the reviews from Invisible Oranges:

despite its electricity, its analog sound is seductively soft. Lucifer is more potent not standing behind a wall of flames, but crooking a finger and uttering the titular invitation.

and AllMusic:

from the insistent drums and infectious circular melody of the title track, through to the languidly hypnotic balladry of the closing epic, "Voodoo Dust"

I agree 666%; "Voodoo Dust" is a fantastic song, and my favorite from Come, Reap. Click the player below and give it (and the rest of the album) a listen.

Akelei - De Zwaarte van het Doorstane


Dutch band Akelei's De Zwaarte van het Doorstane (The Burden of the Weathered) is emotional and atmospheric doom. It's certainly heavy enough, but in general this is really well played mellow doom. Read the Doommantia review and check it out.


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November 26, 2011

Canopy - Menhir - Dissension Records



Canopy's Menhir is a punchy, dynamic, and slightly proggy take on melodic death metal. Another example of melodic death metal done right! (like Voice of the Soul). Here's a couple of reviews from Metal Review and No Clean Singing.

Dissension Records is a small record label run by Canopy vocalist Fredrik Huldtgren. Besides Canopy they also have albums by black metal act Obitus, check out their newest release The March Of The Drones.


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November 24, 2011

Infernö - Downtown Hades / Utter Hell


Infernö - Downtown Hades / Utter Hell is a compilation of two Infernö albums from 1996 and 97. It's Thrash Metal with punk vocals & attitude as noted in this review of Downtown Hades from The Metal Archives.


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Northless - Clandestine Abuse

Northless' Clandestine Abuse is basically a sludge album. But it is also much more than that: You can hear post-rock influences and math- and hardcore riffs pop up on many tracks. Parts of it have been described as "Krallice as played by cavemen", other parts as "Mastodon on barbiturates".


Northless' Clandestine Abuse is basically a sludge album. But it is also much more than that: You can hear post-rock influences and math- and hardcore riffs pop up on many tracks. Parts of it have been described as "Krallice as played by cavemen", other parts as "Mastodon on barbiturates". Here are two reviews from Don't Count On It Reviews and Invisible Oranges. Northless also have their own Bandcamp where you can stream or download some of their older stuff.


November 21, 2011

Hemoptysis - Misanthropic Slaughter


Hemoptysis - Misanthropic Slaughter is lean and mean trash with a blackened crust on the vocals. And a shitload of really capable melodic solos. Here's a review from Teeth of the Divine.


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November 20, 2011

Mitochondrion - Parasignosis

Artwork by Alexander Brown

Profound Lore Records added Mitochondrion's 2010 album Parasignosis to their Bandcamp. But Mitochondrion already has a Bandcamp where they sell the album, so which one to choose? I went for Mitochondrion's because the album is a little cheaper ($5 CAD vs $6.66 CAD) and the money goes straight to them.

Parasignosis mixes dissonant black metal with blistering death metal. The songs are very unpredictable, yet the transitions still feel natural. Here are two reviews about the music from Heavy Blog is Heavy and one about listening to the album from That's How Kids Die.

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Sleepbringer - Compendium


Sleepbringer's Compendium; On one hand the riffing is traditional heavy doom, sludge and stoner. On the other hand the songs and arrangements are actually interesting, they do not rely on the heaviness alone. Click the player below and check it out.

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November 19, 2011

Amputation Spree - Three / Inferno


Amputation Spree's Three / Inferno EP of progressive slam got a nice review at Metalattorney. He mentions the "occasional dissonant chord progressions which gives off the impression of a slammier Ulcerate". The moniker "thinking man's slam" from the Amputation Spree Bandcamp is actually quite fitting.

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Ulcerate - Everything Is Fire


Ulcerate's Everything Is Fire from 2009 was added to the Willowtip Bandcamp. Claustrophobic and complex modern death metal, that really needs more than one listen to wrap your head around.

A review from AllMusic has this observation about Ulcerate's playing: "their ability to move the music forward at what seems like a crushingly slow pace while in fact playing quite fast is hypnotic". And I quite agree.

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Ungoliant - No More the World of Man

Art by Skinner from Ungoliant.

Ungoliant has released their new album No More the World of Man. Heavy doom/sludge with massive walls of guitars and some psychedelic playing. It doesn't sound like all the other bands in those genres, but does sound more or less exactly like the album cover.

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Cosmonauts Day - Paths of the Restless

Artwork by Elena Snegotskaya

Cosmonauts Day from Russia has released the new album Paths of the Restless on their Bandcamp. Post-metal that is more melodic than progressive and also quite heavy at times. No reviews yet, so let your own ears be the judge.

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November 18, 2011

Execration - Odes of the Occult

Artwork by Jørgen Maristuen from Execration.

Execration got my attention when Aversionline posted a review of Odes of the Occult. I found out that their label Duplicate Records has a Bandcamp, so here we are. Odes of the Occult is excellent blackened death metal, with parts that sounds like a "less chaotic Ulcerate". And it is all wrapped in a nice beefy old-school sounding production.

Aversionline also wrote that "the band is taking their core of classic, aggressive death metal in varying directions – with quite a bit of subtle technicality in tow". Check it out in the player below.

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Cloudkicker - Let Yourself Be Huge


Cloudkicker has released two new albums, Let Yourself Be Huge and its companion Loop. Let Yourself Be Huge is mellow ambient stuff, many of the tracks feature acoustic playing. The cover is pretty mellow too, it looks like one of those kissing couple in the sunset posters from the eighties.

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November 17, 2011

Vasaeleth - Crypt Born & Tethered To Ruin


Vasaeleth's Crypt Born & Tethered to Ruin From 2010 was added to the Profound Lore Bandcamp. It is very murky old school death metal that relies on raw atmosphere instead of technical flash. Check out this best of 2010 list from the esteemed Full Metal Attorney, who says that Crypt Born & Tethered to Ruin gives the impression "that you're standing outside a demon-infested crypt at 3:00 a.m., and these are the sounds coming from inside".

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November 16, 2011

Astomatous - The Beauty of Reason


Before Krallice there was...

Sometimes historical documents pop up on Bandcamp. Nicolas McMaster has added two albums from bands he was in before starting Krallice. The first is Hymn - Passage recorded in 2004. Very blackened doom with some progressive parts thrown in. The second is Astomatous - The Beauty of Reason recorded in 2006. Technical death death that has two wildly different reviews at The Metal Archives.

It's fun to note the similarities to Krallice in both bands: The dissonance, the non-melodic songwriting, the progressiveness and the terrific bass playing. Stretching it a little, you could say that Hymn is Krallice played as doom and Astomatous is Krallice played as death metal.

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November 15, 2011

Reflection - When Shadows Fall


Reflection's When Shadows Fall from 2008 was added to the Cruz Del Sur Bandcamp. They play epic metal, the doomy version of Heavy Metal. It is a little plodding but AllMusic quite fairly described it as a "nicely crafted and enjoyable outing" by a band who "hold on to their love of metal from the 1970s and 1980s."

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November 13, 2011

Bosse-de-Nage - II


The Flenser has added the second album by Bosse-de-Nage to their Bandcamp. This is black metal with just a of hint post-rock and some quite surrealistic lyrics. Check out two great reviews from Last Rites and Lurkers Path.

Bosse-de-Nage wins the Metal Bandcamp best song title award for "Why Am I So Lovely? Because My Master Washes Me".

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Royal Talons - 5 tracks


Royal Talons have five individual tracks of psychedelic doom on their Bandcamp. Doommantia described "The Scroll" as starting with a hypnotic vibe which "builds into a nasty, violent piece of tortured doom". Also, what is not to like about these lyrics:

Energy collides
activates third eye
dagger slices skin
dimension born within'

November 9, 2011

Agalloch rarities and limited compilation tracks


Photo by Carmelo Española.

Agalloch has set up a Bandcamp for some of their rare tracks, mostly from various compilations. Many of the tracks are acoustic instrumentals in the style of The White EP. The one track that features an electric guitar is the quite progressive "Scars of the Shattered Sky", originally from side D of the Ashes Against the Grain LP.

Swallowed - Swallowed


In an interview Swallowed described their music pretty accurately: "We play real death metal with doom nuances. We play slow and sometimes fast". Also check out this review from The Metal Archives and listen to the music of course. It is good.

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November 8, 2011

The Gathering - The West Pole


The Gathering - The West Pole from 2009 was a return to playing guitar driven music again, it was also the first album with new vocalist Silje Wergeland. Not metal, but all in all a solid album with post-rockish guitars, outstanding bass playing and some nice and warm melodies. Read the reviews from Sputnikmusik and check it out.

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November 7, 2011

Misery - From Where the Sun Never Shines


Photo by Carmelo Española.

Misery - From Where the Sun Never Shines is raw and heavy-as-fuck crust with some fantastic bass riffage. Apparently these guys have been around since 1987, they certainly don't seem to be slowing down! Here's a review from Old Punks Never Die.

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Deus Otiosus - Murderer

Artwork by Renata Rojo.

Deus Otiosus is a death metal band from Denmark (yay). Their album Murderer is solid death metal with elements of trash and black metal. It's old school in that it isn't a display of technicality, it also has a nice fat production with some seriously crunchy guitars. Read the review from Lurkers Path and one from The Metal Archives.

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November 6, 2011

Palace of Worms - Lifting the Veil


Palace of Worms's Lifting the Veil was originally released on tape by Flenser Records, and has now been made available as a free download on the band's own Bandcamp. Raw, piously orthodox black metal as mentioned in this review from Lurkers Path. And check out that sad little fella, all lifting that veil. Isn't he a little cute?

November 3, 2011

Cyclamen - Senjyu


Cyclamen's Senjyu from 2010 is a mix of dexterous progressive tinted metal and beautiful noise-pop. And some huge post-rock crescendos. And some jazz. And some stoner rock... Better read the reviews from Heavy Blog is Heavy and Don't Count on it Reviews, and check it out below.

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Uneven Structure - Februus


Basick Records have released Februus the new album by Uneven Structure to their Bandcamp. The is progressive metal of the djent variety without some of the trappings of that genre: The clean singing in the ambient parts is actually nice and the drummer knows how to let the songs breathe.

The production is also excellent, no matter how many layers of djenty stuff they pile on top of the songs, you can always hear the clear and natural sounding rhythm section. Read more in the reviews from No Clean Singing and Don't Count on it Reviews

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November 2, 2011

Omitir - Cotard


Omitir's Cotard was released on the The Path Less Traveled Records Bandcamp. Omitir is a one-man band from Portugal who plays a particular interesting take on black metal, interspersing the raw blackness with ambient jazz pieces. In the words of The Path Less Traveled Records label owner: "Check it if you like black metal with saxophones and shit."

And the last track "Fase VII - Belle Indiference" is a haunting black metal ballad!

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Dim Mak - Knives Of Ice


Willowtip has added Dim Mak's Knives Of Ice from 2006 to their Bandcamp. Catchy technical death metal with good quality riffing. And amazing drumming by new member John Longstreth of Origin fame - "a virtual one-man speed clinic" as the AllMusic review says

Sometimes all you need is a good yelling at like in the menacing "Devil Finding Mirror"

It Sees You And You Are Ugly
It Sees You And You Are Scarred With Lies
It Sees You And You Are Wicked
It Sees You And You Have Shifting Eyes

Liar, Liar Set Your Soul On Fire, Liar Liar
Fire Fire Set Your Soul On Fire


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November 1, 2011

Mournful Congregation - The Book of Kings

Artwork by Sean Schock

The new Mournful Congregation album The Book of Kings is available on the 20 Buck Spin Bandcamp. One of the reasons I don't write proper reviews for the blog is that I'm not very good at it - they would be littered with "great", "fantastic" and that old cliche "crushing". But let me just say this about The Book of Kings: It's great, it's fantastic and it crushes.

The title track is just huge in every sense, over half an hour of the most sorrowful and majestic funeral doom there is.

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Lauderdale - Life's a Beach


Lauderdale's Life a Beach popped up as a recommendation after downloading Fuck The Facts' Misery (Topos Das from FtF is the producer of Life's a Beach). Not strictly metal I guess, Lauderdale plays weird and fascinating grind / doom of sorts with an interesting use of samples. According to a review from American Aftermath

The band is comprised of three prison inmates (two former, one still incarcerated) known only as #8478, #8744 and #2837. They recorded their debut album, Life’s a Beach almost entirely in prison facilities ... don’t expect to see any shows or tours because “they seemingly do not like each other and do not get along"


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Fun fact: All the songs on Life's a Beach are named after non-metal bands from the '90s...