January 6, 2014

Craig - Ten Triumphs From 2013

Written by Craig Hayes.

I can’t speak for the other contributors here at Metal Bandcamp, but my motivation for being here is pretty straightforward. I’m here to write about great bands that we all get to enjoy thanks to Bandcamp’s success, and I’ve certainly ended up with another huge catalogue of fantastic releases from spending endless hours lurking on the site in 2013.

That leaves me with a pile of bands I could highlight in my final post this year, but rather than repeat myself, I’ve plucked ten triumphant releases I haven’t had the opportunity to write about in 2013. Before you dig into the list, I wanted to pass on my thanks. Metal Bandcamp obviously doesn’t exist without its loyal readers, and it’s been a privilege to write here this year and have my name appear alongside fellow scribes who are vastly more knowledgeable and articulate than I’ll ever be here.

Cheers to you all, and, of course, tip of the hat to Metal Bandcamp overlord Max for allowing me to ramble on and on and on this year. Merry Anti-Christmas. I hope 2014 is filled with more sonic mayhem for you all, but before it continues, here’s a few ear-splitting delights from 2013.

Seizures - The Sanity Universal.

I might as well start with an album I only acquired recently thanks to another A+ recommendation from my compadre (and occasional Metal Bandcamp contributor) Dean Brown. Californian band Seizures make a hellish racket combining incandescent metallic hardcore with flashes of experimentalism and math rock. Of course, the clue to what you’ll find is in the band’s name, and The Sanity Universal is seizure-inducing, all round.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Stallion - Mounting the World.

German trio Stallion travel back in time to the exact point where heavy metal injected that extra dose of velocity to see a slew of speed metal steeds race ahead of the herd. Mounting the World is a stampeding six-string gallop across old school pastures, and best of all, it kicks ass like a fittingly testosterone fuelled beastie.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Hawkeyes - Poison Slows You Down.

Featuring a four guitar line-up, Hawkeyes set to exploring acid and space rock with down-tuned abandon on Poison Slows You Down. Deep cosmic doom abounds on the album, with mammoth and monolithic tunes that dig deep into tone and texture channeled through flaming amps. Tune in, drop out, and plummet into the psychedelic abyss.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Blackrat - Whiskey and Blasphemy.

Canadian trio Blackrat released a lo-fi burst of blackened thrash and punk with Whiskey and Blasphemy this year. Expect cut-throat vocals and buzzsaw riffs, all backed by the kind of raw and hell-hammering intensity that’s only ever found in the most perfectly putrid pits of the underground.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Kröwnn - Hyborian Age.

Kröwnn’s Hyborian Age was one of many, many enjoyable and promising demos I stumbled upon this year. The Italian doom trio wielded hefty riffs, drew its lyrics from fantasy authored works, and the band’s methodical trawls brought all the requisite weight and psychotropic pummel.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Caffa - Day of Disease.
Cover art by Jose Gabriel Angeles

I don’t know who first tipped me off about Caffa’s Day of Disease, but if it was you, I owe you a debt of thanks. Day of Disease was an absolutely fetid crawl through trenches of sonic excrement, with the kind of blackened doom and death metal that’ll leave a stain, and more importantly, a horrendous stench on your soul.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Druidus - Bestial Crust Demo MMXIII.

Druidus’s Bestial Crust Demo MMXIII was about as caustically raw as you could hope for, with the iniquitous sonics and devilish thematics situated right up front. Death metal met black metal at the altar of unholy worship on the demo, leading to a frenzied and uncompromising fight to draw first blood.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Thrawsunblat - Thrawsunblat II: Wanderer on the Continent of Saplings.

Magnificently epic black metal featured on Thrawsunblat’s Thrawsunblat II: Wanderer on the Continent of Saplings this year. Replete with varying strains of black and folk metal interweaving throughout, and spilling over with heart-swelling melodies, Thrawsunblat II: Wanderer on the Continent of Saplings was, pretty much, perfection.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

An Autumn For Crippled Children - Try Not to Destroy Everything You Love.

An Autumn For Crippled Children are a three-piece experimental black metal band from the Netherlands, and if there was any justice in this world, Try Not to Destroy Everything You Love would be sitting high atop all those end of year lists in ’13. It was a magical, majestic, and wholly breathtaking album, filled with melodic waves of beautifully understated orchestral flourishes.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Young Hunter - Embers at the Foot of Dark Mountain.

Psychedelic drone, alt-country, and stoner and indie rock all mixed with doom metal on Young Hunter’s Embers at the Foot of Dark Mountain EP this year. Vast clouds sweeping down over dustbowl vistas featured, with a steely precipitateness decelerating into bucolic, tumbling laments. Young Hunter’s 2012 debut, Stone Tools, was an impressive debut, and Embers at the Foot of Dark Mountain signals even more awe-inspiring landscapes set to be explored in the future.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

  1. That's the beauty of these kind of lists isn't it? I got Kröwnn, Caffa, Druidus, and An Autumn For Crippled Children from it. You got two entirely different bands.

  2. Bruce, thanks a bunch for reading and for dropping in a comment! Glad you found some new tunes to enjoy. I've had a field day myself this year discovering new bands off many lists.