Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Atanamar’s Favorite Bandcamp Finds of 2014

Written by Atanamar Sunyata.

Metal archaeology is the work of a lifetime; there are pages missing from every grail seeker’s diary. As more and more music appears on Bandcamp, we are offered a unique opportunity to rediscover the past in high fidelity. 2014 was prime time for musical gravedigging; I was able to unearth albums I had only heard in passing during the '90s, resuscitate specters of long lost tape trades, and replace the content of CDs that mysteriously disappeared in college. Best of all, I discovered classics completely unbeknownst to me. These are some of my favorite Bandcamp hauls of 2014:

Deathevokation - Chalice of Ages (2007)
Cover art by Axel Hermann

Deathevokation quietly produced a death metal masterpiece in the not too distant past, disappearing into oblivion before their prodigious achievement could be properly recognized. Chalice of Ages unfurls a fusillade of doom-tinged death propelled by Amon Amarth-grade grooves and fascinating melody. These tunes ride on a riff-hardened chassis, rampaging at all the right speeds. Deathevokation had a distinctive character, and their sole creation's pedigree is simply spectacular. Reunion, please?


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]


The Chasm - Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm (2009)
Artwork by Daniel Corchado

The Chasm is the best band whose discography was most unrepresented in my collection. That was quickly resolved when Max clued us into The Chasm’s Bandcamp page in March. Like Max, Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm is my favorite of the titles represented. The Chasm stand astride the death metal's continental divide, blending the progressive precision of Death with the skin crawling filth of Incantation (mainman Daniel Corchado actually played on Diabolical Conquest). Fascinating riffs, thrashy intricacies, and dynamics for days are the name of the game; Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm is all wins.


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]


Adramelech - Psychostasia (1996)
Artwork by Turkka Rantanen

Adramelech emerged from the bountiful Finnish death metal scene in the mid '90s, possessing the utmost power of the riff. Psychostasia is the finest moment of the band's brief career. It's also a death metal classic, a balm to these jaded and abused ears. Impossibly compelling anti-melodies flow in torrents of glorious death, coalescing around indelible riffs and feats of compositional ingenuity. Adramelech have indubitable roots in Demigod's sinuous sonic oeuvre, but they also inherit bits of bizarre behavior from countrymen Demilich. Everyone should have a little Psychostasia in their life.


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]


Disembowelment - Disembowelment (2005)

Funeral doom, as an art form, is concerned with feats of amazing restraint. Grindcore and death metal? Not so much. Disembowelment bridged that dichotomy in spectacular style in 1992. Transcendence into the Peripheral (included here along with most of the band’s recorded output) presents discrete visions of crisp, sharp, and haunting doom of the literal sort. Driven by industrial strength percussion, the outbursts of putridity manifest as sheets of blinding, grinding rage. Disembowelment’s time on this earth was brief, but their legacy is a delicious landmark.


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]


Gadget - Remote (2004)

I'm usually behind the ball on grindcore. When I need it, I need it bad. The rest of the time? Clueless. I missed Gadget's debut by a decade. Here stalks Swedish grind-mastery that's light on the Sunlight sauce preferred by their countrymen (see Nasum, etc.). Articulate crunch is borne on precision blasts and big fat beats. Caution is thrown to the wind, but satisfying, nuanced melody seeps into the gears, ensuring optimal aural lubrication. Someone dropped their dipstick in a bit of Dissection; cheers to you, Gadget. Remote is timeless grind.


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]


Human Remains - Where Were You When (2002)

Building on meaty mounds of spasmodic deathgrind brilliance, Human Remains recorded in fits and spurts in the early ‘90s until the Using Sickness as a Hero EP spelled their untimely demise. Human Remains possessed all of the genius you’d expect from a band featuring Steve Procopio (Gridlink, Discordance Axis) and Dave Witte (Discordance Axis, Municipal Waste, and every band ever). Where Were You When is a compilation of the band’s recorded material, and I was clearly not there when it was released in 2002. Every one of these tracks, from the most immaculately recorded to those produced in a toilet, are a pure joy of crushing daedal impossibility. Rejoice in moist, mandatory mucoidal madness.


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Tagged with 1996, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, Adramelech, Atanamar Sunyata, death metal, Deathevokation, Disembowelment, Gadget, grindcore, Human Remains, Lux Inframundis Productions, Relapse Records, The Chasm, Xtreem Music
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