The bottomless wellspring of Bandcamp is overflowing with great shit just waiting to be discovered. This series aims to shine light on the freshest emanations and foulest incantations from its darkest corners, a few artists at a time. Here’s the seventh installment for your vulgar delectation. Enjoy.
Artist: Time Lurker
French one-man atmospheric act Time Lurker has recently released what’s sure to be one of my personal favourite atmospheric albums of the year. Dynamic and pummeling, the eponymous debut is seven tracks of incredible rhythmic drumming and superbly unhinged vocals that bellow and howl with the fury of the ages as the guitars surge and fall underneath it all to create a myriad of mesmerising emotion. It sounds like the ebb and flow of the waves of time itself: violent and constructive, calming and crushing; somber melodies swoop into a grand aggression both bleak and hopeless yet as intrinsic and vital as life. It gets into every fibre of your being and won’t let you go.
Believe it or not, it wasn’t even written as an album. It’s comprised of two EP’s (‘I’ and ‘II’) rolled into one; although you’d never guess as the whole thing flows seamlessly from start to finish. Honestly, not one single track on this is a dud. Available through Les Acteurs de l’ombre Productions you can also snap up a digital copy for a mere €1 from their Bandcamp, which is why I’ve snuck it into this Volume. What are you waiting for? Treat yourself.
Spanish three-piece Grimah have their debut full length due out later in the year and to whet the appetite of any interested souls have unleashed their first ever track ‘Serpens’. It apparently won’t be on the album proper and was released as a tribute to a struggling friend, with ‘M’ handling vocal duties as a one-off for this particular track, so expect a different oratory style on the album. The music itself is an impassioned take on the epic, emotive and melodic fury that MGŁA do so well; a hard task to match, but they do an admirable job of rising to the challenge. If this is what they’re capable of the debut could be an absolute hidden gem. Available for name-your-price download; check it out and support.
I’ve spoken before about how great splits are where the artists involved complement each other perfectly; well, this is another one that fucking nails it.
USBM one-man projects Whitewurm and True Love are a match made in a hell you’d never dream could exist. Whitewurm kick off proceedings with ‘Sentenced’, an onslaught of majestic, atmospheric hatred that’s filthy yet refined; sorrowful melodies drape almost elegantly atop the malignant savagery within. Breathtaking stuff that will have you searching up the rest of their discography before the track even hits the halfway mark.
But while you’re doing that, True Love arrive to ruin your mojo/day/life. Some severely creepy oscillations begin to emanate from your speakers, demanding your attention before an absolute torrent of raw atonal scorn and sludging depravity spews forth like an unspeakable leviathanic horror forcing its way into this existential plane. Aptly titled ‘Levitating on the Brainwaves of the Insane’, the harsh assault is offset by slithering grooves and interlaced with twisted scratchings designed to snap your synapses beyond all hope of repair. It’s the perfect foil to the atmospheres of Whitewurms’ side of the split, sonically matching it yet the flipside of a dirty coin you found stomped into the muck out the front of a graveyard.
At ten minutes apiece each track flies by in what feels like three. Released just two weeks ago some limited tape copies were available, but they’ve already sold out; this release is that good. Luckily it’s also up at name-your-price download from Whitewurms’ Bandcamp, so head over there and get behind it.
US occultist Demiurge is currently working on new material for his eponymous depressive project, however he also released his first ever EP back in January. ‘Sitra Achra’ is solid melancholia; mystical, pained and miserable. Just the way it should be, right? Making good use of sombre repetition to create a mood that sticks throughout the whole EP and with a variety of arcane lyrical themes, I’m keen to see what he comes up with next as the project shows a lot of promise in the great ‘Repose of the Gods’ alone. Up for name-your-price download, he’ll keep perfecting his formula and it will only get better from here.
Artist: Hyperborean Skies
US solo artist Ben Stiles brings the feels on Hyperborean Skies atmospheric debut album ‘Empyrean Fracture’. Jam packed with majestic emotion and riffs that want to carry you off soaring and wheeling into the night sky, the songs flawlessly segue into each other creating an enthralling tapestry woven with the utmost care and skill. A well thought out and put together album that’s been three long years in the making; you can feel every drop of sweat and sleepless night he’s put into perfecting it, and it’s paid off.
Exceptional melodic guitar layers engage and enthrall while the driving (programmed) drums leap out and power the songs. It’s a varied and dynamic listen that’s adept at shifting moods; by the time the frankly gorgeous synth interlude ‘Mists of Memories’ (that would make Vangelis turn green and ends all too soon) ends you’re totally immersed in the sobering, yearning feel before the thrash-tastic ‘Betrayed by the Stars’ arrives, slaps you around the head and sends you packing on a whole new journey.
You know those releases that are almost fun to listen to? This is one of those. Highly enjoyable for a debut album, head on over to his Bandcamp and support. Oh, and check out the cover he dropped earlier in the year of Burzum’s ‘Dunkelheit’ while you’re there too. Hails.
Nature inspired atmosphere abounds in this release from Faunus; one man project of Admetos from Elegos, the Hellenic duo I reviewed back in Volume 4. Based on the four Seasons and the cycle of death and Rebirth, ‘Where Everything Begins With An End’ kicks off with Autumn, its raw blasts and solid riffing settling you in for the ride nicely. Winter is up next; this is where the EP really comes in to its own. Epic and sombre, it reaches grand emotive heights before dissolving into eerie menace and is really the centrepiece of the album. Which isn’t to say the quality drops from here on in; the excellent Autumn is ponderous and introspective with evocative guitar work and vocals that almost turn guttural where necessary to add weight, before Summer closes out the album with alternating doom-y vibes and blasting fury.
Originally only self released on Bandcamp a couple of years ago, it’s finally scored an extremely limited run on CD and Tape through Apesxintipotapotis. Only 44 copies will be made of each; so if you dig the digital, snap one up while you can.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to include this, but I’m throwing it in last minute because I find it quite interesting. Swede Requiem’s one-man project Winterkyla released its debut EP ‘Uppland’ about four or five months ago and for whatever reason I’m just hearing it now. What we have here is a great piece of varied and melodic black metal with some truly excellent, emotive guitar work perfectly in synergy with the bright cover image. Also notable is the vivid production that really leaps out at you… except for the drums, which sound oddly muffled in comparison. A small complaint I guess and one that I’m hoping will grow on me during further listens; it does give the guitars ample room to shine. The rest of the album is far above average and does more than enough to make me keen to hear what comes next (favourite moments: the Enslaved vibes that creep in at the end of ‘Frystad’ and the raucous Kvelertak-esque punk energy of ‘Winter In Bloom’) and at name-your-price download it’s well worth a listen.
Edit: I’m several listens in and the drums are working more for me now. Definitely check this one out!
Submissions for possible inclusion in future Volumes welcomed.
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