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 ninth installment for your vulgar delectation. Enjoy.
Artist: Christ Dismembered
Kicking off with some Australian hellfire, blasphemic horde Christ Dismembered recorded their debut album back in 2014; which to the misfortune of all that’s holy has now finally manifested itself upon us in a blaze of sulphur and burning ash.
The self-titled slab of impiety is pretty much everything you could imagine from looking at that cover art, satisfying blast-and-slash odes to the Lightbringer and the total and utter destruction of Jesus Christ. But it’s not just an all-out antichristian war assault; the whole thing takes a multi-style approach with great songs, killer riffs all over the place and a healthy dose of more-infectious-than-aids melody; all allowed to shine like a sacrificial blade in the moonlight from a tasteful, surprisingly restrained yet totally raw sound. And to top it all off, this thing fucking grooves; ‘A Slap in the Face to God’ is an absolute monster. You’ll be banging your head for Satan one minute and searching the floor for the shattered remnants of your cranium the next.
I’ve had this shit on repeat and not one single track is a dud. An extremely pleasant surprise that’s more than worthy of your support; physical copies are available if you message the band but it’s also up at name-your-price download, so grab yourself a copy of the carnage and revel in your disgust for God.
I don’t know about you but I’ll always make time to check out an atmospheric project from Ukraine because nine times out of ten it’s pure quality. One man force of nature SVRM keeps the streak going strong: latest EP ‘За смертю’ (‘For Death’) is three tracks of beautiful rage.
Sergiy Tkachenko proves himself a master of his art. At just over ten minutes for the whole EP all fat has been trimmed, no unnecessary noodling to be found here. Songs have been distilled back to their bare essence of what makes them great. There’s not one unnecessary note, not one second is wasted. The overall effect is thrilling as he mixes etherial flourishes and pained emotion with an all-encompassing elemental fury; the first track alone will have you jumping out of your seat. The vocals are attacked with passion, the emotion dripping from his anguished, strained roar palpable; the whole experience seethes with an underlying power that ensnares and captivates, repeat listens only getting better and better.
One of the unsung gems of this year so far that deserves much more attention than it has been getting. He’s already writing the next EP and has apparently been listening to The Cure, so I guess we’ll see what direction he goes in next. Up for name-your-price download.
Both of these solo projects have recently fallen into my lap, and upon investigation not only do both hail from Oklahoma USA and play raw-as-fuck black metal, but they also put out a split in January and have a show together soon. So, given the split seems a decent jumping-off point for their respective discographies, we’ll check that out.
Released in January, ‘The Fall Ov The Empires Ov Man’ kicks off with Dead and Grey’s brand of raw, nihilistic depression. Suffering and misery abound with some solid DSBM wretchedness before opener ‘Cold and Aborted’ devolves around the halfway mark into what this project does exceptionally well; harsh noise influenced ambiance enters the fray and carries us out to the end of the track, creating a suitably miasmic vibe. Listening to his other releases I always find myself enjoying them the most in his noise moments; he has a knack for dragging the depravity of humanity howling and thrashing into the sunlight so you can witness it melt and decay in horrifying violence. Second track ‘Piss Covenant’ takes a different approach, blasting drums smash you senseless at maximum velocity while atonal meandering melodies and tortured screams wind around with discordant abandon. It’s effective, but I can’t help but wish he’d relaxed or humanized the drums a little more; as is true for the rest of his discography he always nails it more when going for diseased misanthropic atmosphere than when attempting to beat the shit out of you.
Now onto Nowhere: A militaristic dungeon synth-esque introduction leads into some super raw black-thrash styled carnage with ‘Summoning’. Riffs are in abundance here with great chaotic solos enhancing the frantic vibe; aggression and annihilation are the order of the day. ‘I, Theist’ continues the assault in admirable fashion as the hateful energy never lets up for a second; the thrash elements take a backseat to more traditional second wave blasting. My only qualms here are I wish the vocals were fuller and the production a touch more beastly, get those great riffs out there and tear my fucking face off with your bare hands.
Aside from the couple of small things I mentioned, overall, it’s a solid split (up for name-your-price download) and a great place to start with these two artists. If Dead and Grey is the rotten fallacy of human existence, then Nowhere is the artillery razing it all to the ground. As a side note Wojtek from Nowhere is also doing some stellar work promoting underground artists; as well as his latest releases on his Bandcamp you’ll find a great compilation of bands from all over the world that deserve more exposure. Check that out here and support. Hails.
Frenchmen Névrose are painting a picture, and it’s a disturbing one. Beginning their career as blackened death then switching it up, debut EP ‘In Vitro’ deals with themes of madness, misery and the decay of the mind by means of raw, melodic black metal with unhinged from-the-asylum vocals and avant garde-isms rife throughout.
Unfortunately I haven’t kept up my French since high school (and I was shit at it anyway), so whatever lunacy being said in the lengthy introductory track is lost on me, and it suffered slightly for it. The atmosphere is solid, but seven minutes of incomprehensible spoken word eventually begins to wear thin and makes you reach for the skip button, itching to hear what’s really in store… Which thankfully, does not disappoint. Showing that they haven’t completely left their past behind, a great blackened death riff recurring throughout the song’s avant-garde theatrics is enjoyable on the first proper track, but it’s when ‘Eulogie Défaillante’ kicks in that the EP really hits its stride. Brilliantly emotive melodic atmo-black with agonized vocals howled from the darkest corners of delirium and dementia, you can feel your mind unravelling and when a ripping solo appears it’s a testament to their compositional skill that it doesn’t distract in any way and only adds to the crazed vibe.
From there the EP only dissolves further into madness and melody with excellent final track ‘Temple Amorphe’, but I’ll leave that for you to discover. Depraved and despairing, it’s a great EP that only mildly suffers from communication breakdown; mental illness speaks a wordless language and traverses all barriers. Up for name-your-price download.
Artist: Hands That Lift The Oceans
And finally: It’s great when you connect with an album. When you feel it, when it gets into your head. German post-black experimentalists Hands That Lift The Oceans go one better: debut album ‘Impetus’, in its deepest moments, becomes your thoughts.
What the hell are you on about, you may ask. Well, one of my favourite things about this album is its excellent use of space; sounds hang like delicate yet violent explosions in an endless cold void. Every instrument has room to breathe and each note rings off into infinity. Couple this wall-of-black production with nuanced, patient songwriting and this album can become so captivating it instills a mental quiet; you become so immersed it melds with your mind and the sonic space blends with the black infinity of thought.
But it’s not all transcendental meetings of sound and cerebral cortex, the atmospherics and ambiance are perfectly balanced out with a cavernous, aggressive roar. The album plays through like a single piece, tracks all creating a fascinating, incredibly dynamic larger work that holds your attention from atonal opener ‘Furrows’ to stunning final track ‘Spectral Attitude’. Admittedly, the vocals may take some getting used to but once they sink in they only add to the distant, disaffected quality also present throughout proceedings.
If post-black is your thing, these gents have created an enjoyable album that verges on breathtaking at times. Up for name-your-price download, snap up this little gem and drift away.
Submissions for possible inclusion in future Volumes welcomed.
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