Bandcamp Misanthropy – Volume 17

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 seventeenth installment for your vulgar delectation. Enjoy.

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Artist: Blodigel

Year: 2018

Kicking off: I’ll give you one single guess which style of black this is based solely on the cover art. If you guessed melodic post-black, well congratulations for being hideously wrong and I hope your head injury heals soon. Blodigel is a one man war metal wrecking machine and debut ‘Folly Of Abram’ is exactly what it aesthetically says on the tin: Blasphemy and Archgoat worship. If you’re slavering for a quick fix of bestial carnage you can’t go wrong here; great riffs and a short run time mean this thing is a long way off outstaying its welcome. Released by Witchcult Records on 3rd April in a limited run of 30 tapes, it’s also available at name-your-price download. Bring all your black goats.

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Artist: Bròn

Year: 2017

Next up, a one man atmospheric/ambient project created by Krigeist, who you may recognise from the great Barshasketh and Belliciste. ‘Where the Leaden Dawn Meets Iron Shores’ is both the project’s sixth release plus my first exposure to his solo work; and I have to say, as a belated introduction, it’s more than impressive.

If you like the sort of immersive ambient worlds conjured up by Ukrainian maestro Severoth for example then you’ll find lots to like here. Unhurried songwriting, three 20 – 30 minute tracks and strong ambient synth blood flowing in its veins; it’s incredibly easy to get lost in this tryptich of grandiose compositions. And you will, opening epic ‘Nebula Burial’ alone is a superb astral-tinged journey that begs several repeat listens before you can even move on to the stirring soundscapes and surging blasts of ‘Through Obsidian Teeth’. Each track is a rich vein of shimmering black gold, meticulously crafted and emotionally affecting.

Up for name-your-price download, while digipack CD’s have just released through Wolfspell Records and Sigillvm Tenebrae Records this past February (with a nice cover art update too). Very worth your time, and I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of his discography.

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Artist: Entropy Created Consciousness

Year: 2018

Next level avant-garde black doom madness. Released back in February, the intriguing ‘Impressions of the Morning Star’ is the product of one man, but no other information has seeped out into the infinite void as yet.

Which is almost a shame as I’d love to know who to give due respect to; this is up there with the most compelling albums you’ll wrap your ears around this year. Masterfully weaving together an immense cosmic miasma with alien constructs and the furious vacuum of a black hole, the end result is a gargantuan, oppressive yet strangely hopeful exploration of every corner of the internal and external universes. Blistering speed seamlessly becomes otherworldly beauty at will. The album shifts forms incessantly, constantly transmuting and reshaping, in a necessary state of flux yet always perfectly and unwaveringly coherent.

A track-by-track breakdown of this would result in thousands upon thousands of words; so just download this at name-your-price below and experience it for yourself. Well-deserved vinyl also coming soon through Throne Records. Take the journey.

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Artist: Dark Habits

Year: 2018

A brief moment of static heralds the impending carnage… before ‘Scaphism’, the second EP of blackened powerviolence from Scottish four piece Dark Habits, tears from your speakers. Five short tracks like blows to the face with a blunt object while having a knife held to your throat, there’s good news and bad news about this project: The incredibly shithouse news is they released this EP as a parting shot and are currently split up. The good (well, consolation) news is you can pick this up at name-your-price download below (alongside their other violent stab of an EP ‘Cave Paintings’) and all donations from the sale of this will be passed along to Glasgow Womans Aid. Nice.

Pure Hm-2 powered annihilation. Destroy everything.

~

Artist: Aludra

Year: 2018

A new project straight from the interstellar oven. US duo Aludra play raw cosmic black metal, have a debut album on the way entitled ‘Moons’, and present the first teaser single ‘Enceladus’ freshly prepared for your consideration.

With all music/production taken care of by Taryck (ex Rituals of a Blasphemer) and the lyrics, vocals and overall concepts by Imber (ex Synodic), ‘Enceladus’ is science-based cosmic black metal with a twist: instead of the dense and droning fury often associated with the style, the track largely comes at you from a stripped back and depressive angle. The sparse production and desolate riffing took me by surprise at first but provides a great eerie backdrop for Imber‘s trademark rasps; given that the subject matter is Saturn’s sixth-largest moon the solitary, distant harshness is perhaps fitting. The final act of the track then sees it explode into more familiar territory and it’s all far more than enough to pique your inquisitive curiosity as to what may possibly come next.

I personally hope they explore more of the raw angle; keep an eye on their Bandcamp or Facebook for further release info and snap up this worthy single at name-your-price download.

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Artist: Valaraukar

Year: 2018

Scottish hostile black metal power summoned from the abyss. Don’t let the Tolkien referencing name throw you off; this isn’t an epic journey through lands of might and magic, oh no. ‘Harnessing Hostile Forces’ is the debut EP from Valaraukar and as the name suggests it’s two tracks of storming, rearing and crackling black might.

Expertly wielded by the duo of Vagath and Sovereign, some slivers of thrash or chunks of Venom-esque heaviness may lash at your skin as the maelstrom moves through, but that only adds to the convincing strength of this offering. Both tracks are wonderfully accomplished, equally as good as each other and seething with electric atmosphere, but I’m personally going with ‘Conquering the Void’ as my pick of the two. Can’t get enough of those galloping riffs.

Released in conjunction with Rat King Records it’s also up on both the label and band’s Bandcamp pages as name-your-price download, so grab yourself a digital at the very least and get these men even more motivated for the full length that’s apparently rearing its head later this year. Killer stuff.

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Artist: Raat

Year: 2018

And here we have the latest EP from Raat, the post-black/blackgaze project of S.R. from Nightgrave, featured in the last Bandcamp Misanthropy. Based in Delhi, India and with almost no black metal scene around him he’s been forced to create his own, churning out releases at a startling rate between his projects.

‘Ethereal Twilight’ is the second from Raat so far and straight off the bat continues his immediately recognisable lush-yet-raw sound with opening track ‘Ataraxia’. A gorgeous, dreamlike instrumental that shimmers and builds, everything then really shifts into gear with second track ‘Intemerate’. Hitting a more depressive note through the use of his tortured, echoing vocals and darker riffs the track still posesses deceptively intricate instrumentation, layers of beautiful sound effortlessly drawing you in and wrapping you in a comforting warmth, despite the melancholy.

However, don’t get too cosy. That comforting, warm blanket of vague mamelancholia begins to constrict as the first half of ‘Stygian’ plunges into the blackest and most disturbing material on the EP, shaking you from any pleasant dream. Icy, warped tremolo slithers through the mix before descending into sludge and attempting to crush you… then the black clouds part, dawn arrives and one of the nicest acoustic passages on offer here finally caresses you back into peace, having weathered the nightmare. The ultimate track ‘Wash Away’ is just that; a cleansing of your soul as all sins, all hurt, all sadness and anger is gently washed away as you dream. Or… is it? A creeping realisation, too late. Perhaps it is you who is being washed away? Has the dream always been your death?

A wonderfully composed and dynamic EP that really ‘tells a story’ to the listener, so to speak. The more I hear of this man’s work the more I like it. Available at name-your-price download.

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Artist: Brood In Black

Year: 2018

You may recall I checked out the first Brood In Black demo ‘Arrival of Death’ back in Bandcamp Misanthropy Volume 14, said it was “raw, totally primitive, black-fucking-metal” and was extremely interested to see how the project would develop. Now the time has come for a second serving of unholy fury: sophomore demo ‘Blasfemas’ is here. Well, it was here two months ago. I’m just extremely behind on my listening list as usual.

This time Count Cor’inth has picked up a likeminded collaborator in the mysterious Bulgor, who provides hellish battery on three of the 5 tracks on offer and fits in perfectly to the Count‘s vision. Pressing play, you’re hit with a gloriously broken and lo-fi introduction before the title track hisses venomously from your speakers. Thankfully, it’s more of the same and even better than the first demo; I fucking love the sound quality on this whole thing. Perfectly terrible and not for the faint-hearted but black metal as fuck. The first two tracks are smashers, but I’m going to skip forward a little and say one thing: ‘Journey Into the Shadows’. This third rite and demo centrepiece absolutely nails it in every way for me. Perfect classic vibe, if you only listen to one thing on this demo, let it be this.

Which isn’t saying the rest of the songs aren’t great, ‘Evil Lives’ is an uptempo ripper and ‘Abyss’ closes out proceedings like nobody does anymore. The whole thing feels like the last bastion of the necrotic old-school; as long as bands like Brood In Black exist in the deepest shadows then the raw spirit of black metal will never die.

With a handful of physical copies left this isn’t up for name-your-price, but this man does everything DIY, from the music to the hand drawn and photocopied artwork. Even tape duplication. Total dedication to the cause, total respect. Show your support.

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Artist: Vonlaus

Year: 2018

Three tracks of raw, raucous Icelandic decay released back in January. Vonlaus is Icelandic for “Hopeless”, but this first demo proves anything but and seems to be the embryonic stirrings of another great project.

The only information I can find about this is it was recorded, mixed and mastered by a certain K. Wntl. So, it’s lucky the music speaks for itself and every one of the three tracks on offer is a masterful display of biting guitars, devastating, languid darkness and a little rock thrown in for good measure. Superb vocals and great riffs too, check the brawny dissonance in second track ‘Mein’ and the excellent, harrowing howl/hollering at the end of ‘Í blindbyl ótta og haturs’.

Tape out now through Mystískaos and Vánagandr, name-your-price download from their Bandcamp. More please.

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Artist: Benthik Zone

Year: 2018

As usual, we save the strangest until last. Over the course of their four releases to date the experimental Portuguese duo of Benthik Zone have been on another world entirely, crafting bizzare and high-concept albums that follow a tale about underwater worlds, alien sharks and leaving the planet for one of Jupiter’s moons. About latest release ‘Causa Modicum Temporis Spatium’, they simply say this: “We ceased to be matter. By achieving enlightenment we became something that transcends both space and time.”

What does that mean? That you as the listener are now on the frontline of a metaphysical journey as they tear through dimensions along pathways never before dreamed of. Through the course of two gargantuan, seemingly infinitely expanding compositions the two men shatter both your mind and space-time into millions of pieces and reassemble them together, as a new form of superconscious reality. Black annihilation, ambient sounds of the universe being torn apart, instrumentation and melodic twists that attempting to describe with mere words would be doing a disservice to are all apparent in equal measure. You become the void. The void is all.

All wordy hyperbole aside: This is stellar experimental black art. Available for a mere dollar along with all their other outstanding releases, just download for yourself. Experience. Appreciate. Evolve.

Hails.

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Submissions for possible inclusion in future Volumes are welcome.

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