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 fourteenth installment for your vulgar delectation. Enjoy.
Artist: Ashen Throat
And with a depraved, hellish howl; we’re off. UK atmospheric/depressive project Ashen Throat has conjured its first demo and it’s a capable debut offering. Not much is known about these enigmas, but the duo of J and Luke Powell describe their work as “Belching draconian fire in open revolt against nihilism, self doubt, depression and the modern world as we know it“. Sounds good to me.
While there isn’t too much here that you haven’t heard before, what is here is done well. ‘Breathing Black Fire’ is four solid tracks of raw, cold second-wave influenced melody with vocals echoing from the womb of the earth itself. When the depressive elements are in full flight it’s akin to experiencing emotional death, but it’s also possessed of an icy elemental fury that bursts pleasingly from your speakers. The production is great for a demo, with just the right amount of oppressive density versus chilling instrumental clarity. Third rite ‘Axis’ brings surprises in the form of a short folksy intro with sounds of someone walking through a woods and faintly triumphant synthetic horns buried deep in the mix; both work well and help with immersion into the oppressive nature of the material while closing track ‘Temple’ proves to be the most furious on offer and eventually devolves into some chilling throatwork. The screams at 4:45 onwards are notable too. I particularly dig the vocals on this entire release; when they experiment further than the usual DSBM howl or echoing, black-as-pitch rasp they often succeed, coming across as genuinely unhinged and tortured.
Overall, a well balanced debut demo that you can tell is a cathartic experience for both artist and listener, and that at name-your-price download is worth the 20-odd minutes of your time. Support.
“I’m full of rage, father. Murderous urges. I don’t just hate this man.
I hate all men.
I hate life.”
This shrapnel-blast of utter destruction came out amidst the dying embers of 2016, shortly before BMD was birthed into painful existence. I wanted to include it now not only because it absolutely fucking murders and the fact that it’s up for name-your-price download is unbelievable, but also because upon recently revisiting it I made the exciting discovery that they have a new album in the works, and the gentlemanly thing to do is to alert the general public so women, children and those of a weak constitution can take the necessary precautions.
I’ll keep the warning short: Mylingar’s ‘Döda Vägar’ (“Dead Roads”) is five abusive tracks of grinding black death punishment that want nothing more than for you and everyone around you to take a dirt nap. These Swedish beasts reach a similar level of disgust and hatred as Anaal Nathrakh or Dragged Into Sunlight, final blow ‘Friheten’ alone will make you want to take on the whole human race and commit genocide with a blunt shovel.
Pulverising drumming, savage riffs and contemptuous vocals; it has it all, and I love this shit. If you missed it when it first dropped you have absolutely zero excuse to not check it out now and get acquainted. Grab it for whatever you like from their Bandcamp, or snap up a physical copy here from Amor Fati Productions. Sheer brutality in audio form.
Artist: Brood In Black
Sometimes, unfortunately, things fall through the cracks. I get a lot of mail here, my list of releases to check out is never shorter than Gary Ridgway’s victims list, and despite my best efforts sometimes a release or recommendation slips by unintentionally. The demo from fresh USBM act Brood In Black is one of those things; it was sent to me many months ago and I only rediscovered it in my inbox the other day whilst searching for something else. Sincerest apologies.
Anyway. After an industrial pitch shifted intro, titular opening track ‘Arrival of Death’ kicks into what this release is all about and will stick to through the entirety of its length: Raw, totally primitive, black-fucking-metal. Like listening to early 90s demos style raw; no flashy shit, just archetypal blood-dripping evil for the sake of it. Each track is like unearthing an old rehearsal tape from some hitherto unheard of obscure band at the birth of their existence. Seriously, if you want a nostalgia trip back to when the earliest bands full of youthful exuberance picked up their instruments and just bashed it out in the name of the dark lord, you might just find it here. They even have hand copied and hand drawn tapes for sale.
It may seem like I haven’t really touched on the actual music or songs themselves, but if you know what I’m talking about so far then you know what to expect. I’m interested to see where this project goes, are we seeing the embryonic stages of a new great act? Who knows. Bring the hell, fellas. Up for name-your-price download. Hail Satan.
I’m throwing this in here real quick because prolific DSBM/post-black melancholist Sadness has a freshly released new EP for your ears, and is also running a handy promotion: All 18 of his top quality releases are set at name-your-price download until the codes run out.
‘Sun Into Water’ is his latest EP that was released on October 24th and will apparently serve as a lead-in to a future full length release, but it’s an exquisite piece all on its own. Still heading in the more blackgaze direction of his recent work, it’s comprised of two lengthy, beautiful tracks slathered lavishly in airy melodies and ethereal synths simply made to carry you away into the mists of reminiscence.
In the interests of keeping this short, I’ll just say: everything this guy has done is fantastic. If you enjoy the soothing and soul-rending sounds of melancholia but haven’t yet immersed yourself in this stunning project; rectify this immediately and snatch all of those releases before the downloads run out. Perfect for those lonely, introspective nights. Or anytime at all, really.
The Icelandic scene really has become the modern-day version of the Norwegian ’90s. A veritable torrent of ultimate quality black metal releases seems to pour from the region in a near constant stream; I’ve no idea what’s in the water over there, but it’s fucking great and seems to go from strength to strength. One of the latest acts to blossom from the fertile soil is Waal, and presented here is their debut two track EP ‘Ruminations’ for our consideration.
Posessed of an earnest, cold rawness and atonality, the opening salvo ‘Stoned By Reflection’ lashes from the gates in hypnotic, undulating fashion while second track ‘Void and Passion’ writhes in a seething, menacing consternation. Both the song and EP titles themselves aptly describe the tumultuous descent and violent introspection contained within this release, as it worms its way into your mind it instigates an internal regression to a deeper darker state where you can’t be held accountable for your actions.
Short though it may be, I can’t praise this release highly enough. From the songwriting to the sound it strikes an obscure chord within and is incredibly addictive. I’ve often found myself listening to both tracks on loop for hours on end and never once tiring of the experience. Whatever your secrets are, I hope you’ve made peace with them because this EP will drag you in and spiral you down to depths you never wanted to reach again.
A limited cassette edition in folded black card is available through Mysterion, or you can drop a measly couple of dollars on a digital copy from their Bandcamp below.
Artist: Croc Noir
I had an odd moment when I received this EP in my inbox; being Australian, the word ‘Croc’ calls to mind crocodiles. Up to this point in my life, crocodiles are not something I’d naturally associated with black metal. Perfunctory Googling did not shine any further light on the matter aside from the information that Croc Noir is a jungle level on World of Warcraft and also translates to ‘Black Croc’ in the band’s native French tongue; so failing the possibilty that they’re hardcore gamers perhaps Croc Noir really are working to thrust ancient reptiles into the misanthropic gloom of the black metal spectrum. If so, hails to them.
Linguistic differences and rambling digressions aside, the duo have created an interesting release in ‘Nuit’ (“Night”). A shamanistic introduction does in fact conjure images of the jungle before ‘Charogne’ kicks in to stoic yet disaffected second-wave style darkness. It’s enjoyable, but it’s on tracks like the following ‘Ruine’ where they really shine for me. Touching on a sedate-yet-tormented DSBM style which allows the disaffected, distant nature of the production to come into its own, it’s easily my favourite track on here and when they return after a couple of hate-filled diversions to a more depressive style on final track ‘Décharné’ it’s also astoundingly good and virtually drips with despair. An excellent way to end the EP, with both tracks in particular deserving of many repeat listens.
Out for about four months now and their second release overall, it suffers a little from appearing a slightly disjointed collection of good ideas rather than a coherent killer journey, but there is definitely a lot to like here and subsequent releases will only improve in that aspect. The more I hear it the more it creeps its way into my brain. I’m sure it’ll do the same to you in no time.
The gentlemen generously have both of their EP’s up at name-your-price download from their Bandcamp below, or you can perform a death-roll on a CD compilation of both until it dies at Wolfspell Records. Tapes are also covered through Corde Raide Productions.
Straight up: If you want to hear why I’ve included the debut demo from US one man raw atmospheric project Kralle in this Volume, go directly to third track ‘A Cold Burial’ and press play.
Released back in June the rest of ‘Demo MMXVII’ certainly has some good moments (bar the intro, which doesn’t really add too much value and I’m not a huge fan of well known film/comic villain dialogue samples in black metal; the quote itself may be fitting but you can’t help but picture the character saying it which detracts from the experience) and closing track ‘Frozen Nights in the Tundra of Isolation’ is also a decent slab of icy northern blackness, but he totally nails it on ‘A Cold Burial’.
A dysphoric, detached waltz through wastelands of hopelessness and agonies so deep-seated they’ve become a dull ache; it’s moving stuff that honestly feels like you’re wandering through monochrome dead forests searching for a place to lay down in the snow and die. Think a rawer, more depressing version of Burzum’s ‘Dunkelheit’ and you’re heading in the right direction.
Overall, not a perfect release but there’s a certainly lot of of promise here and if he can bottle the magic of ‘A Cold Burial’ or decides to go even rawer on further offerings it will be a sight to behold. There were a limited run of tapes available but they’ve since sold out; luckily it’s also up for name-your-price download.
Edit: Just found out he has a fresh new split release dropping on Halloween. More Kralle incoming.
Nightmare tumbling through unfettered kaleidoscope dreamscapes, slashed by a thousand knives as the rivers of blood raining from your wounds crystallize into whirling spiral galaxies around your flailing form. If this sounds appealing, by all means dive right in to the maniacal debut full length from hellish US psychedelic/experimental project Blattaria (“Cockroaches”).
This self-titled slice of insanity is the work of sole sadist Manuel Garcia, whose vocals roar like a man constantly being torn apart and violently reassembled incorrectly over and over again in an infinite loop. Atonality and dissonance are key here as he wields tumbling, paranoid horrors to induce a state of near constant anxiety and fear; have you ever seen Dario Argento’s classic Suspiria? It’s a masterfully done film where even something as simple as a character walking across a room can have your heart in your mouth and eyes wide in terror, and he achieves a similar effect here. Even the quieter passages are infused with a subversive, skittering panic. It’s nihilistic in the extreme; we are all nothing more than cockroaches and Blattaria know it. Something of a nice surprise too is the fact that Jacob Buczarski of Mare Cognitum fame was behind the mixing desk on this one, and he’s done an exceptional job; every note of the avant-garde mayhem sounding crystal clear as it tears strips off your grey matter.
Released on October 19th this isn’t an album you simply listen to, but one you must live through or endure, and it’s refreshing to hear a release that inspires such genuine psychological fear in the listener. Both a cassette and LP edition are available here from Fallen Empire Records, but it’s also up at name-your-price download from his Bandcamp below. Enter if you dare. Pure art.
Submissions for possible inclusion in future Volumes are welcomed.
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