Bandcamp Misanthropy – Volume 19

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 nineteenth installment for your vulgar delectation. Enjoy.

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Artist: Convulsing

Year: 2018

Boy, are we starting off with a fucking monstrous bang this time around. If you’re unaware as yet of the sheer maelstrom created by bleak Australian one man black/death/everything carnage lord Convulsing, drop what you’re doing and get to know: 2016’s ‘Errata was absolute sonic obliteration, his 2017 split with Siberian Hellsounds was immensity personified and now with ‘Grievous‘… Holy shit.

As I type this I haven’t spent nearly enough time with it as it only dropped a few days ago, yet I’m already more than comfortable making the call that it’ll occupy a high spot on a ridiculous amount of end of year lists. Yeah, it’s crushing. It’s dissonant. It’s disgusting. It’s utterly monolithic. But most of all, it feels like the most personal thing he’s ever released.

This time around, more than ever, you can hear main man Brendan splitting himself open and letting all the black bile pour out and splatter on the barren earth at his feet. He speaks of loss, despair, rage and hopelessness while the music matches his every emotion; one minute seething and boiling, the next driving you into the dirt with almost incomprehensible weight (there are some seriously “ugh” moments here, christ) then even ebbing into the kind of introspective, breathtaking stillness where the only thing that disturbs the grey waters is your body as it slips beneath them to drown in the cold, black depths. That killer Jef Whitehead cover art really is a perfect visualisation of the sounds contained within.

Anyway if I don’t shut up this entire article will be about this album, so just head over to his Bandcamp, throw him some hails and grab this at name-your-price, would you? Cheers.

Oh, and just to throw you one final curveball: the final track is a superb Porcupine Tree cover too.

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Artist: Himelvaruwe

Year: 2018

Finally, after four top-notch EP’s/demos, Dutch mastermind T (of Kaffaljidhma and more) drops the debut full-length of his experimental project Himelvaruwe with ‘Hemelpoort‘. Was it worth the wait? You bet. The fully realised evolution of his transcendent, synth-tinted, droning hypnosis; I’ve been listening to this since it arrived at the death of July and it only gets better each time. Gorgeous unseen details ascend through the washed-out black static haze with every spin (another where the cover art is a stunningly accurate depiction of the album itself) and as is the case with much of his work, total immersion yields best results.

There’s not too much out there that sounds or feels like this and it won’t be for everyone, but for those who do already connect with his unique mystical emanations or want to devote the necessary time (read: those who are not scared of progression), it borders on sheer bliss and continues to push raw black metal into barely explored and much needed territory. Name-your-price download. Support.

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Artist: Sanguinary Trance

Year: 2018

Blood spurts toward the ceiling, spattering the severed arm hanging precariously from the chandelier. Maniacal howls of laughter fill the hall as the bacchanalian slaughter reaches feverish levels… Next up, the debut three track EP of demonic revelry from Austrian newcomers Sanguinary Trance.

Showing more promise in their first three tracks than many established acts can manage across several releases, ‘Wine, Song and Sacrifice’ imbues their raw-ish black assault with equal doses dissonant horror, Dionysian madness, vampiric melodrama and rhythmic tribal intoxication. The overall effect is a menacing and overwhelmingly sensual high that can be quite dizzying if it hits you just right; I really don’t know much about this band at all but I do know their full-length will be one to look out for… if they ever release one, that is. In the meantime, sink your teeth into this at name-your-price download (or grab a tape from Caligari Records here) and drink deeply. A great first impression.

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Artist: Euthanized

Year: 2018

Keeping it varied, a quick hit of some raw black crust from Canada. Euthanized spat out their second EP/demo back in March and if you’re a fan of the punkier, newer Darkthrone or maybe stuff like Hellhammer then step right this way, sir; ‘Riches Among Refuse‘ has what you need. Four tracks and an intro of grim, filthy fun with great riffs and garage intensity… What’s not to like? Get your sweaty palms on a name-your-price download now. Top work.

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Artist: Kommodus

Year: 2018

I originally wrote about this in the first edition of ‘The Antipodean Flame‘ column over at Indy Metal Vault, but I’m sharing it here too because it’s just that great:

One Thousand Years of the Wolf‘ is the sophomore demo from Australian one-man act Kommodus. Does ancient Roman themed pestilential black power imbued with a thrilling primal immediacy, liberally scattered with glorious headbanging moments and forays into lo-fi neofolk with tranquil ambient bird noises sound good? This is utterly gripping stuff that main man The Infernal Emperor – Lepidus Plague says is intended to “…ignite a flame deep within, a flame that harkens back to the old world, to establish a connection with your ancestors. To have you feel inspired by the blood in your veins, the blood of those who have conquered with strength and honour, those who have contested the very same conquerors with bravery and resilience, those who have lived and fought and died during a time when our species was true to itself.”

Hails to the ancient Roman Empire I guess. Incredible stuff for connoisseurs of the rawer delicacies that black metal can cough up; available for name-your-price download with tape and vinyl through Goatowarex.

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Artist: Euclidean

Year: 2017

Progressive, sludgy black doom released way back in December. Yes, this one fell into my lap a long time ago and I’m only just getting to it; I hate it when great things get lost or forgotten about in the seething miasma of the BMD inbox. This is compelling stuff that should have been covered much earlier.

Anyway, a little longer may actually not have even mattered too much to these men as the Swiss quintet took all the time they needed to deliver their debut full-length ‘Quod Erat Faciendum‘. Their last demo was released back in 2012, but the long break has only ensured they have delivered an extraordinary album of the utmost quality. Sporting a couple of members of Borgne‘s live band their sound is vaguely reminiscent of Schammasch and the like but much more their own thing, as emotionally affecting blackened post-metal/rock, sludgey doom and a few other tasty surprises swirl together with mathematically charged themes to create a cerebral experience that aims to transcend far more than destroy.

Nice tones, powerful vocals and unhurried, considered songwriting render this quite refreshing or even beautiful to listen to (‘Obstinatio‘ is a personal fave) and instil a feeling akin to slow-burning lava passing through your being, enflaming both mind and body. Seriously, give this a spin as it deserves far more attention than it’s been getting. Name-your-price download; now I just hope we don’t have to wait five years for another one.

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Artist: Heift

Year: 2018

“While you wait for new music from Auðn to surface, expose yourselves to Heift, a new project featuring members of Auðn and Lucy In Blue!”

And with that brief message, a new Icelandic black metal project arrived. Possessing a killer sound with fantastic drums in particular (that snare does it for me, ugh) debut EP ‘Gyðingurinn Gangandi‘ launches Heift as an interesting prospect; rather than the usual psychedelic dissonant stylings often coming from their countrymen the three short songs on offer have an almost post-hardcore feel to them. But don’t let that paint the wrong picture; this thing still rips like an absolute bastard with kinetic, high energy blood running through its black veins.

Different from both Auðn and Lucy In Blue, I personally enjoy this more than either. Bring on more. Available at name-your-price download, but fellas if you’re reading this: a tape of this would go down very nicely.

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Artist: Bones of Ausos

Year: 2018

Getting more traditional now with Bones of Ausos‘ debut demo ‘Manifestation Nocturnal‘, some raw, volatile and frostbitten chaos from Finland.

The grim, physical violence on display here is tasty as hell. It’s easy to tell what school this is from as savage yet often barely discernable vocals rasp and howl along with some fucking great second-wave tremolo work and a hammering percussive assault; this wants to forget anything after the ’90s ever existed and is honestly all the better for it. First track ‘Essence of Gaping Wounds‘ is more ancient groove oriented in its blistering attack while the second ‘Hibernation Under the Ice‘ just hits that glorious, claws-to-the-sky vibe that only the finest of true black metal can instil. And that’s what this is: True black metal.

It’s thrilling stuff, if you crave a quick hit of irrepressible black metal power then these two tracks will scratch that itch and then some. Name-your-price download. Frostbitten hails.

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Artist: Penance Stare

Year: 2018

And finally, something hidden and beautiful to take us out. Penance Stare is the darkwave/ambient black project of a UK based woman known only as ELN, and to make a loose comparison sounds (to my ears, anyway) like the gorgeous, introspective and tormented lovechild of Lycia and Striborg.

I could ramble on about her latest release ‘Scrying‘ for hours too but I’ll try to keep the word count low: Every single track on this is great. Her mesmerising, dysphoric conjurations transport you through the mirror into the darkest recesses of your mind with the utmost of ease. Haunted guitars drone and die slowly under darkwave drum patterns, spectral, miasmic synths and dissociative vocals that resonate from repressed agonies buried so deep in your psyche that they’ve ceased to feel like anything at all except utter numbness. Even with a different approach this is up there with acts like old Xasthur or Moon for sheer bleakness, so if you’re a fan of that sort of thing you really do need to hear this.

Love what she does. Released back in April it’s up for name-your-price download too, so click that link below and immerse thyself… Stare into the abyss, for the abyss is you.

Please listen after dark for best results“.

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Submissions for possible inclusion in future Volumes are welcomed.

Email: blackmetaldaily@outlook.com

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LISTCRUSH – Part One: Splits and EPs

It’s that wonderful time of year: The time when every man and his dog has been splattering their ‘best of’ lists all over every available surface with joyous abandon. It’s also handy to find out if you’ve missed anything outstanding, as perusing lists from like-minded souls with similar tastes often yields overlooked gems. Last year I probably listened to more music than ever before and I still definitely would have missed plenty of gold standard releases; so, far from being comprehensive ‘best of’ lists here are BMD’s humble lists of superb black/blackened splits, EPs and albums that more people should hear and you should hunt down if you slept on. Some big names, some clandestine arts; my favourite shit from one of the most stacked years in recent memory, and every single one of these artists/releases I wholeheartedly recommend for your full attention. Part one: Splits and EPs. Enjoy.

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~~ TOP 10 SPLITS ~~

10: GRAVEIR / MAR MORTUUM (Impure Sounds)

The first of three (!) all-Australian splits to make my top 10. An uneasy journey from Graveir knocks you around a bit before Mar Mortuum come through with absolute strength and astonishing quality. How neither of these bands are bigger than they are is beyond the limits of my comprehension. 

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9: PAYSAGE D’HIVER / DRUDKH (Season Of Mist)

A single lengthy piece of windswept hypnotic atmosphere from Paysage D’Hiver that’s still absolutely essential; the only thing that prevents this being higher up the list is Drudkh not meeting their usual lofty standards. Which means by average plebian standards, it’s still fucking great. Even sub-par Drudkh is excellent music.

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8: INTRINSIC LIGHT / EXPURGATORY (YNTPM)

Zen transcendence and blackened noise-rock experimentalism from the bowels of Melbourne, Australia. No other split intrigued me like this did; an almost indescribable experience. Those scared to stray far from the black metal blueprint need not apply.

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7: WHITEWURM / TRUE LOVE (Les Fleurs Du Mal Productions)

Two solo USBM artists combine for one of the most caustic double stabs of hate you’ll have heard last year. Everything starts off disgustingly well with Whiteworm (featuring guest vocals from Eric Baker, who I daresay will also pop up somewhere in part two) then descends even further into new depths of hell with True Love. This was actually how I discovered True Love, so I like this split even more for that. 

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6:  SUTEKH HEXEN / BLSPHM (Sentient Ruin Laboratories)

Yeah I’m cheating throwing a vinyl reissue in here, but the original release from years ago was ridiculously limited and barely anyone heard it, so fuck you, this counts in my book. Like listening to the destruction (Sutekh Hexen) and aftermath (BLSPHM) of the end of the world; strangely calming and terrifying all at once.

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5: SINMARA / MISÞYRMING (Terratur Posessions, Vánagandr)

The Icelandic masters knock it out of the park on both sides. Sinmara‘s track ‘Ivory Stone’ is somehow even better than anything on ‘Within the Weaves of Infinity’, which is saying something.

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4: HOWLS OF EBB / KHTHONIIK CERVIIKS (I, Voidhanger Records, Iron Bonehead Productions)

Khthoniik Cerviiks and Howls of Ebb try to outdo each other for pure black death avant-garde psychic obliteration. Utterly batshit.

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3: ABIGOR / NIGHTBRINGER / THY DARKENED SHADE / MORTUUS (Self Released)

Four great artists, four tracks that blend seamlessly into a mesmerising and magickal whole, one stunning split. Reverential. Immerse thyself.

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2: CONVULSING / SIBERIAN HELL SOUNDS (Art As Catharsis, WOOAAARGH)

Sheer masterful carnage. I still haven’t wrapped my head completely around these twin Australian black holes, and it’s been out for a month. It’s also another one that introduced me to one of the artists; I fucking love Convulsing and am forever grateful to Brendan for finally making me check out Siberian Hell Sounds through this release. Be warned: this will consume you from the inside out.

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1: BLOOD TYRANT / DEPARTURE CHANDELIER (Nuclear War Now! Productions)

Unequivocal and irrefutable split of the year. Raw vampyric elitist art from Dutch duo Blood Tyrant, and the triumphant return after six years of Canadians Departure Chandelier. It may only be a single track from each (and a short intro) but I can easily flip the 7″ over and over and listen on repeat for hours, and have done so many times. Near perfection.

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Near Misses: Sutekh Hexen / Hissing, Funeral Moon / Hordes of the Black Cross, Thy Darkened Shade / Chaos Invocation.

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~~ TOP 10 EP’S ~~

10: HEXIS – XII (Self Released)

The unstoppable Dutch blackened hardcore pulverisers somehow topped ‘Tando Ashanti’ from earlier in the year with this. I’m still mightily pissed I missed them when they came through my area last year too. Brutal.

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9: HIMELVARUWE – ‘Gewrocht’ (The Throat)

I could have easily put Dutch enigma T‘s  other raw demo for this project (‘CCIII’) up here, or his release from the also-stunning Kaffaljidhma; but this captivated me from the minute I heard it. How does he do it? Beats me, but I hope he never stops.

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8: MALEFIC LEVITATION – ‘The Ancient Plague’ (Sentient Ruin Laboratories, Dawnbreed Records)

This came in relatively late but I’ve been playing the shit out of it. In a great year for war metal, these US berzerkers blew me away. Ultimate destruction; more please, stat.

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7: AVERSIO HUMANITATIS – ‘Longing For The Untold’ (Sentient Ruin Laboratories, BlackSeed Productions)

“This is an EP that will pull your skin off slowly to force you to see what’s underneath, directing your gaze both inwards and outwards.” 

I said that in the intro piece for when I interviewed them earlier in the year and it’s still a perfect description of their nihilistic, transcendent black/death assault to me. Need a new full-length from these demons. 

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6: LORN – ‘Arrayed Claws’ (I, Voidhanger Records)

I’ve been communicating sporadically with Radok of Italians Lorn for almost a year now in regards to an interview; he’s a fascinating person. Perhaps one day it will eventuate, but in the meantime let the intricate, silvery ‘Arrayed Claws’ sink needle-like into your brain. Unique and unsettling; this project just gets better and better with each release.

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5: SINMARA – ‘Within the Weaves of Infinity’ (Oration, Terratur Possessions)

Intricate, deeply melodic in its bleakness and utterly captivating in the tale it tells, this wrapped its rich tapestries around me and didn’t let go for some time. Bodes extremely well for the upcoming full-length.

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4: GNIPAHÅLAN – ‘I Blodets Kamp…’ (Ancient Records, Mysticism Productions)

I would have put the Swedes excellent self-titled full length in the top albums list but that originally came out in 2016 despite the ’17 vinyl release, so luckily this EP more than makes up for that omission. Raw black with perfect atmospheric clarity; listen deeply.

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3: VOIDSPHERE – ‘To Call | To Speak’ (Fallen Empire Records, Amor Fati Productions)

I said in the last Bandcamp Misanthropy this was one of the greatest EPs to drop last year and it easily would have been the greatest if the next two on the list hadn’t been released. The production gets me every time. Pure void worship. I need to pick this up on vinyl.

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2: THANTIFAXATH – ‘Void Masquerading As Matter’ (Dark Descent Records)

The first time I heard ‘Cursed Numbers’, my reaction was simply: Wow. The Canadian trio could have released that track as a single and I still would have put it somewhere on this list; add the rest of the EP and you’ve almost taken top spot. Follows up ‘Sacred White Noise’ in the best way possible. Stunning. 

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1: SKÁPHE – ‘Untitled’ (Mystískaos) 

I feel like many have forgotten about this outstanding single track EP, the third release from the duo of Alex Poole (another name that may pop up in part two) and D.G of Martröð, Misþyrming and Naðra. Black metal to me is all about feeling; this makes me feel like I’m trapped in a nightmare hell trip through the worst kind of hallucinatory psychosis. Easily the best of the year. Yeah DMT and LSD are cool, but have you tried Skáphe?

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Near Misses: Serpent Column – ‘Ornuthi Thalassa’, SVRM – anything he released last year, Kaffaljidhma – ‘IV’, Rür – ‘Rür’, Somnium Nox – ‘Terra Inanis’, Abkehr – ‘In Asche’, Thy Sepulchral Moon – ‘Contemptuous Retaliation Storm’, Nordjevel – ‘Krigsmakt’, Endalok – ‘Úr Draumheimi Viðurstyggðar’, Svartidauði – ‘Untitled’.

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And that’s Part One wrapped up, hope you found at least one new blackened delight to pleasure/annihilate your ears with. Let me know anything I’ve missed, should have heard, or just how terribly shit you think my listening tastes are in general and stay tuned for Part Two: Albums, coming soon. 

Hails to 2017.

– A.

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Get in early for 2018. Submissions welcomed.

Email: blackmetaldaily@outlook.com