Sifting Through Bandcamp – March 2015Wednesday, 25th March 2015
Sometimes it’s nice to just get a taste of things with an EP before really diving in 100%. A bit easier to digest (not to mention the relief on the budget), it’s a way for bands to get their name out there and a way for you to discover a new favorite. Everything this month is an EP or single (with the exception of Incontinence), so feel free to check these out without breaking your piggybank. This month we check out Aether Realm, As Oceans, Entheos, Evadne, Incontinence, Outer Heaven, and Six of Swords.
Yes, this is only one track, but whenever Aether Realm releases something, it demands to be checked out. Their last single, “The Magician,” was one of the best songs of 2013. “The Chariot” is the latest output of the band, with hopefully a new full-length in the making. “The Chariot” takes some Children of Bodom influences in stride, as well as a gorgeous acoustic segment just past the four minute mark. The band’s sense of humor is still intact, with a “do a jig” piano bit before the track ends. The band is maintaining the high caliber melodeath of the tracks before it and is deserving of a far wider audience than they currently have. Check ‘em out!
Usually the mere mention of “deathcore” or “djent” is enough to drive some off, but don’t let that keep you from checking out As Oceans. Truth be told, the band is far more difficult to describe than by using a few choice words. The songs are diverse, going from thick, djenty chugs with menacing growls to prog metal with some strong cleans, to spiraling melodeath riffs and acoustic melodies. And that is just “Artaosis Part I.” It all blends quite nicely together, and it’s the attention to detail that As Oceans gives to each song that makes them so intriguing. Given the current strength of the djent movement, it’s hard to believe that these guys aren’t huge right now. Highly impressive stuff.
Comprised of 3 ex-members of Animosity (Evan Brewer, Frank Costa, and Navene Koperweis) along with vocalist Chaney Crabb, Primal is one EP that many have been looking forward to. A hard to nail sound that meshes up death metal, grind, and industrial alongside some jazzy and funk vibes ensures that you won’t be rattling off band comparisons (except for maybe Animosity). One word that can be used to describe Entheos is intense. Despite the frequent changes in tone (which will keep you on your toes), it goes together quite well and with the short run-time, you’ll most likely be hitting play for a second or third time before you know it.
More high quality doom/death from Evadne, who should already be on your radar if you are a fan of bands like Daylight Dies or Helevorn. Composed of one new track, it’s a bit of a tease, but “Colossal” is aptly named. With the band’s trademark ear for gloomy melodies and emotive vocals, it’s sure to please fans. As are the three re-recorded tracks. “The Wanderer” contains vocals this time around, “Awaiting” contains some ethereal vocals from Shape of Despair’s Natalie Oscine, and “Bleak Remembrance” sticks with the vocal theme and offers some guest vocals from J.F. Flar (Foscor). It may be a stop-gap release, but totally worth it for the rather affordable price and killer tunes.
Straight-up death metal, “by fans for fans,” as admitted on the Bandcamp page. Growing up in the Albany, NY area, Incontinence is definitely bringing up some memories of everything that bands had to offer ‘back in the day’ in said scene. Heavy on the brutality with vicious breakdowns, ominous growls, thick grooves, and memorable riffs, there’s a clear influence from bands like Dying Fetus and Suffocation (not to mention area favorite Skinless, who have enlisted Incontinence guitarist Dave Matthews with their recent reformation). The songs roll through like a bulldozer, but there is plenty to grab onto for repeated listens, particularly in standouts like “The Stagnation” and “Damaged Goods.”
Lurching and crawling death metal is what you will find with Diabolus Vobiscum. Featuring former Rivers of Nihil shredder Jon Kunz in their midst, Outer Heaven embraces a gritty approach that manages to feel outside of the normal death metal box. Tracks like “Unholy Strength” and “Lord of the Void” actually feature riffs that would feel at home on a stoner release if they weren’t so damn heavy. There are some occasional explosions of speed, but the band feel more at ease with the downtrodden and sludgy murk. The track with the most potential is that of “Vault of Whispers,” which takes the slow burn angle and magnifies it into something terrifying by the fourth minute.
Six of Swords deliver some straight-up old school death metal brutality on Polar Vortex. Full of heavy, chugging groove, it’s hard to fight the headbanging urge on each of the four tracks presented. One could even imagine a pretty killer circle pit breaking out during “Lock the Cell.” An altogether too short runtime on this one though, it feels like it ends way too quickly, but hey, there’s no concerns about giving it a quick restart and playing again. While it doesn’t really move out of traditional death metal boundaries, it’s played with a deadly conviction and lays a fine foundation for even better things to come.