Sifting Through Bandcamp March 2021

Tuesday, 30th March 2021

Already a quarter of the way through the new year, seems crazy how time just flies sometimes. Even if we are still sitting around around waiting for a return to ‘normalcy.’ In the meantime, there’s always more and more to find on Bandcamp. This month we look at The Crown Remnant, Gravecarver, Hand of Kalliach, KriteriA, Methopia, Mournful Ghost, Paranorm, and Traumatic Insemination.

The Crown Remnant – The End of Days
Modern metal that does a good job at genre-blurring, it’s thankfully not easy to give the Crown Remnant a tag and simply move on. It’s a cohesive offering that pulls from a number of sources, both metallic and other, but most importantly it draws you in with some strong melodies and riffs. Symphonic elements, ‘core, progressive melodies, uplifitng choruses – lots to unpack and check out. But it’s also more than the sum of its parts, and The Crown Remnant pulls off a more melodic piece, with some heavier elements (see “Can’t Let Go”), to craft an album that can reel you in and keep you engaged from beginning to end.

Gravecarver – Spectral Carnage
Capturing that old school groove and mentality without trying to ape any band or style in particular, Gravecarver have laid out a destrucive bounty with this first offering. It’s got some visceral and hard-hitting riffs that propel it forward, thick melodic grooves that are happy induce headbanging, and slick melodies that never compromise the more brutal aspects – just the right combination of elements to make for a fun death metal record to listen to. The energy and passion simply leaps out of the speakers upon first listen – don’t expect this act to be lingering in the underground for long. A volatile yet memorable mix that should really take them places.

Hand of Kalliach – Cinders
A husband and wife duo that merges together pulsating melodic death riffage and aggression and manages to weave in some ethereal atmospheric and Celtic vibes on top of it, “Cinders” is a song that will instantly hook you in. Never holding back on heaviness, the harsh vocals and soaring riffs splendidly merge together with this symphonic and folk-y sprinkling of melodies and ethereal cleans to generate a very unique setting. This has a wide swath of people that it could appeal to, and “Cinders” feels like a track that could really get Hand of Kalliach some buzz. Highly intriguing and frenetic stuff.

KriteriA – #Viral
Swirling together elements of modern prog/djent, big grooves, metalcore, and more, KriteriA introduce themselves to the world in a big way with #Viral. Massive wall-of-sound grooves take the centerstage, along with snarling growls, and even some electronic elements and clean singing on occasion. There’s a very modern and somewhat sci-fi feel to the whole thing, and the occasional dabbling into something more melodic (“Unchained”) gives them some added leverage, and the atmospheric nuance in others (“Game Master”) ups the cinematic flair. The variety within these 5 songs oozes potential, and offers an effective breath of fresh air for those interested in modern metal.

Methopia – Mr. Serious
Alternative/modern metal act Methopia offer up their first full-length in Mr. Serious, an album that basks in some heavy grooves and driving melodies. Some rock ‘n’ roll attitude influences some of the tracks as well, and the way the heaviness comes through feels as if the band could appeal to the hard rock scene as well as the metal one. Ample hooks, both instrumentally and vocally, ensure its an easy one to get into, not to mention the urgent grooves that frequently stand out. Methopia are operating in a nice space of their own, and are worth seeking out if you want heavy and hooky with some good female vocals.

Mournful Gust – Fly Sorrow Fly
Having been around since 1999 and Fly Sorrow Fly being the band’s fourth full-length, this is one of those deserving, yet flies under the radar cases. Mournful Gust waves the gothic/doom flag with morose enthusiasm. Melancholic clean vocals, gruff roars, depressive yet eloquent melodies, and lumbering guitar riffs – you know the deal here. Mournful Gust know exactly how to craft all these elements into a song and take you through the emotional wringer. Pure gloomy goodness and an easy recommendation for My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost fans.

Paranorm – Empyrean
Absolutely furious progressive thrash is what you’ll find with Paranorm. Galloping tempos with some melodic death metal melodies tossed into the otherwise raging mix, coupled with some blackened rasps and occasionally intricate song structures. Things can become technical at times, but it always stays in line with the song itself – no overtly showy stuff, just thoroughly blended thrashing madness. It’s easy to get drawn into the band’s energetic formula, and the musicianship sits as the cherry on top that should sell the band to a wide audience in the extreme scene.

Traumatic Insemination – Traumatic Insemination
A short but sweet two song introduction to this Philly based slamming death metal band, this is all about grabbing the essence of the genre and hitting its bright spots. Traumatic Insemination take in all the slams that one aims for with this type of release and runs with it. Many acts get hung up on pushing the extremity but not here. There’s actual rhyme and reason to the songs, and it makes them more energetic and flowing. Brutal slamming sections come to the surface with ease, but they are surrounded by equally enjoyable uptempo shifts and crunchy mid-tempo territory. It might be just a taste, but it checks off all the boxes.