FeaturesSifting Through Bandcamp – July 2017

Sifting Through Bandcamp – July 2017

Every once in a while, it’s nice to focus on the shorter releases. What you’ll find below are a collection of EPs and singles for the most part, where Bandcamp is a good outlet for these ‘sampling’ releases. This month we feature American Standards, Backbone, Frosttide, Glacier, Kaihon, Plaguebringer, Post Mortal Possession, and Vivisepulture.

American Standards – Anti-Melody
Release Date – April 2017
Location – Arizona, USA
Style – Noisy hardcore/punk

Direct and caustic in the best possible way, American Standards deal out quite a bit of anger on Anti-Melody. A hybrid of hardcore/noise/punk/mathcore, the band wastes little time in getting their searing vision off the ground with “Writers Block Party.” Some sprinklings of melody drip in on “Church Burner” and “Bartenders Without Wings,” but for the most part, one can expect a scream-y, noisy attack that revels in thick guitar riffing. Rounded out by some strong social and personal topics lyrically, American Standards have the full package when it comes to visceral carnage.

Backbone – R’lyeh
Release Date – July 2017
Location – Argentina
Style – Progressive death metal

Pulled towards this one because of its vibrant underwater artwork, Backbone’s blend of progressive tones and groove is what made R’lyeh a keeper. Whether it’s driving grooves (“Crushing the Silence”), galloping high-speed progressive riffing (“Cryptic Geometry”) or a turn towards the melodic (the opening to “Betrayal Consequences”), Backbone have their bases covered well. Pairing some technical/progressive riffs with more straight-up heavy grooves makes sure that Backbone is always energetic and lively. As such, it makes Backbone appealing for a large grouping of the death metal crowd, from those seeking technicality to those who simply want some heavy punishment.

Frosttide – From Dusk to Ascend
Release Date – July 2017
Location – Finland
Style – Melodic death/folk

Can’t go wrong with more melodic death metal with a hint of symphonic elements and folk from Finland. This single contains a new track (the title track) along with a re-recorded song (“Assault”), and a cover of CCR’s “Lodi.” Urgent melodic death riffing (think Mors Principium Est) intertwines itself with synths on the title track but never gets buried in the mix. It’s quite catchy stuff, particularly towards the end of the track where it veers into some folkish territory. “Assault” is a fitting title, with an aggressive edge to the melodies that make it standout. “Lodi” finishes it off with a bit of folk fun to it, putting Frosttide as a band that’s versatile and worth watching as they continue onwards.

Glacier – Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet, They Shall Be White As Snow; Though They Be Red Like Crimson, They Shall Be As Wool
Release Date – July 2017
Location – Massachusetts, USA
Style – Instrumental Drone/Doom

Certainly a candidate for longest title of the year (it’s both the song titles featured here), Boston’s Glacier aren’t going to be taking the quickest path to the finish line anytime soon. Their instrumental metal that sits somewhere along the post/drone/doom line…a blurry one at best. One thing is sure though, it’s a bleak and gloomy journey. They do a good job of making sure that the landscape is somewhat varied in the long tracks, with some peaks and valleys giving them some room to explore a variety of emotions, none of which are too very happy. Worth a gander if you like instrumental stuff on the more ambient and emotive side.

Kaihon – Terraform
Release Date – March 2017
Location – United Arab Emirates
Style – Groovy progressive metal

A modern heaviness that’s routed in groove, Kaihon’s sound has that more American aesthetic to it, especially when looking at progressive bands. Grooves are what ground the band on each track, as the more technical playing takes off into pretty progressive territory. The solos standout in particular (see “D.T.A”), and really show off what the band is capable of without being too self-indulgent. Vocals stick to the more extreme end, and may bring in some fans that want more energy in this type of music. The EP’s short run time of 15 minutes should be all you need to hear to convince yourself that the band should be going places in the near future.

Plaguebringer – Three Kings
Release Date – March 2017
Location – Canada
Style – Technical melodic death metal

Taking the approach to melodic death metal that The Black Dahlia Murder strives for and tossing even more speed and technicality to it, Plaguebringer is an intense listen. Using a blistering pace and still managing to keep it interesting is always impressive, and the riffing and melodies that sit below the surface of Three kings are undeniably impressive. Solos zip across the speakers, as do drumblasts and high/low vocals that sound ravenous. When they do slow things down, they unleash some equally devastating stuff as well (see “Queen of Midnight”), proving they are more than a one-trick pony. A no-brainer if you like TBDM or Inferi.

Post Mortal Possession – Ingesting Sewage
Release Date – July 2017
Location – Pennsylvania, USA
Style – Brutal death metal

Somewhat frequent flyers to this site, Post Mortal Possession have released their first taste of new material, tentatively due out later this year, with “Ingesting Sewage.” Continuing to sharpen their brutal death edge, there’s a lot to enjoy for fans of Suffocation and Deeds of Flesh. Particularly with some fast riffing that integrates nicely with their sense of groove. What’s also interesting about this track is its melodic side, with a standout lead towards the end of the song that highlights a melodic twist. If you haven’t checked out Post Mortal Possession, it’s the perfect time to play catch-up before the upcoming new material.

Vivisepulture – They Shall Receive
Release Date – July 2017
Location – Massachusetts, USA
Style – Symphonic black/death

The first released cut from the band’s upcoming debut, Omen, “They Shall Receive” is a good showcase of what to expect from this symphonic act. It does pique the interest, being able to utilize symphonic elements without going too bombastic and keeping the guitar melodies at the forefront. Speaking of which, there’s a nice dynamic of heaviness while keeping a fantastical sense of wonder present (which the keys surely aid in). A few folky and clean vocals in the middle help to further this notion, though the growls are potent as well. Keep your eyes out for their debut, particularly if you like bands similar to Dimmu Borgir and company.

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