I guess it may seem that I made my point in the headline, but I really only made part of my point. Because “free” doesn’t mean “good”. “Free” takes on real significance only when the gift makes you happy — and this one damn well should.
I’m referring to a new compilation of metal compiled by The Death of A Modernist. Though this is the third of these compilations, it’s the first one that hit my cracked radar screen. And it’s quite a remarkable line-up of fine metal.
On this Saturday morning I’ve been struck by a combination of early slothfulness and (annoyingly) a subsequent need to deal with some internet service problems. I had plans to review two EPs for today, but since it’s already noon out here on the Left Coast and I haven’t written a word, I wondered what the hell I would do to foist music upon you. And then I received a Bandcamp alert in my e-mail and… Voilà!!!
That Bandcamp alert concerned a just-released compilation of sounds from Oslo, Norway’s Duplicate Records entitled An Alignment of Shrines. It includes tracks by 14 bands — four of them from forthcoming releases and the rest from Duplicate releases over the last year or so. I recognized the names of 10 of the bands, and it happens that I’ve enjoyed and we’ve previously written about the music of all 10 of those. Here’s the list of the bands and the names of the releases from which the songs were drawn:
What follows are delayed reviews of three short releases that I’ve enjoyed, two of which are available for free. And by “delayed”, I mean that I started writing this post in November, put it aside, got caught up in other things — and forgot to finish it! Better late than never, I hope.
In the middle of November a Dallas band named Maldevera released a new three-song EP entitled Incarceration Plague via Bandcamp. According to Metal-Archives, this is the fourth demo they’ve released since 2012 — and this one is awesome.
I just took a pause from scribbling some stream-of-consciousness reactions to two premieres we’ll be bringing you later today and while scanning my Facebook feed discovered this: Germany’s Apostasy Records has recently released a digital compilation that includes 24 songs from 19 bands spanning the label’s releases over the years 2012 – 2015. Check out these names:
Alkaloid, Black Abyss, Burial Vault, Corpse Molester Cult, Craving, Crisix, Deadborn, Disparaged, Lay Down Rotten, Lost Soul, Maladie, Nailed to Obscurity, Obscenity, Overtorture, Punish, Sonic Reign, Spheron, The Duskfall, and Von Branden.
This is the somewhat delayed second part of a round-up I began this morning. The earlier edition featured new videos and songs from some of metal’s bigger names. The music in this one comes from more underground sources, and not all of it is brand new, though all of it is newly discovered by your humble editor. And of course all of it is recommended for your ears.
In his review, Andy Synn summed up the last album by the French band Otargos (2013’s Apex Terror) as music “both utterly devastating and virulently infectious, a truly unique and lethal strain of post-human black metal” — “a visceral, gut-wrenching experience, unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality”.
Otargos have now completed a new album named Xeno Kaos that will be released by Kaotoxin Records on November 13. The label recently unveiled a song from the album named “Dominatrix”, and it’s a potent concoction of reptilian melodic grace and unrestrained ferocity. I’m still trying to close my mouth after hearing the drumwork on this song, and I also need to look for a couple of teeth that got knocked out. Probably need a tourniquet too.
My UK-based comrade Andy Synn alerted me to an event and an accompanying music compilation that he and I thought would be worth your attention. First, the event:
On September 26, 2015, a festival called Hordes of Belial will have its 6th Verse — its sixth installment since the festival began in 2010. It will take place at Beat Generator Live in Dundee, Scotland, and it will feature 15 extreme metal and hard rock bands on two stages.
To help promote the festival, its organizers (Critical Events) have released a “pay what you want” digital compilation featuring music by 13 of the bands set to appear this year. The music spans a range that includes thrash, death/sludge, prog, brutal death, doom, and other genres as well.
I think free (and nearly free) music compilations by metal labels are a great idea. Of course, I say that as a fan and not someone who has ever attempted to operate a label, so I don’t know if they actually help sell music. But from my perspective it sure seems like a good way to expose people to bands they’ve never heard before, especially when the comps include some bands you have heard before and like — at least in my case, that tends to function as a good enticement for listening to the new names.
Over the weekend I discovered three new compilations by small metal labels that I thought would be worth exploring for that very reason, i.e., they include music from some very good bands I already know about, but are dominated by names that are new to me. I haven’t listened to everything in every comp yet, but what I’ve heard so far makes these downloads worthwhile.
I’m also including another excellent compilation from CVLT Nation (also free) that has been out for a couple of weeks, but I only tumbled to it recently.
Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions: Sampler MMXV
This French label recently released a new compilation on Bandcamp. The new compilation includes 11 tracks, and among those are songs by Regarde Les Hommes Tomber, Moonreich, Maieutiste, and Mare Cognitum, all of whom are bands whose music I’ve enjoyed. The remaining tracks are by Déluge, Suhnopfer, Darkenhold, Aezh Morvarc’h, In Cauda Venenum, Lifestream, and Profundae Libidines.
The Dark Descent label has recently released a 10-track sampler of music from the label’s artists that’s available on Bandcamp now (“name your price”). It includes music from recent releases plus previews of unreleased material from Adversarial, Blood Incantation, and Thevetat.
Those three previously unreleased tracks are all great, and for me proved to be welcome introductions to the fascinating, brain-scrambling death metal exuberance of Blood Incantation (their track will appear on an EP named Interdimensional Extinction) and the blood-thirsty death metal explosiveness of Thevetat (their track will appear on a forthcoming 7″ named Desecration of Divine Presence).
I was especially hot to hear the new Adversarial track, “Eonik Spiritual Warfare”, which will appear on their forthcoming second full-length, Death, Endless Nothing and the Black Knife of Nihilism, scheduled for release in August with album artwork that has again been created by the awesome Danille Gauvin. The band’s set at Maryland Deathfest this year was one of the event’s high points for me, and I’ve been a big fan of everything they’e recorded to date.
(TheMadIsraeli provides the following brief introduction to our premiere of the new EP by Tennessee’s Animality — with a link to a free download of the music.)
We posted a premiere of a song by these Tennessean tech death/deathcore bruisers a bit back, and I’m proud to present not only a stream, but a free download of their newest EP. It’s a self-titled one, and I think you’ll really enjoy it. It’s three songs of purely merciless bludgeoning, and Animality are particularly gifted at administering this kind of punishment. I hope you enjoy.
This is another one of those new-music round-ups that I would normally label “Seen and Heard”, but it happens that everything I’ve collected here is so heavy and dark that “Shades of Black” seemed more fitting, even though the music isn’t exclusively black metal. Perhaps needless to say, I’m really high on everything collected here.
UNHOLY ANARCHY RECORDS
Yesterday, Maryland-based Unholy Anarchy Records released a stunning digital compilation of songs via Bandcamp. It’s a free download, but I’m sure that throwing a few bucks their way would be very much appreciated — and this thing is so damned good that a contribution would also be well-deserved.