Monday, August 08, 2011

Metal Briefs: Bandcamp, Part 1

There are a lot of free or pay-what-you-want albums out there on Bandcamp, and a whole lot of them are garbage. But you know what? There are some hidden gems. So I've been slogging through them. Hopefully, I can save you some time.

Fiends at Feast: Shadows of Extinction (2011)

If you follow That's How Kids Die, there's no chance you missed some love for California blackened death metallers Fiends at Feast. This is aggressive, raw, and catchy. They throw in some Spanish acoustic stuff and what I think is cello, and put a lot of emphasis on the bass on the B-side, "Revelations ov Chaos". My only complaint is that I have to turn the volume way up to hear it. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. What's available on their Bandcamp isn't technically the whole EP, which consists of five tracks, so consider this a review of the two-song single. They say the EP is available from them, but the Bandcamp doesn't explain how.

Swamp: Three Cheers for the Firing Squad (2011)

Swamp is a one-man band (drums are programmed) from Indiana. As you might expect from the name, they play sludge metal. The three-song EP reveals a sound that's dark sludge with a good dose of rock 'n' roll and a vocal style that's as much death as sludge. But overall, it's pretty forgettable, and for some reason makes me think of Six Feet Under--not a good thing. I give it 2 out of 5 stars.

The Matador: Descent into the Maelstrom (2011)

One of the members of Aussie post-metal band The Matador contacted me about their debut EP Descent into the Maelstrom. Supposedly inspired by the work of Poe, it sounds a good deal like Isis--not the garbage you'd get from Pelican or Russian Circles. It has that same rising-and-falling on the ocean feel you get from Isis, and some of the riffs could have been taken from their work as well. They do put their own spin on it, including the use of ethereal female vocals (I think--there are no credits for this). Considering Isis has disbanded, these guys are the closest thing you're going to get. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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