Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Metal Briefs: Clearing the 2012 Docket


I’ve been putting these reviews off forever. Two of these bands contacted me in July. Rather than continue to delay, I’m just going to handle all five of them machine-gun fashion. Coincidentally, all of these bands are from the US, all of them are on Bandcamp, and all of these releases were from 2012.

Boddicker: Mitch Is the Bastard
4.5 out of 5 stars

Grindcore. Eight minutes. Heavy, with plenty of dynamics for such a short release. The cover art says “Boddicker A.K.A. Napalm Frost,” so you know where their allegiance lies. I’m no grind expert, as I’ve repeatedly said, but I love this quickie.

Capa: Shallow Towers
3.5 out of 5 stars

Capa plays post-black metal. I’m not sure where the Slipknot-style mask on the cover art fits into that milieu, exactly, but that’s not really important. What’s important is that this is actually pretty fucking good. It helps that this is an EP, a format which serves the style quite well. Often a reviewer will say, “This will appeal to fans of X and Y” just because it sounds like X and Y, ignoring the possibility that fans of X and Y might be more discerning. With that in mind, I’m pretty sure Shallow Towers will actually appeal to fans of Deafheaven and Altar of Plagues.

Damaru: Demo 2012
0.5 out of 5 stars

Have you ever had an encounter with someone who claims metal actually gives them a headache, regardless of volume? I’ve always thought those people were full of shit. But in 6 minutes, Damaru’s 2012 demo threatens to give me a headache. I’m not sure what it is about some hardcore that it can do that to me. (Trap Them did it, too.) I still think the people who claim metal gives them a headache are full of shit.

Sloth Herder: Sluggard EP
2 out of 5 stars

An unbalanced mix (too far to the left) seriously hampers Sloth Herder’s Sluggard EP. As an almost-exclusive headphone listener, this makes it really tough for me to review objectively. That’s a shame, because I typically like sludgy grind (or grinding sludge) like this, with rasping growled vocals. Fistula is a good touchstone for comparison. I can’t recommend this with “EP” tacked onto the name instead of “demo.” I really like the use of different art for each song, though.

Thenn: Threshing the Golden Fields EP
3 out of 5 stars

By the cover art, you’d probably guess Thenn takes after a certain band that I will not name. Truth is, Threshing the Golden Fields EP is black metal with a healthy injection of punk, a la recent Darkthrone. “They Are Given to the Inviting Earth” is very cool, but the rest of it doesn’t speak to me nearly as much. The thin production probably isn’t helping. As prolific as Darkthrone is, I’m not sure something like this is necessary, but it might be to you.


  1. clearing the docket soundsd like something lonely lawyers do between cases :D
    i'll have to check out that boddicker. their other stuff hasn't really jazzed me.

  2. Yeah, like I say, I'm definitely no grind expert. I'm not sure my opinions on grind are worth paying any attention to, because I might like some terrible stuff and not like good stuff. I have no idea.