Bandcamp event recommendations

On Friday, May 1st, Bandcamp has decided to not take their cut from all sales of music and merch on their platform in an effort to help support the many bands that are struggling right now due to coronavirus shut downs. Bands can’t tour nor can’t properly record so there’s been a big financial slow down for them, and many of them bought lots of merch to sell on tours and at festivals that just aren’t happening now. Anything you buy on Bandcamp will go straight to the artists without Bandcamp’s usual cut so if you’ve been meaning to buy something from a band, go ahead and do it May 1st. I’ve put together this lengthy list of suggestions completely made up of new material from around the world, country and even locals too, for those of you looking for some great new tunes to buy on Friday (or whenever really).

UlcerateStare Into Death And Be Still
Tech death from New Zealand

GlooshTimewheel
Atmospheric black metal from Siberia

Yuri GagarinThe Outskirts of Reality
Instrumental stoner metal from Sweden

Creative WasteCondemned
Grindcore from Saudi Arabia

Oranssi PazuzuMestarin kynsi
Psychedelic black metal from Finland

Black CurseEndless Wound
Death metal from Denver featuring members of Spectral Voice, Khemmis and Blood Incantation

Borracho with Jake Starr EP
Stoner metal from DC

Seasick GladiatorThe Hanged Man
Instrumental stoner/doom from Washington DC

dirt eaterStorm King Mountain
Stoner/sludge metal from Northern Virginia

ImmiserationAlienation of Humanity
Death metal from Baltimore

Ripped To ShredsLuan
Death metal from San Jose

Reeking AuraBeneath the Canopy of Compost
Death metal from NY/NJ

Live BurialUnending Futility (Name Your Price)
Death/thrash from England

UltharProvidence Pre-Order
Black/death metal from the Bay Area

WakeDevouring Ruin
Crusty black/death from Calgary

Internal RotGrieving Birth
Grindcore from Australia

WvrmColony Collapse
Grindcore from South Carolina

CalligramThe Eye Is The First Circle
Crusty black metal from London

Spectral Lore & Mare Cognitum split Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine
Black metal from Greece & Oregon, respectively

Путь (Pathway) – Холодная весна (Cold Spring) (Name Your Price)
Black metal with an accordian from Russia
This song was written about, and recorded during, COVID quarantine

VelniasScion of Aether
Cascadian style black metal from Colorado

erranterrant
Black/post metal solo debut from Rae Amitay, vocalist of Immortal Bird

Behold The ArctopusHapeleptic Overtrove Pre-Order
Instrumental tech/prog from New York City

Rotting KingdomA Deeper Shade Of Sorrow
Death/doom from Kentucky

Paradise LostObsidian Pre-Order
Gothic doom metal from Halifax, England

KhemmisDoomed Heavy Metal
2 covers, 1 original and 3 live tracks recorded Dec 28/29 of 2018 at Larimer Lounge in Denver
Doom metal from Denver

Inter ArmaLive at Club Congress (Name Your Price)
Recorded on 8/24/17 in Tuscon, Arizona
Post metal from Richmond

Orange GoblinRough & Ready, Live & Loud
Captured live at various shows between 2016 and 2019
Stoner doom metal from London

PelicanLive at the Grog Shop
Recorded 9/15/19 in Cleveland
Instrumental post-metal from Chicago

PanopticonLive Migration Pre-Order
Recorded 7/29/18 at Migration Fest in Pittsburgh
Appalachian black metal from Minnesota

Last but not least DC’s own No/Más is re-posting their debut EP for this one day only, then they’re taking it back down so if you want it get it on Friday! Details from the band here.

Premiere of Lost In Time music video by Borracho

Cover of Atacama by Borracho

It’s the holiday season and what’s the best gift every year? New Apple products? World peace? Of course not! The best gift is brand spankin’ new heavy metal tunes! Washington DC’s own Borracho are three wise men who are stuffing your stocking with extra helpings of stoner riffage this year. Their brand new album, Atacama, just dropped today and you can download it digitally ($8) or get it on CD ($12) from Bandcamp right here, right now! If recordings of these tunes just aren’t enough for you be sure to catch Borracho in action at their CD release show on Thursday, December 15th at Slash Run. You can get all the details on that show here.

Can’t wait until the 15th for that sweet Borracho live experience? Well then you’ve got to check out the music video for their new song “Lost In Time,” one of my favorite tracks off of Atacama. This video was recorded at the Velvet Lounge on U Street and I’m going to have to warn you, if you’ve ever been a bit buzzed watching Borracho perform live then this video may trigger some flashbacks of the face melting kind! Well what are you waiting for, click play on the video below, crank it to 11 and drift off to the land of riff.

Review of The Felon’s Claw by Ilsa

Band: Ilsa
Album: The Felon’s Claw
Release Date: 5 May 2015
Record Label: A389 Recordings
Buy digital ($5) or CD ($8.99) or 2x 12″ vinyl ($29.99) on Bandcamp: Here
Buy various bundles with merch from A389’s web store: Here

Cover of The Felon's Claw by Ilsa

Washington DC based crusty death/doom band Ilsa has a new album coming out on Baltimore based label A389. DCHM writer Buzzo Jr has written the following review of The Felon’s Claw to give you all the details about the new full length from one of my favorite area bands. As usual we’ve got a couple of songs streaming at the end of the post so give them a listen while you read!

Lets get this out of the way quick: No, you’re not the only person who is immediately reminded of Spinal Tap’s infamous and fictional Smell the Glove album when looking at the cover art for The Felon’s Claw. However, the fourth full length from DC’s Ilsa sounds nothing like everyone’s favorite fake British band, but is instead full of Ilsa’s signature crust soaked doom metal.

Ilsa is well known for mixing death/doom, with crust punk and d-beat; their previous outputs often alternating between slow doomy passages with one song and then going into frantic punk influenced tracks for the next one. On The Felon’s Claw however, the faster punk influenced tracks are more rare, with only “Oubilette,” “Buried in the Bedrock and Concrete of Our Cities,” and “Armstrong’s Mixture” venturing into full on crust punk territory. The remaining 7 songs are all sludgy doom tracks, with “Katabasis” clocking in at almost 9 minutes. The slow, sinister mood and heavy riffs in these tracks combined with the harsh, high range vocals are sometimes reminiscent of Salome; another great doom band from the DMV area that unfortunately broke up in 2011. I find that I like Ilsa’s faster tracks a bit more than the slower paced songs on this album, since they are packed with much more aggression and energy. Their death metal influences are also more prevalent on the faster tracks, blending perfectly with the punk inspired d-beat drumming. Not to say that the slower tracks aren’t any good; quite the contrary actually. What they lack in speed they greatly make up for in crushing heaviness. A favorite of mine among these slower tracks is “Pandolpho,” which is actually a reimagining of a hymn written by Robert Parsons back in 1572. On this track, the band puts their crust and doom influence into a single song; starting off at a slow steady pace and then erupting into a much faster section in the middle, and finally slowing back down to a dirge-like speed at the end.

Tim Moyer and Brendan Griffiths’ guitar work on the album is great; their mammoth tone establishing the murky atmosphere of the album and their grimy riffs chugging away, hammering the listener into submission. Large amounts of harsh feedback flows in the background, following the example of sludge bands like Eyehategod and Acid Bath. Sharad Satsangi’s basslines follow the guitars perfectly, adding even more power and filth to the mix and chugging in unison with the twin axes. Orion Peter’s vocals are as intense as they’ve ever been as well, with his tortured, painful howls penetrating through the riffs and feedback to create a sense of misanthropy and hopelessness. Orion utilizes his harsh vocals perfectly, causing a great contrast between the low end riffs and his higher range screams. Josh Brettel’s drums unfortunately don’t sound as thick and powerful as the rest of the instruments do, which is a pity seeing as they are incredibly heavy and pounding when Ilsa perform live. That being said, Josh’s drums do get the job done providing thudding beats to complement the riffs and vocals, at some points overcoming the lesser production and sounding utterly bombastic on some of the much slower tracks such as “Smoke is the Ghost of Fire.”

Ilsa’s newest offering is a filthy chunk of crusty death/doom, packed full of great riffs and screams. If you’re looking for a record to play in your dingy basement for a seedy get-together with various lowlives, you won’t find a better one than this.

Local metal studio releases in 2015

If 2014 showed me anything it’s that our area’s metal scene is very much alive and well. I’m often hearing a lot about what releases local bands have coming out so I’ve put together this post with updates on many of the DMV’s local bands and what they’re planning on releasing in 2015. I can’t say it’s all inclusive so if you know about more local releases feel free to leave info in the comment section. It’s an exciting time to be a metal head in the DMV area right now so let me tell you why…

For starters, two area bands have already released albums this year. Snakefeast and Periphery. On January 6th Baltimore based Snakefeast released The Pythoness on local label Grimoire Records. Their sound is an interesting combination of sludge metal with black metal and jazz elements and the inclusion of a cello and saxophone certainly gives them a unique sound. You can stream the album (or buy it for just $5) on Bandcamp right here.

Locals Periphery pretty much wrote the book on the djent style of prog metal. Juggernaut, released on January 27th, is the band’s most ambitious release to date. It’s a double album, one disc named Alpha and the other Omega. While it may not be the beginning and the end of metal releases in our area it does show the band returning to form after their bizarre release of Clear last year where each song was written by a different band member and unsurprisingly lacked cohesion. The band is on Sumerian Records so don’t be surprised if they turn up on some big tours Sumerian is involved with this summer like Mayhem Fest or Summer Slaughter. Check out the music video below for the song “Alpha.”

On February 3rd, that’s tomorrow to those of you reading this post when it’s fresh, Northern Virginia based Yesterday’s Saints will release their debut full length, Generation Of Vipers. The 11 track concept album is lyrically written like an opera with different acts and tells the tale of the Devil himself. You can give it a listen on Soundcloud here and you can order the album on Bandcamp here and we’ll be posting a review of it tomorrow as well.

Generation Of Vipers by Yesterday's Saints

The Vomiting Dinosaurs are a kind of goofy death/grind band from Winchester, Virginia and they’ve got a full length coming out on Grimoire Records on February 10th. The album is titled Worship The Porcelain God and you can listen to a couple tracks from it on Bandcamp here.

Worship The Porcelain God by The Vomiting Dinosaurs

Doom legends Pentagram are finishing up their next full length to be put out on Peaceville this summer, according to this Facebook post. With Victor Griffin back in the band anything is possible, and their previous album, 2011’s Last Rites, was really well put together so let’s hope they can keep the creativity going on this one.

Baltimore’s Noisem might be young, I don’t think any of them are even old enough to drink yet, but they’re really taking off. They’re a throwback to the early 90s death/thrash sound, have some fun riffs and they put on a good show. So far they haven’t released anything really groundbreaking musically but that may or may not change on their upcoming release this year, which they begin recording in February. Noisem has garnered a lot of attention since they’ve been the opening act on the last two Carcass US tours and their vocalist, Tyler Carnes, was on the cover of the April 2014 Decibel issue (along with members of Carcass and Gorguts). Noisem is signed to A389 Records in Baltimore and the band has to know everyone is wondering what they’ll put out on this next release now that everyone is watching.

Valkyrie from Harrisonburg, Virgina, has signed a deal with Relapse Records and will be putting out a full length album on the label some time this spring. The band features members of Baroness and Earthling but has a sound all their own so don’t sleep on this one.

Dave Sherman (of Spirit Caravan and Earthride fame) and his 420 friendly band Weed Is Weed will have a five song EP released later this year titled The Bong Remains The Same.

Local southern metal band King Giant had several injuries to members of the band after the release of their last album, Dismal Hollow, back in 2012. The band is looking to make a big come back this summer with the release of their third full length which was recorded and mixed by J. Robbins (who has worked with bands such as Clutch, The Sword and Wino in the past).

Northern Virginia based A Sound Of Thunder must live in a recording studio (you jealous Wintersun?) since they’ve put out at least a full length every year since 2011. 2015 will be no different and we can expect another full length of original material in late spring/summer from them. ASoT is also working on an EP release due out late this year that will consist entirely of covers of songs the members of the band love.

Sludge/doom band The Osedax has been a bit quiet since two members recently left the band however a lot has been going on behind the scenes. The band’s original drummer, Kevin Grevey, has returned to the band, which is now a three piece, and they’ve recorded a new album, titled Titan’s Lament, which will be out on Dullest Records in the spring.

Titan's Lament by The Osedax

DC based death metal band Genocide Pact (featuring two members of local grind band D.O.C.) will have a full length out in the first half of 2015 on A389 Recordings.

DC based stoner band Borracho is going to be releasing a split LP with a band outside of the DMV area in May or June. It will have three new original Borracho songs on it, which you can hear live previews of at their upcoming shows at the Velvet Lounge (2/19) and the Pinch (3/20). UPDATE: Ripple Music, the label putting out the split, has released more details (here) and announced that the other band on the split will be Atlanta’s Volume IV (not a Black Sabbath cover band, they write originals). I’ve added the cover here too.

cover of the Borrocho & Volume IV split

The crusty death/doom band Ilsa is going to put out a new full length on A389 in March, they’ve been playing some of the new material live at their recent shows and it has sounded awesome so far. This will be their second album on A389 Recordings and their first with new guitarist Tim (who was in a band with several Ilsa members years ago).

Grethor is a local death metal band whose name means Hell in the fictitious Klingon language from Star Trek. We reviewed their last EP back in 2013 (here) but now they’re looking to release a new EP titled Cloaked In Decay in the spring.

Black metal band Dispellment has finished recording their debut album (according to this post on Facebook) though there currently is no release date while they search for a label for a proper release. Apparently a three song demo of material from the album will be available sometime soon though.

Wings Denied, a proggy band in the vein of Periphery, was formed by friends attending American University. Their vocalist, Luka Kerecin, was in the US on a student visa that has now expired but they are working on getting him back over here to record another album with him some time this year.

Stoner band Caustic Casanova has signed with Retro Futurist records, a label run by members of the band Kylesa. They’ve got a not-yet-named full length in the works that should be released in the late spring or early summer.

Doom band Foehammer has their debut album, which is self titled, coming out on April 7th on Grimoire Records (vinyl via Australopithecus records). The three piece will be going on tour this summer to support the recording, and you can hear a preview track from it right here.

Foehammer s/t

Baltimore based stoner band Sixty Watt Shaman will go into the studio to record some time in the first half of 2015. This will be the band’s first recorded material since reforming, and will be their first release since 2002!

Death metal band Gloom is hitting the studio in February and they’ve got a new guitar player in the band now too. I’m not sure when the new release is expected exactly but they definitely have something in the works.

Exclusive Stream of The Nothing by Fortress

Unto The Nothing by Fortress

Fortress is a doom metal trio from Hagerstown, Maryland, and while I love their three song demo I’ve been waiting for some new material to listen to between their earth shaking live shows and now the wait is FINALLY over! Go ahead and stream the new song “The Nothing” below and be sure to crank up that volume! No seriously, more than that, this is the kind of sludgy, slow motion doom metal you’ll want to blast loud enough to feel in your bones. Fans of bands like Pallbearer, Winter and Sunn O))) are going to love this dark album.

Fortress is now signed to Unholy Anarchy Records and their debut full length, Unto The Nothing will be released on December 2nd on CD and three styles of vinyl (each limited to 100 copies) including black, grey marble and clear with black splatter. Vinyl versions will also include a digital download of the album that contains a bonus track not available on other formats. You’ll be able to buy Unto The Nothing from Unholy Anarchy’s online store here (vinyl) and here (CD) or their Bandcamp here, or from the band at an upcoming live show. And did you see that sweet album art by Aeron Alfrey up there? Well you can click on it to see the creepy, full wrap around version of the art that will be on all versions of Unto The Nothing.

“The Nothing” is some hatred drenched, depressive doom metal so I hope you weren’t already having a great day because you’re about to get bummed out, but in the best way possible!

Listen to the new Death Penalty song War

Electric God by Death Penalty

Short post today but the Northern Virginia based thrash metal band Death Penalty is having their album release show tonight at the Sidebar in Baltimore (details here). The full length, titled Electric God, will be available at the show but you can stream/download the first track off it, titled “War” below. If you can’t make the show you can message them on Facebook (here) to grab a copy as well.