Hello. My name is Chris, and I have a problem.
I started using Bandcamp about 2 years ago. At first it was innocent: maybe an album here or there I read about in Decibel but couldn’t find on a streaming service. Occasioanlly a compilation or anthology I heard about from Henry Rollins’s amazing weekly radio show on KCRW. It was fun, it was innocent, and most importantly, no one was getting hurt. And then, in January of 2016, someone had the bright idea to start this #metalbandcampgiftclub thing and everything just kind of went out the window. At first it was just giving, you know? What’s wrong with giving? But then I started getting, too. And it got harder to just give, right? Because maybe you wanted that album too, you see? And it just spiraled and skyrocketed and every other terrible metaphor you can think of to say things, well…got out of hand.
Seriously, Bandcamp is a great service for both fans and artists. And when I sat down to think about what to write for this week’s Nine Circles ov… I realized I had all this great music I hadn’t listened to yet, so why not pick a few highlights and share ’em here with the fine Nine Circles readership. I’ll try to remember the whys and wherefores, you just check out some great metal.
9 Unheard Albums From My Bandcamp Collection
Vanha – Within the Mist of Sorrow
Some serious death/doom out of Sweden. Within the Mists of Sorrow came out right at the tail end of 2016, and based on featured track “Old Heart Fails” its funeral atmosphere comes from the altar of 90s doom like My Dying Bride and early Anathema, particularly with the keyboards. Perfect for cold evenings living next to a forgotten wood.
Seagrave – Stabwound
Dipping a toe in blackgaze, death and doom metal, Seagrave is the solo project of J.J. from Harakiri for the Sky, whose III: Trauma was one of the highlights of 2016. “Bonjour Tristesse” is seven and a half minutes of brooding despair with impeccable production and sonics, the tempo fluctuating between measured pain and brutal anger. It’s a hoot.
Bloodthirst – Glorious Sinners
Did someone order Polish blackened thrash? Of course you did. Why did I? Because Bloodthirst comes from Gregor, the mind behind last year’s Hail Death by UR, who we interviewed about a month ago. Glorious Sinners is a little more straight ahead in its approach, which simply means the riffs are fast and plentiful. Featured track “The Viper’s Nest” tells me I made the right decision picking this thing up.
Resurrection – I Am Not: The Discography
I honestly cannot recall why I picked this up, but based on the track “Build” oh, man am I glad I did. Vicious hardcore from Deathwish Records was probably the kicker for the purchase, and at $5 it’s s steal. I still can’t remember where I heard about them but reading up on their history: 2 EPs and an LP from 1991 to 1994, heavily influenced by bands like Black Flag, Minor Threat, Absolution…yup, this is speaking to me on so many levels.
From Beyond – The Color Out of Space
One drunken night a few buddies and I went on a rampage of stoner sludge and doom rock, rattling off band after band we had grown to love. I don’t remember who brought up From Beyond (it might possibly have been our stalwart editor), but their heavy as $#@! sound and groove can levitate mountains. “Hexagram” is a monolithic rocker that sprawls over you in the best possible way, slamming blues riffs and muddy bass together to forge a slab of rock to take you to the Elder Gods.
The Ruins of Beverast – Takitum Tootem!
Yeah yeah yeah…I know. I meant to listen to this and just forgot about it, ok? Leave me alone, willya?
Forgotten Tomb – Songs to Leave
In the beginning of 2017 I was on a huge black metal kick reading Dayal Patterson’s Black Metal: The Cult Never Dies Vol: 1, and was taken with the DSBM section featuring Forgotten Tomb alongside bands like Bethlehem and Strid. I picked up a bunch of the recommended records over the course of a week — all stellar examples of the genre — but somehow skipped over the mournful screeching of this album.
Angela Martyr – The November Harvest
I subscribed to Avantgarde’s service: for a few bucks a month I get everything the label offers, and in the rush of the end of year releases I missed out on this hypnotic ambient industrial nightmare of barren cities and beautiful sadness. The cover says for fans of Godflesh, Slowdive, early Katatonia and Alice in Chains, and I’d say that’s a fair approximation of featured track “Serpent.”
Moonlight Desires – Frankie Goes to Hamilton
I have no idea how I got this or how I never listened to it, but holy cow: guitar and synth driven rock versions of classic 80s soft rock. The featured track is Steve Perry’s “Oh Sherrie” and I am a teenager again watching him plead on MTV for Sherrie to come back because their love holds on. It is glorious, a less tongue in cheek Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. It is the Alpha and the Omega. Life has meaning, and its buried in the dreams of a girl with teased hair, a boy with a tennis racket for a guitar in his parent’s basement.
If you dig any of this music, please consider supporting the artists using the Bandcamp embeds above. In the meantime, I’ll be adding more and more to my Bandcamp Collection.