Since March of 2020, the digital music store Bandcamp has been waived its fees for purchases made through the platform, allowing all of the proceeds for each transaction to go directly to the artists. The initiative was initially started as a means of delivering a quick cash transfusion to artists at a time when touring was halted entirely in the United States and elsewhere due to health concerns surrounding the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic. The company took a break from the program during the summer of 2021, picking it back up on the first Friday of every month since August.
For our part, we’ve been putting together a list of recommendations for every Bandcamp Friday of albums that we think deserve a little love. If you’re looking to drop some cash in an artist’s pocket today, you could do a lot worse than what we’ve picked out for October. And as a special spooky treat, this recs list is all brand-spanking new metal and hardcore. So throw a light fleece on under your battle vest, load up on fun-sized candy bars, and let’s get ready to headbang our way into All Hallows’ Eve!
As a reminder, if you find anything you like on our list, you can purchase it directly from Bandcamp by clicking the link in each player below each write-up.
Annihilus – Follow a Song From the Sky (Federal Prisoner)
Annihilus is the product of one man’s viperine vision, Luca Cimarust. Luca also plays drums in the brutalist post-hardcore project Luggage, but it’s through Annihilus that he vents the full fury of his angst and unburdens his weary soul through the time-honored hecatomb of black metal.
Follow a Song From the Sky is Luca’s second LP with the project (you can read our review of his first LP Ghanima here), and represents a downward rushing sojourn towards dark pools of sound and emotion, into which noise rock and metallic hardcore drain like desperate expiation. Follow a Song From the Sky is a significant refinement when compared to his last LP—an aesthetic crystallization whose cold, uncanny glint is malignant beautifully by collaborations with fellow wayward travelers.
Brian Case of the Chicago post-punk group FACS contributes a raft of dread eclipsed prose that drifts ominously upon the sonic tar pit of “Song From the Sky,” and Trevor de Brauw of Pelican lends a terrifying guitar line to the same. Elsewhere, the experimental synth artist Brett Naucke confers a sense of heavy ambiance and lightless transcendence to tracks “The Grand Illusion” and “Draw the Beast.”
Even with these contributions, Follow a Song From the Sky is primarily the endeavor of its central figure, Luca—a man who knows the contours of his own tribulations and has become adept at manifesting them in song (Also, if you’re curious, the cover art is a picture of molten garbage, captured by Jesse Draxler).
Witch Vomit – Abhorrent Rapture (20 Buck Spin)
Witch Vomit’s third EP Abhorrent Rapture is a good example of why there is still no school like the old school when it comes to death metal. Few forms of human expression capture the visceral quality of decay that we experience as we pass through life, and inevitably transition out of it, with as much gripping intensity as death metal. And despite having seemingly been perfected in the ’90s, the genre is still as relevant today as ever (partially because human beings continue to experience entropy, as I’m sure many of our readers over 30 are keenly aware).
Witch Vomit are one of the many geniuses of gruesome grandeur who manage to keep the death metal sounding freshly rotten and compelling, release after release, and Abhorrent Rapture is no exception. When it comes to filthy, murky guitars that sound like they were recorded in a slaughter house’s slurry pond, you can’t do much better (or is it worse?) than the acrid splashback and Autopsy-esque acrimony of “Necrometamorphosis,” or the dire attack and dregs spewing purge of “Purulent Burial Mound.”
The entire release is hopelessly putrid and nauseatingly unpalatable—and frankly, you should expect nothing less from a band calling themselves Witch Vomit. That’s not to say that the band lacks nuance—it takes a lot of skill to craft something that sounds this sick and wantonly ill. The way Witch Vomit transition into a soul-sapping, death-doom scored funeral march during the bridge of the titled-track, or how they manage to effortlessly flow in and out of the breakdown and groove parts on “Funeral Purgation”—like a python gliding effortlessly between stagnant pools of water—should be enough to banish all doubts as to the band’s mastery of form and dominion over all the unruly spirits who gnaw at the human heart like an overripe plumb.
Lamp Of Murmuur – Submission And Slavery (Self-Released)
The one-man black metal project Lamp Of Murmuur has only been with us since 2019, and yet its bleak, inward collapsing howl already feels eternal and like it has been with us for decades. Part of the band’s seemingly impossible sense of eternalness is owed to the sole member M’s indomitable enthusiasm for the grim primitivism of second-wave black metal, a style into which he breathes an icy, reanimating breeze of bewitching air with each new release. That said, the notoriety of the project is attributable, in no small part, to M’s willingness to deviate from these familiar forms and follow his twisted muse wherever it may take him- like a trusting calf, lead by its nosering. M’s last LP, Heir Of Ecliptical Romanticism, had, as you can imagine, a strong sense of dismal gothic mystique, harboring an uncanny sense of melody, buried deeply within the torment of its raw, ravenous expressions of wrath. This new EP, Submission And Slavery, allows the seedlings M planted in the night on the prior release to blossom into an estate of poisonous black roses, a garden of aching pleasure and blissful damnation, nurtured by the light of one man’s dark imagination. Synths purrs and sharp, jangly guitars entwine in an effortlessly natural dance of death, a symptom of a hopeless condition that can only be explained dy prolonged, direct exposure to The Cure. It’s like Dark Throne in dark sunglasses, designer leather, and slicked-back hair, or Mephisto Waltz’s boast corpse paint and spiked forearm gauntlets. This might all sound a little campy (and it kind of is) but it’s also so well integrated, and expressed in such an imperious fashion, that it’s almost impossible to resist the devious, malifactious of its otherworldly charm.
Wraith – Undo the Chains (Redefining Darkness Records)
Blackend speed junkies Wraith sound thoroughly unregulated and unrestrained on their third LP Undo the Chains. Letting loose on all cylinders, Wraith are a cold, tar-speckled blast of vicious, velocity-thirsty death drive, tilling up tracks of asphalt across the back roads that wind through the wreckage of what was once proudly proclaimed the American West. Whatever deficits you could have pointed to on their previous release Absolute Power, have been spotted, frozen, and chopped out by the band in a wicked display of aesthetic cryotherapy—making Undo the Chains, one lean, mean, and ultimate killing machine.
Comparisons have been made between Wraith and Power Trip, and certainly, the vocal howls and chewy guitar work of the crossover slash and punk-beat bruiser “Cloaked in Black” and the tank-treaded hardcore blitz of “Terminate” bare a striking resemblance to the legendary punk-hybrid’s early work. However, you’re going be hard-pressed not to get an itchy tickle of dread a la Toxic Holocaust from the irradiated half-life wafting off tracks like “Master of the Void” and the chaos sowing, diesel-fueled, calvary charge of “Victims of the Sword.”
Hellripper bursts forth into view as a spiritual sibling to the hourglass tipping triumph of “Time Wins,” while elsewhere grooves pulled from Show No Mercy go head-to-horns with a fiendish, Enforced style crossover, d-beat crunch on “Born To Die.” If you are looking to get flat-out stomped by a record today, look no further.
CARTHEIFSCHOOL – kenjimiyazawa (Transduction Records)
Hailing from Sapporo, Japan, Carethiefschool are a post-hardcore and screamo band who formed as recently as 2020. However, since their inception, they’ve been putting out an LP or EP just about every couple of months, like a little emotionally damaged assembly line. “Fusion” is the word to watch in regards to their sound in general, and this certainly wrings true for their most recent album EP kenjimiyazawa.
An album where elegant and gauntly angular guitars swoon and parry over a sea-sick, lapping thwap of a beat and post-no-wave Nomeansno-y groove. The band’s combination of elements and styles suggesting a jazz conscious evil twin to 57-11, or a calculating and obtuse, hyper-accelerated version of Q and not U.
What is most striking about their sound is the way that singer and guitarist Tomoya Murosaki makes disconcerting transitions between a plaintiff and lachrymose moan and what sounds like When Forever Comes Crashing-era Jacob Bannon experiencing come kind of glossolalia. kenjimiyazawa is weirdly refreshing and thoroughly unsettling, in equal measure, and without apparent apology.
Ritual Blade – Hate Overflow (Patient Zero Records)
Massachusetts hardcore band Ritual Blade sound like every odious feeling and dangerous thought your mind has ever had the misfortune to encounter, all stacked on top of each other in a layer cake of shit and blood—iced with glistening-black licorice icing blended with a bitter extract of nerve-wracking anxiety. The band have just released a demo they’re calling Hate Overflows, and if there is such a thing as truth in advertising, this thing would be up for a Clio Award.
“Mindless” sounds like something Trap Them would write after being forced into a knife fight with Nails. The blasting thrash of “Broke Code” sounds like High Command was in the process of burglarizing your house, but decided to take a break, put on a Pig Destroyer record, and fill your walls and furniture with a needless amount of buckshot. Amazingly, Ritual Blade saves the nastiest track for last. Not surprisingly, it’s the title track.
“Hate Overflows” is a blemishing vice of powerviolence poisoned threads and thrash tempered ill-will that feels like it is trying to bring the walls down around you in that Old Testament, Book of Judges, kind of way. I’d recommend that you up your insurance before listening to this thing, but I doubt that they cover crowd-killing-related injuries, especially when they occur in what’s supposedly the safety of your own home.
If you put your foot through your TV attempting a spin-kick, it’s on you. Besides, without a TV, you might finally catch up on some reading. Somewhat related, Issue #60 of New Noise‘s print edition is coming this fall [Editors Note: You do not have to break any of your home electronics in order to enjoy our print edition.]
Inhuman Condition – Rat°God (Listenable Insanity)
Hey! Are you folks ready for that new Massacre Resurgence record dropping later this month? It’s probably going to be pretty gnarly! Know what else is gnarly? The debut LP Rat°God from Florida death-thrashers Inhuman Condition. Now why would I mention Massacre in my introduction to Inhuman Condition’s album Rat°God? Well, it’s because they sound an awful lot like From Beyond-era Massacre! Which, to be clear, is: 1) a good thing, 2) not at all weird seeing as three of Inhuman Condition’s members (guitarist Terry Butler, bassist Taylor Nordberg, and drummer and vocalist Jeramie Kling) all played in Massacre at one point or another. I mean, what did you expect them to sound like, KC and The Sunshine Band?
OK, let’s cut the crap. What’s the deal with Rat°God anyway? Well for starters, the album is pure, no bullshit, guttural, locked groove thrash, seemingly brought to life for the sole purpose of teaching you what it’s like to party with a five-hundred-pound gorilla. It’s all fun and games until gentle giant realizes that he’s going to lose a third straight game of beer pong, and then all of a sudden, Magilla’s about to become a menace and about to turn you into a human Twizzler.
The riffs on Rat°God punch and dive with a harrowing buzz and an ominous shriek, like they’re readying to drop a 100-pound canister of jelled gasoline and white phosphorous on your head. The grooves reach out and grab you like a bouncer’s sleeper hold moments before you’re turned out of a pool hall and onto the street. And the drum work is peppered up, juiced out, and ready to reduce your face to hamburger salade. Rat°God is savage as hell and I don’t think Inhuman Condition would have it any either way. If that new Massacre record intends to leave a mark, it’s going to have some stiff competition.
Ozzuario – Mental Hell (Distort Discos)
If there was a style of metal that could possibly capture the weird point in history we find our selves in, where a global pandemic is paired with worsening climate change and a total collapse in faith in institutions (which is mostly said institution’s faults tbh), would you have believed that it could be a mix of industrial-techno and black metal? Well, Chicago’s Ozzuario thinks so, and the dire set of circumstances we find ourselves in is the inspiration for their latest album.
A voyage across a teaming ocean of collective trauma they’ve aptly titled Mental Hell, “Beginning of the End” starts innocently enough with some bedroom beats before bounding like a leopard on the tail of a gazelle into a frantic, barbed and bloodletting groove. “In My Blood” sounds like it could have filled a dance floor back in 1992, if it weren’t for the grim snap and spit of the black metal vocals that eddy around the mix as if they were stalking prey.
“Chaos Flames” sparks and sputters like a processor about to overheat while attempting to download a surprisingly danceable death-thrash groove. While the title track “Mental Hell” sounds like the band is attempting to punch a portal through to a new reality by overlaying Ulver’s “Graablick Blev Hun Vaer” with an unreleased Sisters of Mercy demo they procured from the sinister sacristy located in the back of a bombed-out and abandoned church. Our only hope maybe for them to succeed in their strange, twisted, and transcendent endeavors. God speed, ye profane pioneers.