Tuesday 19 June 2018

SLUDGECAMP: A deep dive into the newest black/death metal releases on Bandcamp w/c 15/06/2018

By: Daniel Jackson


Welcome to the inaugural edition of THE SLUDGELORD’s “Sludgecamp”.  I’ve been doing my own weekly deep dives into the newest black and death metal releases on bandcamp for some time through the joy of the site’s “Discover” feature, so I thought “why not share what I’ve found with the rest of you”?

I’ll be covering new releases first, followed by classic albums that have been recently added to the site, and finally some notable pre-orders for albums coming out down the road. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Released the week of 15/6/2018:

Dryad, “The Silurian Age”

My favorite discovery of the week goes to Iowa’s Dryad. The band have crafted an absolutely brilliant style for themselves with a combination of raw, primitive black metal, hardcore punk, and moody keyboards. As of right now, it’s my favorite release of the year, with the only negative being that I’m selfishly disappointed that it isn’t a full length’s worth of material.

Forlorn Citadel, “Songs of Mourning”

The bandcamp page for this release indicates that this is a remastered demo release from May, but is seeing a new official release through Dark East Productions. With that out of the way, this is absolutely essential if you’re a fan of Summoning. People have understandably heaped praise upon Caladan Brood’s ‘Echoes Of Battle’ from 2013 for its brilliant recreation of that classic Summoning sound, but Forlorn Citadel is every bit as good at Caladan Brood, and maybe even a tad better. They absolutely NAIL that buzzing, reverb-drenched guitar tone, and the vocals are excellent as well.

Tired Lord,Demo”

Tired Lord is apparently a one-and-done project out of San Francisco, and it’s a shame they’re only ever putting out this one demo. This is black metal with a strong emphasis on groove, which is all the more impressive when you consider that the drums here are programmed. If you’re a fan of Cobalt or Black Anvil, to cite a couple of loose comparisons, you’d do well to give this a shot. Tired Lord, for their ultra brief existence, were undoubtedly a riff factory. (Note: I’m cheating a little bit here as this was actually released June 8th, but From Corners Unknown Records uploaded it during the week of the 15th.)

Ashen Chalice, Kroz život sa razbijenim očima”

Croatia’s Ashen Chalice are a bit of a mystery. No social media presence to speak of and the band seem intent on drowning their music in reverb and fuzzy distortion. The focus here is all on mood and atmosphere, as opposed to traditional songwriting and memorability. Typically that wouldn’t be my thing here, but the ambient world this album creates is so engrossing that I can’t help but recommend it. This is the sort of musical alchemy that gets me to throw my standard tastes out the window for the sake of getting lost in new sonic worlds.

Sanguinary Trance, “Wine, Song and Sacrifice”

I had a hard time finding much info on Austria’s Sanguinary Trance. The band seem to have a thing for Dionysian mysteries, as it relates to wine and ritual. This is a case where the aesthetic elements in the album cover and in the song titles set the table nicely for the music, which could be called black metal with a sense of drama, without crossing over into Cradle of Filth style shlock.

Newly available through Bandcamp:

Imperial Crystalline Entombment, Apocalyptic End in White”

A nostalgic pick here, as Imperial Crystalline Entombment originally released this album back in 2004. The album’s a total blastfest, and acts as something of an American counterpart to Cadaver Inc’s black metal and grindcore hybrid from the prior year. For their part, the music mixes in some Immortal (naturally) and a bit of death metal into the mix as well, which makes sense for a project brought to us by members of Aurora Borealis.


Kosmogyr, “Eviternally: The Remixes” (Out 13/7/2018)

A unique idea here, as Kosmogyr have commissioned various artists to remix their excellent debut EP. The idea of a remix album isn’t unique on its own, but when the original album is this kind of muscular melodic black metal, that can change things quite a bit. I’m woefully underqualified to evaluate this sort of project, but the idea warrants attention and investigation.

Hellish, “The Spectre Of Lonely Souls” (Out 31/8/2018)

Unspeakable Axe is always coming up with the goods, counting Scorched, Voidspawn, Act of Impalement and more as some of the great previous and upcoming releases through their label. Add Hellish to that list too, as their particular brand of blackened thrash features riffs that are smarter and catchier than you’re likely to find from your average 1st wave diehards, as evidenced by the album’s advance track “The Walker of Shadows”.

Gravecoven, “Coughing Blood” (Out 11/7/2018)

Some strong sounding black metal infused doom coming to us care of Transylvanian Tapes in just a few weeks. This has the downtuned filth you love in your doom, coupled with the chilling atmosphere you want in your black metal and Gravecoven pull the combo off nicely.