100% Support: Hans’ Recommendations
On May 1st, Bandcamp will once again waive their percentage of proceeds, so that 100% of the money goes directly to the artists. We’ll be spending the week highlighting some releases that you might want to throw money at to help the creators through these shittiest of times.
Oil Spill – Ashlands
With a name and band photo like that, you might assume that Oil Spill isn’t your everyday black metal band. On the other hand, this demo was “recorded in a church beneath the full moon,” which sure seems like a quintessentially black metal thing to do. The truth lies somewhere in between. In terms of overall sound and vocal performance, second-wave diehards are gonna feel right at home, but the band’s propensity to go off the rails at any moment to indulge in spacious, doom-laden, slightly psychedelic parts (not to mention the way riffs bend and writhe) is more likely to turn the heads of experimental connoisseurs. See for yourself and give them some money for more cowboy hats.
Paralysis – Mob Justice
Given that at the time of this writing, there is only one track streaming and that the band’s debut at best hints at the greatness that is this record, this recommendation may require a bit of an act of faith, so I kindly ask you to trust me when I say that this is a fantastic thrash record. Take the style of crossover thrash that has been gaining traction in the past few years and takes its cues from the New York school of hardcore rather than old school hardcore punk (I guess Power Trip would be the most prominent example) and add to that a dash of the sinister atmosphere of acts like High Command. Pour the result into molds of highly engaging songwriting and you get the upcoming Paralysis album. Follow “Oblivious” through its many turns and give them some money for less garish band merch.
Begotten – If All You Have Known is Winter
If, like me, you have some reservations about depressive black metal, set those aside for a minute. If not, continue to the embed and tell me if you like this, because I’m not totally sure you will. With a rather crisp (yet not too clean) sound and often high tempo, Begotten seem to play more into the blackgaze-y sensibilities of something like Woods of Desolation rather than the crushing hopelessness of acts like None et al. Yes, it’s consistently sad throughout, but rather than funneling you down a corridor of misery, the band has more of an “open” approach to melancholy, tackling it from different angles and not neglecting its paradoxically beautiful, if not joyous, side. Take a walk in the woods and give them some money for… uh… I dunno. Light, maybe?