Free Flush Vol 10
Alright, the bag of name your own price albums has filled up enough now and I can return to making these articles. To start off we’re going to get stoned with some huge compilations, then we’re going to get really gay before hitting on all sorts of death and sludge and whatever the hell else I find interesting. If you’re invested in NYOP stuff and want to contribute to the pool, then jump in the NYOP Bandcamp FB Group I made a while ago to get more suggestions for this column.
Doomed & Stoned Compilations for 2021
Stoner doom and rock from around the globe, there’s so many of these out already this year covering Germany, Scotland and Russia, as well as a very recent series of instrumental compilations. I just picked this album cover because it looks really cool. When it comes to stoner doom and rock, you’d be hard pressed to find a better curator, let alone one that curates for free. I can only aspire to focus like this as a curator myself but I never will be able to because I have ADHD. It’s just a fuck load of current stoner doom from around the world, if this is your genre then download all of these right now and find your new favorite bands.
Weedian Compilations for 2021
More! more stoner music. Weedian takes us to even more places around the world like Germany, Sweden, Italy, Poland and Norway. I haven’t smoked in like 6 weeks, it’s involuntary, please help me escape Brisbane. You don’t have to be stoned to enjoy stoner doom, that’s a common myth perpetuated by people who have lazy generalized music opinions. I just love to cop a bunch of bass to my brain while I go about my day, it’s a similar reason to why I like post-metal but kinda the opposite. Stoner is more of a bass-led groove and post is more of a guitar-led disassociation. Two sides of the same coin really. There’s so much variety, sometimes it’s heavy rock, or it can be psychedelic or prog infused. It can go hard in the doom direction and it’s related strongly to sludge. You’re bound to find something to interest you in these compilations.
Violet Cold – Violet Cold
I’m sure most of you have heard about Violet Cold this month, one way or another. Either you’re in the really cool corner of the online metal world and everyone you know has been raving about this, or you’re in the lame ass square side of online metal where everyone hates it. The basic premise is, what if black metal was about positive things like love and celebration… and being gay and communist? and it’s blackgaze to boot, which already pisses off elitists. It’s a strong statement as they’re from Azerbaijan, and this album cover replaces the the three colored stripes of the Azerbaijan flag with the colored strips of the pride flag. I’ve reviewed this one in-depth before, but I will add that the creator of this project has been a very positive influence in the LGBTQ metal world, not just through this album but also by doing things like donating 1k to fund a much smaller queer band, Seed, who are up next!
Seed – Dun Pageant
A huge aggressively queer experimental doom album from American band Seed, who have great control of energy on Dun Pageant. A lot of the time you’ll be lulled into a kind of beautiful dirge with clean vocals spewing poetic, and other times you’ll be snapped out of it by an assault of chaos where the vocalist Lux is holding your dumb ass by the throat and screaming. Whatever path the music chooses, it will engross you with it’s changes and measurements. There’s bits of dissonance and jazz but they’re melded so adeptly into the music that it never sounds overpowering, it’s creating layers. The guitar does some very interesting things with the high end and tones while the bass fills the room whenever it enters. The drummer every present to keep it all together like glue. A patient listen that is very rewarding.
Jisei – Bad Representation
This Canadian duo are making explicit “math adjacent false grind”, fast and heavy music for transphobes to die to. Oh cool, this isn’t Twitter so I can just say the TERFs should fuck off and die right? And racists? They can fuck off and die too right? Cool. This beast mode of an album explores both of those subjects as well as other deeply personal themes with a lot of ire and just… chaos. The vocals from Leda Paige (also from The Hallowed Catharsis) are some of the most intense and unhinged vocal stylings I’ve heard this year, so solid. It’s lyrics and vocals bring a lot to the violent heart of this project, I particularly love the lyric “CIS-CIETY STEP THE FUCK UP”. Alexia Page not only created a killer base sound for the project with the music but also really made it all pop with the mixing and mastering. Really punchy guitars and drums that provide a twisted playground for Leda’s vocals. I adore the triangle breakdown on THE PU$$Y IS THE GATEWAY TO THE SOUL.
Pessimista – Abandono e Desilusão
It’s not too often I get to really enjoy raw folksy black metal these days, because if the black nazi cunts are going to be anywhere, it tends to be there and so I avoid it completely. It’s too much energy to vet everything that comes across my radar. This is why I adore the rise of radical antifascist black metal, because now there are more bands who aren’t in that grey area where I’m like “Well, they aren’t explicitly nazis but they’re very mysterious and still could be” – they’re putting their hand up and saying “Nah we’re cool, fuck those other guys”. And that’s the sad state of black metal, bands have to aggressively state they aren’t nazis as to not be automatically confused with nazis. Pessimista from Brazil present a very emotional kind of raw across these three tracks, with blast beats and flutes. Good shit. Proceeds from purchases of the album go to help humanitarian aid groups in Brazil deal with the devastating outcomes of a fascist leadership.
Tromblon – Je me fiche d’être Français
An explosive and heavy as fuck screamo album from sad French boys Tromblon. I know a lot of metalheads are put off by that tag but like most genres, there’s so many hugely popular bands who took the spotlight away from a slew of really talented underground screamo artists who were doing really cool shit with heavy and sincere music. Give it a go, especially if you’re hesitant. It really is one of my favourite releases out of this entire year. The album name translates to “I don’t care if I’m French”, a statement of lament towards French nationalism and the general shitty state of the world making it harder to find love. They shift between hardcore styles seamlessly, sometimes sounding more chill beat poet like La Dispute and sometimes completely bouncing off the walls with Birds In Row style emo violence.
Bog Mönster – Hell Is Full
Putting death metal and doom metal together is always a good idea, and it’s even better when Australia’s Bog Mönster does it with a seemingly anarchist attitude. “No masters, no god/Submission, one with the Bog” and “Corruption, disease, and greed/Consumption, we bleed, they feed” are some choice lines along with the condemnation of colonisers. I’m not even intending for this to be a political volume of Free Flush, but everything is political whether you like it or not and I’m glad we’re getting so much of the good stuff in the underground metal scene now as opposed to generic anti-Christian metal or vague “fuck the government man” thrash. Themes aside, it’s a great EP and there’s a cassette which I’ll be grabbing sometime soon. For death doom it’s actually really groovy, but more in the sludge way than the stoner way. It manages to stay sharp throughout.
Caskets Open – Concrete Realms of Pain
You know how we all like Danzig‘s music but in recent years find it harder and harder not to cringe when we hear it because he can’t help but embarrass himself publicly annually? And how we all like Type O Negative‘s music, but can’t justify it considering Steele was dick? Well, if that is how you’re feeling then I suggest checking out this third album from Finnish trio Caskets Open who infuse that same gothic doom rock style with hardcore punk and it works really well. They have a fair share of blues licks that you’ll commonly hear in stoner rock as well. It’s a good mix of audio styles but there’s also a good balance of attitude on here from sombre to angry to sexy, with vocals bringing just as much delivery variety. We’ve got long moans, short moans, yelling, screaming, talking and even some OUGHHHs. Should go nicely for fans of Tribulation and Unto Others but want more of that punk Misfits kind of vibe. did this release in 2021 or 2020? I dunno, I’m seeing conflicting dates depending on the platform and it doesn’t matter.
Low Flesh – Low Flesh
The darkest wave of sludge yet is upon us. Low Flesh is an American project brought to us by members of Tomb Warden and Undeath, and on cassette through Transylvanian Recordings who have a heap of great stuff with name your own price digital downloads. This little rocker of a release is filled with sickening screaming sludge that all you Thou heads will eat up. I love the slow stomping of it, at least until it ramps up into a crowd killing frenzy. The album art and the little chainlink on the crease really sells this tape for me, I’ll be getting on it asap.
Forlorn Sky – Of Loss And Decay
I had finished this article but then while I was waiting to publish, I found this and had to come back to add one more. Forlorn Sky are from Switzerland and this EP is hectic old school metalcore full of breakdowns, deep growls and pig squeals. Very brutal shit, none of that mordern melo sound at all. It has a very raw black metal kind of production to it that sounds like the bass amp is going to explode from the level of distortion. The first track “Old Wounds” absolutely floored me. Wild.