Free Flush Vol 18
I know this is the end of the year, but this isn’t an end of year thing ok? I’m not doing that this year, this is all new 2022 recommendations and if you’re familiar with this column and myself at all (why do I never introduce myself anymore for new readers anyway? I’m not very good at this oop im abusing the brackets), then you are in for a treat because I am covering bands in a predictable manner. If you want technical death metal you’ll have to pay for a vinyl shipped from EU 8 weeks late, I’m sorry. These are FREE releases for commie degenerates and unemployed anarchists. Only free digital download is real.
I’m Melinda, and in the words of Lil Peep, if you love me hit me up the flip phone.
I had to come edit this article after I already submitted just to add this album because it is incredible and I found it last minute thanks to watching our friend Maddy’s end of year videos. I am not a blackened thrash type of person, that much is clear after the last couple of years, so when I say this album fucking floored me there’s something going on here. That something is the prog element, I can fuck with most extreme genres if you throw a little bit of prog in there to make it spacey.
Ossuary Wraith – Penance
Ok ok I had to edit the article a second time because this little EP just hit my lap and I am excited about it. This is raw crusty antifascist black metal with trans members, so you know it’s going to get LOUD. Chud-destroying; queer as fuck; raw as fuck; mad as fuck black metal. (Update 2: The band has broken up, sadface.)
We Gaze Into Sunlight – Zerfall
It’s screaming, it’s sad and it’s violent, so I could call this emoviolence or screamo but also there’s a huge post-metal and even black metal element which…. well we’re just back to emoviolence again, the longform version. Post-hardcore, that what they call it, I remember now. We got there. The kind of tune where it’s hectic and fuzzy and shouty for a good while and then dips into clean guitars and space before some guy starts just fucking screaming about distressing things in a quiet room. In that moment you are like “I cannot understand you, but I know what you mean in my soul”. Then there’s ascending clean tremolo over held screams and you’re back into the shit. I’m basically just describing the 9-minute track “Great Son” which does a good job of maintaining flow and impact. An impressive debut.
Earth & Elsewhere – Earth & Elsewhere
Look, I’m not doing the post metal screamo opening bit again. Just know that if anyone makes anything emotionally violent that utilizes the space and atmosphere of post metal I will listen to it. Sprawling pensive music backing a guy just screaming about shit is all you need for an afternoon, I’m addicted. When the tone shifts up towards the end of “Heart Of Stone” the “dream metal” tag on Bandcamp begins to make more sense. I love that shoegaze-ass guitar tone, but I also love the crunchy post metal tone. Gang vocals are a highlight when they show up like on “Bastard Son”. I can’t wait for more of this, it’s very nicely paced and contains shorter tracks where this genre is well known to push out tenners. It’s like they have put longform into a box if that makes any damn sense. It has the experience of a post metal song with the length of a hardcore song. I feel like half the band only listens to metal and the other half listens to a lot of hardcore.
Glassing – Dire and Sulk EP
(Post hardcore/sludge, USA)
In Australia we say THATS NAUT A GLASSIN THIS IS A GLASSIN and hit each other in the face with glasses. Glassing became so prominent in Australia that bars straight up banned glasses in the smoking areas. You go out, the 8pm night air hits your face for the first time that weekday after pumping 150 into the pokies and you’re lighting a dart and some cunt just has to say something and then bam you’re glassing him. Belligerent, direct and tragic—this band is some seriously vicious hardcore. This is like if a puddle of blood with one tooth per dozen shards of glass could walk around and talk shit about your girlfriend for no damn reason. Look I forgot what I was saying because I went around the house doing stuff but did you know I forgot to stop listening to this and have had the two tracks on repeat for three hours now? Violence CALMS by brain. Perhaps Glassing (the band) will also become prominent in Australia. Disclaimer: Melinda has been legally advised to disclose she has never glassed anyone in the continent of Australia.
Yarostan – II
(Post hardcore, France)
Oh cool now for a change of pace, so this one is post hardcore and it’s one of my favorite post hardcore albums of the entire year. This has some very energetic drumming. The drummer stands out even during the more chill parts. There’s a lot of nice sequencing going on here with a solid variety of pacing that lends itself to repeat listens. I’ve been listening to this one so much but no matter how many times I repeat it, at some point it always gets to these angelic gang vocals which never fail to utterly capture me each time. They’ve constructed this so well.
Survived By Nothing – Permanent Wounds
Bit of a bounce bit of a chug, it’s some concrete metalcore. I really don’t have anything to say but I really wanted to include it because I think they have a cool aesthetic and a competent sound but only 2 supporters.
Ape Unit – Filth
Colorful noisey powerviolence for those of us who have simply given up on having an attention span. They aren’t even political either which is wild, why am I even talking about this if it’s all just humor and good times? What am I supposed to do with that? You can’t dismantle the state military apparatus with just good times—the CIA tried that already. Here’s the classic grindcore tongue-in-cheek naming convention with tracks like “Casting Couch Surfing ” and “Insect Welfare” that are literally just one line little jokes with no more depth but they wrote a whole ass song around. That is the heart of grind and you will find it here. Get loud, go ape.
Woundlicker – Longing Thaws
“A girl with a distortion pedal, following bad ideas to worse conclusions” should be enough to sell you if you like weird noisy music fusing genres like cybergrind, black metal and gothic. Longing Thaws has a lot of heart that pierces through the abrasive chaos with sad moving little moments that damn near give me butterflies. Fun bouncy electronics. Given the genre mix there’s also so much hectic anger and aggression on display and then… a luscious damn near erotic goth rock song called “Cold” that is allowed to soar freely as a song without interruption from the nightmare glitching and switching enveloping the rest of the tracks. There’s so much here if you just chill and listen distinct pieces will jump out at you and patterns will begin to form in what formally felt like abstract soup the longer it goes on. I did not put this on expecting to be so damn charmed.
Ashed – Festering In Bongwater EP
(Brutal death/weed, Canada)
I couldn’t be listening to this at a better time as I’m out of fresh weed slowly hitting the blackest resin cones you’ve ever seen. So, the duality of brutality and weed is in full effect in my life right now. They do a disgusting guttural, I cough my guts up disgustingly. I’m coughing so much that I am forming a six pack on my stomach. It’s super simple weed-themed gorey slam but I like where the project is going.
Cradle – S/T
(Blackened deathcore, USA)
I don’t know how you have an album this hard with that artwork and that few Bandcamp supporters. Get in here and grab this shit for real money so they can make back the Paolo Girardi fee. “Cradle” isn’t exactly an SEO friendly band name. Blackened hardcore often verging into crossover and metallic hardcore variants really sticking to the heavy factor more than raw hardcore expressive factor that metalheads might call “melodic”. That doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of the latter, as you will hear on “Swallowing Bullets”, the band is very able to slow down the beat to throw in some emotive vocal lines. They just prefer to go hard, often sounding more like an extra spicey metal band rather than a hardcore band. They should have huge appeal to both sides of the equation.
VoidDweller – USURPER
(War Metal, USA)
Disgusting modern war metal that makes your average war metal sound like larping music. So much noise and blasting, the bloody bashing of war torn bodies. This is the Trojan Horse slit your commanders throat and shit on the throne approach, an incredibly based one and far removed from the many imperialist glorification takes on this genre. There’s fuck tons of energy and hectic beats with some sick growling and screaming—it’s entirely wild and refreshing. You guys are gonna love this one, it’s not my usual aesthetic here.
Human Empathy Machine – Party In The Abattoir
Self described as “nihilist party music” and I guess I’m a nihilist because it’s my kind of party. A small project that has a nice large sound that delivers on the violence with a sense of glee and catharsis. Also self described as “An album about how much I hate England,” which fair enough, I would make that album too and I don’t even live there. From beginning to end it’s an unrelenting pressure that only gets more hateful as the tracks progress.
Codespeaker – S/T
(Post metal, UK)
Fuck yeah post metal. Have I said post metal today? This is your sludge approach to the genre with jagged movements and a sense of deadliness. If slugs could hold guns. Codespeaker is a very serious bit of music coming in at 45 minutes but when post metal is just air to you, as it is to me, it passes by very quickly. It transcends the terrain by sheer force, the hypnotic dirge of it summons images of giant armored snakes penetrating mountainsides to enter the earth. Oh hey the random clean vocals on “Vrodi”, near the end of the album, are very nice. I could have actually used more of that earlier on but I can also see how that would make this project much more of a post hardcore (oop) project than I think is intended here, it was a nice momentary departure. Overall, good shit.
Verminthrone – Kingdom Of worms
Sludgecore, groove. These are genres that do not have the “Post” prefix but come alarmingly close to some. This is upbeat and nasty. The stoner element of the sludge mingles well with the groove and the core spit-growling. There’s chug, girth and a constant punch underneath it all that would make this a good album for moshing at the very serious metal gig. There’s a physicality to it that always has me imagining it being performed live instead of all the other dumb shit I usually think about when listening to music.
ENNUI + APOSTLES OF ERIS – Split
EMO FUCKING VIOLEENCE LETS GO. The mixing on this goes off, the screaming comes through the headphones in such a visceral manner it’s like I’m in the room with them. When the drums, guitar and vocals all come crashing down you begin to wonder if things will ever return to normal or will it always be this way? Will this pummeling of my very soul ever cease? And then the tension will be cut with a machete via breakneck atmosphere that acts as a sort of temporarily utterly unstable comfort. The few spoken word parts are good and mixed appropriately lower than the screaming. I am honestly mad hyped right now, I love the really raw abrasive emo stuff so much. I should mention this is a split with the first three tracks being Ennui and the last track—which is as long as the previous three tracks together—is by Apostles Of Eris (hail), who have a similar exciting rough style, but elongated and shambling.
Homeskin – Life’s Wishes to Tears, Itch Ecstasy, and whatever the hell else was put out this year that I haven’t covered yet
(Black metal, USA)
Two things are occurring simultaneously: Gary is losing his mind during the process of making so much music and I am losing my mind during the process of reviewing so much music in a day and now his music and my brain are completely fucking mushy. Itch Ecstasy opens up like someone who flushes their head down the toilet just to cool down in the summer. It’s the audio equivalent of listening to a baby being born incorrectly. I don’t think Homeskin is even real, it’s just a reocurring nightmare some closeted vaporwave fan in a black metal band keeps having. It’s not music anymore, it’s a psychedelic ritual that no one is enjoying but absolutely must proceed, it is of utmost importance.
“Moist with Regret”, while a mood, is also another horrifying opener that still manages to sit comfortably in your ear like a little demon that’s always going off about some hectic shit but isn’t big enough to actually hurt you physically. Sure you’re technically “ok,” but you’re constantly appearing deranged. Fuck music. There I said it. I’m done with this shit. I just described so many albums and now it’s all just devolved down to me hunched in a dark room listening to the MP3 version of a snuff film screaming “YESSSS” whenever something spicey happens like a sicko. Homeskin should be banned, but like in that sexy ’90s way where it just made you more popular with the fucked up kids. Homeskin albums should only be heard by finding them on a USB stick in the woods near weirdly placed bones.
See you cunts next year. ~ Melinda