Free Metal Detector: Engulf, Beastwars, Dumbsaint, and more!



As some of you may know, we periodically collect, collate and collaborate to discuss some of the scores we have been copping on Bandcamp. All these releases are Name Your Price at time of printing, which as some of you frugal fucken free-market free-loaders have no doubt ascertained by now, means you can type $0 and get them for free. However, I do encourage you to chuck these people some coin for their art as they truly deserve it, otherwise we wouldn’t bother spending our free time writing about them.

First up, some absolutely punishing death metal courtesy of a dude from New Jersey who has just unleashed a couple of tracks he wrote in 2015 but were never formally released. Under the moniker of Engulf (not to be confused with Turkish death metal kings Engulfed), Hal Microutsicos has single-handedly written some Morbid Angel-esque bangers that simply put most of the genre’s progenitors’ current performances to shame. Hit play on “Aeons Of Hate” below and if within 10 seconds you’re not stomping on your merry way over to the Buy Now/Download button, you’re a fucking muppet.

Secondly, on not such a righteous note, New Zealand riff-lords Beastwars recently announced that their vocalist Matt has been diagnosed with cancer. To help out with costs of his treatment and recuperation, the band have honourably made all their releases Name Your Price on Bandcamp, and are selling a bunch of awesome vinyl/merch online. Super Nintendo-Chalmers informs me the vinyl may already be sold out but if you want to pick up some truly jamming sludge-tunes while helping out a good cause then swing them some cash in return for those sweet-arse riffs.

Staying in the Southern Hemisphere for a moment, we’re going on a brief sojourn through the cinematic scope of Australia’s Dumbsaint. The instrumental act recently completed their first European tour and have just uploaded a two-track intermission of sorts prior to their tour with Mono. Mixed and mastered by Brendan Sloan (Convulsing), these two tracks continue on from where we were left in the wake of 2015’s impeccable work Panorama, In Ten Pieces. The first track “Another Scene” is an exemplary foray into the gently pulsing lens that we’ve come to expect from the band. However, the second song “Ghoul” wanders an intriguing tangent into some more exotic territory. A subtly Eastern-sounding undercurrent pervades the middle section, showing the band are somehow still expanding their sonic palette without compromising their deft dynamic.

For those horror junkies still on that Halloween tip, Kevin Hufnagel celebrated slasher season by covering a few classic theme songs, and it almost goes without saying that they are amazing. What else would you expect from a guitarist who is simultaneously involved with Dysrhythmia, Gorguts, Vaura, and Sabbath Assembly? My pick of the three is the somewhat unexpected inclusion of the intro theme to Unsolved Mysteries. There’s something about hearing those chilling arpeggios once again that awakened a sinister spectre from the dark recesses of my mind. Actually wait, that’s just general childhood memories. Nevermind. For those who worship at the altar of the Tall Man alongside our resident Swedeath shred-merchant Scrimm, there’s also a phfantastic cover of the main theme from Phantasm. Check it out…

Lastly, while we’re on the subject of Dysrhythmia, I was astutely recommended a practically undiscovered gem from Italy last week by the aforementioned Convulsing/Dumbsaint guitarist/savant Brendan. Tagged as “Liturgic black metal with a pounding heart”, this “demo” of “raw recordings” from Sol Iustitiae is pretty damn stunning. With essentially no other information, I gave it a shot and had grabbed a copy before the first track had even finished. Evidently, vocals will be added at a later date but they’re quite unnecessary as the chord voicings and immersive melodies presented on Iam, Christe, Sol Iustitiae provide more than enough to stimulate the mind. Things start out in a serene post-metal realm on the first track but quickly head into more avant-garde territory from there. While the similarities to Marston, Hufnagel, et al are an apt point of reference, where they tend to err on the side of outright mental fuckery, Sol Iustitiae offer a slightly more subdued form of perplexation which gradually darkens as it progresses through its 45-minute run-time. Grab this one before it ends up costing you the €10 it is no doubt worth.

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