Review Roundup: A Trip through the Spam Filter

Things are traditionally quiet in the music industry in the week between Xmas and New Year’s, so I’ve had more downtime than usual at work. I’ve taken the opportunity to catch up on some organization I let slide while the semester was finishing up, and in the process, discovered a bevvy of emails that had come in from the contact form that went to my spam folder.

The issue with the contact form has been corrected — so it shouldn’t be a problem going forward — but basically that means that people who had reached out to me from bands and other related concerns weren’t getting answers, and for that, I’m sorry. There’s stuff in there I feel like I’ve missed the boat on at this point. I’ve made commitments of my time elsewhere, and besides, I’d feel like a douche to go chasing all of them down, like, “Uh, hey man, yeah, send me your CD,” two months after the fact. What a jerk.

On the other hand, I feel bad for not getting back to them at all, so I thought what I’d do is hit up the Bandcamp links that were sent to me, and host the material here in this post, all in one shot, so that anyone interested can get a sense of what the bands are about and investigate further if so inclined. Made sense at 2AM last night when I thought of it, anyhow, so we’ll see how it works out.

We start in the UK:

What’s included in the player is just a six-minute sampler of British five-piece Dead Existence‘s two-song EP, Born into the Planet’s Scars. If the name sounds familiar, Dead Existence released a split with Dopefight in 2009, but even more than that, I feel bad for missing out on this one because it’s so fucking brutal. Even listening to the six minutes here, I feel like I’ve gotten by ass kicked. Dead Existence take the metal side of sludge and push it to deathly extremes, and with just two extended tracks, “Down the Crooked Path” (11.57) and “Gutless and Full of Shame” (14.33), I’d have been interested to hear how they filled that time. What they have here almost borders on hardcore in terms of the vocals and some of the chugging riffs, but it still has enough groove to cross over in terms of appeal. Heavy is heavy, and hopefully when their next platter arrives, I suck less at life and don’t miss it. They’re on Thee Facebooks here and Bandcamp here.

The threat is right there in the title, and while the three-song 2011 demo from UK blackened doomers Drear, dubbed We Will Use Your Blood for Fertilizer, is malevolent, even more than that, it’s oppressive atmospherically. These three songs were reportedly recorded in 2009, but the bitterness and smell of rotting flesh is still fresh on them. “Finally” offsets telltale stomp with progressive complexity and back-loaded forest screams, and “Madness and Civilization” incorporates both things — samples and disturbing drones culminate in what sounds like an emergency call, making way for the ultra-slow drone of “Capturecultivateconsume.” The real surprise (sorry to spoil it) comes at 2:58 into the closer, when the melee drops out and beautiful ambient guitar cycles in to make way for the finale. Impressive and unsettling in equal proportion. Check out their website here and Bandcamp here.

“Sun Doesn’t Rise,” the opening track of Low Sonic Drift‘s 2009 EP, Shadows of the Titan, has one of those “fuck yeah” riffs. Press play above and see if you don’t agree. The Scottish trio shares guitarist/vocalist Omar Aborida with psych purveyors The Cosmic Dead, and though Low Sonic Drift is less exploratory in a jam sense, the tracks vary widely, from the angular prog of “Hyperion” to the Indian-derived “Tamrine Namayesh.” “Shadows” effectively blends most of these elements and highlights some thrash besides, and more than anything else, I’m left wondering what Low Sonic DriftAborida plus bassist Paul Wilson and drummer Javaud Habibi — have been doing these last two years. Hopefully it’s not too long before another installment makes its way to the public, and when it does, I’m going to try my damnedest not to miss out. They’re on Bandcamp here and Blogspot here.

Released just at the beginning of December with a solid blue cover in a limited vinyl edition of 250 by Deep Distance Records, Kösmonaut I is the product of a one-man instrumental psychedelic electronica project from Texas-based Patrick R. Pärk. I’m not sure if Kösmonaut really fits with what this site covers, but then again, fuck it, it’s at least interesting. These five pieces were previously available on a limited CDR called Voyage of Time, and Pärk seems to be rather prolific, since by either name you want to take it, it’s one of four records he’s put out this year. I guess it’s pretty easy for material to pile up when there’s no one else to argue with and you’re running loops the whole time. I dig the spacey ambient stretches more than the “active” material, and I expect the appeal overall would be pretty limited, but maybe it’s just weird enough to make a few friends around these parts. On Bandcamp here and Blogspot here.

I make no secret of the fact that I’m a nerd for Swedish heaviness, so it’s with a sad heart that I listen to Malva, the self-released debut from Gothenburg‘s One Inch Giant. Recorded completely live, it promises almost immediately that “Rock and roll can make us ripe and bold,” and listening to the five tracks that follow, I believe it. “Fur of the Lord” is drenched in fuzzy mammoth charm (befitting Malva‘s album art), and the Fu Manchu-ism of “Feed the Fire” is put to the test by the slower grooving riff of “Echoes in the Night.” God damn it. This is really good. The vocals are a little high in the mix, but who knows how that translates from a stream to the physical disc or actual download? One Inch Giant are unsigned as yet, but the poise with which they make their way through the seven minutes of “Treasures that Betray” hints that perhaps that’s a temporary condition. Either way, Malva rocks. Check the band out on Thee Facebooks here and Bandcamp here.

Well, that’s it. There were others, but I think we’ll leave it there for now. Again, I’m sorry to the people involved in these bands who reached out to me that I wasn’t able to get back in a reasonable amount of time, and I hope that this coverage — however miniscule it might be as compared to a full review around here (the difference, I suppose, being that someone might actually read these blurbs the whole way though) — makes up in some small way for my dickheadedness. Thanks for reading.

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One Response to “Review Roundup: A Trip through the Spam Filter”

  1. […] A bit old review which we found, but that’s is cool, we like age, and it’s positive nonetheless:  […]

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