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Metal Bandcamp
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Metal bands and record labels on Bandcamp
Metal bands and record labels on Bandcamp

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"New York’s Unearthly Trance have been crafting earth-crushing sludge with a strange, darkly magical quality since 2000. Over the course of several releases, they’ve moved from a blackened sound to one that’s doomier, more psychedelic and experimental. Their latest Relapse release, Stalking the Ghost, sees them at their most expansive and diverse. Through eight songs, they cover a lot of ground, from pounding heavy rock to crushing, murky doom to droning noise, all with occasional clean vocals and guitar cutting through the ominous layers."

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"I'm not sure exactly how Perish, the debut full-length from Norway's Hymn made its way to my ears. It was likely something to do with the phrase “two man doom”. There's a magic that often happens under those conditions. OM, for example. Jucifer isn't always doomy but they have it. So do Black Tar Prophet (if you haven't heard of them, check 'em out.) I know there's other doom duos out there but they're failing to surface in my mind given the tonal onslaught of “Serpent” inflicting my aging ears at the moment."

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"Founded in Norway in 2005, Indie Recordings started as a side label for Indie Distribution, but quickly became one of the leading independent labels in Scandinavia. A major part part of their success stems from developing some of the better-known Norwegian bands - like Satyricon, Keep of Kalessin, and Sahg - into their roster, but they also have signed foreign bands, such as Cult of Luna and King. Because 2016 was such a big year for metal, we will take a look at some of the major releases the label graciously put out that year."

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"In recent years there’s been a lot of talk about female-fronted occult doom bands (which I love) but at the other end of the spectrum there seems to a lot of grind (hybrid) bands with female “singers” tearing heads off like it’s their reason for existing. Cloud Rat slays, Couch Slut has a new release in the works, Fuck the Facts have been at it forever, Closet Witch totally wrecked my brain and now Dakhma has set out to eviscerate with Suna Kulto."

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"I wonder if we'll ever look back through history and mark the mid 2010’s with an Icelandic black metal explosion. I wonder if there are even enough bands or albums to constitute said explosion, or if anyone will remember how it felt when there were so many bands coming out of one small island country known for mythical creatures. The year 2015 seems so very long ago, which was the release year of Misþyrming’s Söngvar elds og óreiðu, and Sinmara’s 2014 release Aphotic Womb seems even further away."

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"Grimen is Gloson's debut full length album. It expands their refreshingly straightforward take on post-metal injected with crushing doom metal. Each song gradually builds to a crescendo with few bells and whistles. Though undeniably indebted to post-metal pioneers Gloson's core sound takes much of their core sonic palette from doom/sludge."

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"In the Shadows could be considered a righteous 'comeback' record long before metal comeback records became a thing, as the majority of 80s acts hit their midlife crises and decided to give it that last college try. King Diamond and crew weren't leaping back into some trending rebirth of aesthetics in 1993...traditional heavy metal, especially here in the States, was a veritable dead zone. Beyond the touring stability of a few dozen acts, grunge and death metal had all but taken over, and groove metal reaching terminal velocity thanks to Pantera's success. That a defunct Danish staple like Mercyful Fate could return with such a fantastic record as this is a testament to how great they were in the first place, but color me unsurprised... "

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"Now when Belgium’s Wiegedood burst onto the scene in 2015 with De doden hebben het goed there was lots of talk about their name. Usually in jest. I was guilty of this. But despite what it looks like it actually translates to “death in the cradle”, commonly referred to as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Pretty painful times. And it was a painful album of atmospheric black metal that did a pretty good job of blowing minds away. A few months shy of two years later, they’re back with De doden hebben het goed II and blew my mind all over again."

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"Before I ever heard a note of music from rising, unidentified Portugal death metal collective The Ominous Circle, I saw their promo photos. The band’s aesthetic is essentially the overlap section of a Venn Diagram composed of Portal (frightening shrouds masking their possibly disfigured/monstrous faces) and Hooded Menace (leather jackets, an unspoken vibe that they can and will kick your ass). The aforementioned bands are two of my favorites in the genre, so I was already sold. That being said, you can’t always judge a book (or band) by its cover. In this instance, however, my preconceived expectations happened to be accurate. On their debut album Appalling Ascension, The Ominous Circle play vicious, genre-bending death metal that is somewhere in the realm of a less frenzied Portal or a more chaotic Hooded Menace, with plenty of their own unique brand of evil interwoven throughout."

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"Based on the spooky cover art, a foreboding mansion in front of a blood moon, issuing a river of lava, Ordos’ House of the Dead looks like it could house almost any metal sound. Thankfully Ordos sound like groovier Monolord meets Beastwars with a dash of Ghost. Trust Sweden, the land of Monolord, Salem's Pot, and Vokonis to deliver your stoner doom." 
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