10 (more) metal albums from 2020 we recommend buying on Bandcamp today
Back on March 20, the first time Bandcamp waived its cut of sales and gave all revenue directly to artists and labels, we listed 15 metal releases from 2020 that we recommend on Bandcamp. Bandcamp is doing the same thing today (and they'll do it on the first Fridays of June and July too), and of course we still recommend those same 15 albums if you don't have them already, but we also have 10 more 2020 metal releases available on Bandcamp that we're recommending today.
In addition to digital downloads, Bandcamp also offers vinyl, CD, cassette, and merch , so don't forget that today's a good day to use the platform if you're in the market for physical music too. Bandcamp also offers pre-orders, and we've got a couple of those listed too. Read on for our list (in alphabetical order), which hopefully inspires you to pick something up today...
Barishi - Old Smoke
Season of Mist
We said: The trio ended up writing some of their longest songs yet, with sprawling instrumental passages that really allow them to spread their wings as instrumentalists. [Graham] Brooks has more of a death-ier growl than [former vocalist Sascha] Simms did, so Barishi are a little heavier now too. The last album shared some musical DNA with the proggy sludge of Baroness, but this new one more closely resembles the death/sludge/psych of Inter Arma.
Also, don't forget Barishi are doing a livestreamed album release show on Saturday (5/2).
Black Curse - Endless Wound
Sepulchral Voice Records
One of the year's very best black/death metal fusions is the debut album by Denver's Black Curse, who may have only just released their first LP but who have been around for a while and feature some very familiar faces. They're fronted by Gravetorn, who also fronts Spectral Voice (and is the only SV member not also in Blood Incantation), and the lineup also includes Spectral Voice/Blood Incantation's Morris Kolontyrsky, Khemmis' Antinom, and Primitive Man's Jonathan Campos. They formed back in 2015 as Maliblis (and released a demo under that name in 2017), but then this project took a backseat as members focused on other bands. Thankfully they returned to it, though, because Endless Wound rivals even the most ultra-hyped albums these guys' other bands have put out.
Cauldron - Last Words: Screamed From Behind God’s Muzzle EP
The Coming Strife
There's a great hardcore scene happening in the UK right now, and one of the most promising records from that scene this year is the latest EP from metalcore up and comers Cauldron. They've done gigs in their home country with Year of the Knife, Vein, Chamber, and others, and they would've played the stacked, Knocked Loose-headlined Wild Rose fest in Calgary last weekend if not for coronavirus, and if you like those bands (or classics like Poison The Well) but haven't checked out Cauldron yet, you should definitely change that. This EP is high-quality metalcore -- the perfect mix of bludgeoning, atmospheric, and melodic -- and it features guest vocals by Mortality Rate's Jess Nyx and Phaze Two's Dan Wilson, so fans of those bands should make sure they don't sleep on this EP too.
Caustic Wound - Death Posture
Speaking of debut albums by bands with familiar faces, Seattle's Caustic Wound features members of MORTIFERUM, Cerebral Rot, Fetid, and Magrudergrind, and their recently released Death Posture is a dose of throwback deathgrind that sounds like pure filth. They sound like they very intentionally wanted this to sound like a lo-fi obscurity from the early death metal era, and going by Profound Lore's description on Bandcamp, that seems even more safe to assume. The label says the album "captures the aesthetic and palpitations of the classic old-school era of the genre (not exceeding 1992)," and Death Posture does a fine job living up to that description. This isn't about pushing anything forward, but if you're looking for retro death metal that really brings you back to the early days, this'll do it.
Fluisteraars - Bloem
Langdon said over at Invisible Oranges: It’s not uncommon these days to hear black metal described as beautiful; blackgaze, after all, seemed to finally fatally burst open that door forever. But sometimes you hear a record and it reminds you of the very first time you had the thought, like the shale-like scales of cynicism fall free from you. You’ll be hearing more from me very soon about Fluisteraars, but it’s worth noting to you as soon as possible that this is one of the most beautiful and poignant releases I’ve heard this year from metal or beyond. Springtime black metal? Not since Bergtatt has it been this good.
Oranssi Pazuzu - Mestarin kyns
We said: It’s hypnotic and intense in a way that’s almost Swans-like, and like that band, Oranssi Pazuzu’s songs are so easy to lose yourself in that they never feel as long as they are (the shortest song on this album is over seven minutes). Like its predecessor, Mestarin kyns is a complete fusion of the evilness of metal and the mind-bending, transportive feeling of psychedelia. Some of the other “psychedelic metal” bands to stir up buzz in recent years keep their psych parts and their metal parts separate, but not Oranssi Pazuzu. They stand out by being so good at doing both at exactly the same time.
Paysage d'Hiver - Im Wald
due June 26 via SPKR
Swiss one-man black metal band Paysage d'Hiver has been prolific and consistently great for over 20 years, and Im Wald is his first full-length in seven years. It actually got a very limited digital release in January, so it's already stirred up some buzz, but it officially comes out in June and you can pre-order it now. It's got two full hours of music, and the vinyl release comes in a hand-assembled wooden box set. Meanwhile, the project's mastermind and sole member Wintherr told IO which records got him into metal. Check it out.
Pre-order it on Bandcamp.
Ulcerate - Stare Into Death and Be Still
Debemur Morti Productions
We said: They're the square peg to just about every subgenre's round hole. Their sound has elements of various styles of death metal, but also the atmosphere of post-metal, the weight and pace of sludge, the song structures of prog, and so much more happening all at once. For Ulcerate, it's easier to talk about the mood they create than what genre they are. When I listen to Stare Into Death and Be Still, Ulcerate's great sixth album in an already-great discography, I'm not really thinking about other bands or specific styles of music -- I'm just thinking about how dark and intense and overwhelming it is.
Ulthar - Providence
due June 12 via 20 Buck Spin
One year after Vastum released the great Orificial Purge, Ulthar (whose lineup includes Vastum guitarist Shelby Lermo on guitar/vocals) are set to release their highly anticipated sophomore album. Ulthar's 2018 debut Cosmovore was one of the finer debuts in this whole death metal revival we've been experiencing, and going by the sound of Providence's lead single "Through Downward Dynasties," this new one might be even better.
Pre-order it on Bandcamp.
Umbra Vitae - Shadow of Life
Having explored his softer side in Wear Your Wounds, Converge frontman J Bannon is taking the exact opposite approach with the debut album by his new band Umbra Vitae, the most punishingly heavy album he's released in years. "While working on the previous Wear Your Wounds album, my love for Death Metal was rekindled," J said, "likely [as] a reaction to working on non-aggressive music for such a concentrated period." Umbra Vitae (who share two other members with Wear Your Wounds and also include members of The Red Chord, Job for a Cowboy, and more) may be directly inspired by death metal, but they aren't just hopping on the new death metal bandwagon. If anything, Umbra Vitae reminds you that death metal has been in J's musical DNA since the early Converge days, and the way he interprets the genre in Umbra Vitae isn't a million miles away from the more chaotic moments of Converge. If you like "Concubine," you'll like this.