Bandcamp Waives Fees for 24 Hours: A Decibel Buyer’s Guide, Part V

With COVID-19 continuing to affect just about everything in the world, Bandcamp extended its Bandcamp Friday program—a 24-hour period where the service waves its normal cut of all sales, giving 100% directly to the artist—through the rest of the year.

In a post on their website, Bandcamp said listeners have spent over 75 million dollars since the pandemic began in March, with Bandcamp Fridays accounting for a portion of it. Today is August’s Bandcamp Friday, so Decibel staff selected some of our favorite picks on Bandcamp to help get your shopping spree started.

Caged – Stricken by Continuance

Formed out of the ashes of Philadelphia sludge band Black Urn, Caged ride a wave of sludge, death and doom on their first EP, Stricken by Continuance. Crawling, corrosive riffs are responsible for the meat of the release, laying out a backdrop for vocalist John Jones, whose screams add another layer of misery to the EP.

“Regarding the lyrics and theme, I received a solid piece of advice from a friend earlier in the year which hits the nail on the head in terms of my headspace going into the record as well as my philosophy to live by: ‘bury it deep down and don’t talk to anyone about it,’” Jones tells Decibel.

Stricken by Continuance is out today via Transylvanian Tapes. Recommended for fans of Primitive Man, Dopethrone, Hell, Bell Witch and Spectral Voice.—Vince Bellino

Various Artists — 19 Notes on a Broken System

Wrote up this fantastic, extremely diverse benefit comp with proceeds going to Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, an organization which seeks to “connect the community of black trans women and non-binary femmes in the arts & to build power among ourselves,” a couple weeks back, but from both a “killer cuts” and “helping create positive change” standpoint it is well worth another signal boost. Curator interview/song picks here.—Shawn Macomber

Krallice – Mass Cathexis

Mass Cathexis—Krallice’s second collaborative album with Neurosis’ Dave Edwardson—is a mesmerizing, dissonant and technical piece of black metal, once again cementing Krallice as one of the genre’s most innovative bands.—Vince Bellino

Unwound — Rat Conspiracy

Word came down yesterday that Unwound bassist Vern Rumsey—a true innovator and, by all accounts, class act—has tragically passed away. If you’d like to honor his memory by getting down with some Unwound, 2014’s Rat Conspiracy collects two of the most seminal, unfuckwithable noise rock records ever: Fake Train (1993) and New Plastic Ideas (1994). RIP Vern, and thanks—I’m going to listen to these records for the rest of my life.—Shawn Macomber

Year of the Knife – Internal Incarceration

The future of metallic hardcore is in good hands if Internal Incarceration is any indicator. Wasting no time with introductions or atmosphere, Year of the Knife serve up thirteen songs that offer an abundance of fight riffs, breakdowns and mosh parts. If you didn’t miss shows yet, you will after hearing this record.—Vince Bellino

Serpents — Scongiuri

Damn. Legendary former Crisis vocalist and multimedia artist Karyn Crisis is having a killer, ultra-productive year—and far too few of you have taken notice! First, there was a stellar new album from her occult metal band Gospel of the Witches at the end of last year. Then she launched a Patreon—which has now migrated to a patronage page on her personal website—which I’ve been enjoying the absolute hell out of and is full of affecting, soul-enhancing “perks.” And now comes this eerie, reality-warping ambient collaboration with Italian “sound engineer, DJ, producer and remixer” Luciano Lamanna. Pick your poison.—Shawn Macomber

Gaerea – Limbo

In contrast to Year of the Knife’s new album, Gaerea’s Limbo is all about the atmosphere. The varied riffs, dissonant melodies and blast beats all contribute to the album’s overbearing feelings of sadness and rage. Limbo carries on where Gaerea left off on their 2018 full-length, Unsettling Whispers (also available on Bandcamp).—Vince Bellino

Dying Out Flame — Shiva Rudrastakam

I would really love to eventually see a follow-up to this “Vedic death metal” landmark, among my favorite records of 2014—and one I return to often. Back around its release the Kathmandu, Nepal outfit’s charismatic and eloquent frontman Aabeg Gautam described the band’s sound to me as, “Hindu themes derived from ancient Vedic philosophy/mythology and literature, incorporating ancient Sanskrit shlokas, and fusing traditional Hindu classical music to brutal death metal.” To me, it’s a debut on par with Nile’s Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka.—Shawn Macomber

Plague Bringer — As the Ghosts Collect, the Corpses Rest

Hard to believe this record is fifteen years old—and still so wildly, criminally underrated. One of the best industrial death grind records ever, in my opinion, and in a complete league of its own.—Shawn Macomber

Mesarthim – The Degenerate Era

I’ve had some difficulty with Mesarthim’s more recent output. It isn’t bad, per se, but they rested too much on the trance elements of their music. Where’d the bombast go? Turns out, they’ve been waiting to use it… here. The Degenerate Era refers to a theoretical period when the universe stops creating new stars, and with that comes a lessening of the shimmer which defined Mesarthim’s last few albums and EPs. This is aggressive, ethereal black metal, unlike any other “cosmic black metal” you’ve ever heard. It is beautiful and harrowing in one fell swoop, and it’s only a dollar! Why not dive into the deepest reaches of outer space?