By now, Bandcamp Fridays are an established occurrence. The music-hosting program waives its cut of proceeds for 24 hours on the first Friday of every month, allowing bands to recoup losses from the current ban on touring due to the coronavirus. Since Texas is currently recovering from the results of disastrous winter weather, Decibel focused this month’s roundup on the Lone Star State.
Daygraves – Silver
One-man outfit Daygraves combines blackgaze and post-rock in an effective and emotive fashion, weaving bright melodies into shimmering black metal. New album Silver is light and flowing, with bursts of aggression and urgency.
Duel – Valley of Shadows
Austin’s Duel play old-school stoner metal of the highest order. Driven by distorted, fuzz-drenched riffs and big melodic vocals, the Texas crew’s latest album, Valley of Shadows, is totally the kind of record that should be heard in a filthy dive bar. Until then, queue it up on Bandcamp.
Tridroid has sung the gospel of cassettes since 2014, releasing a combination of reissues and new music. Recent and upcoming Tridroid releases include the cassette version of drone/doom duo Body Void’s new album, death metal upstarts Putrescine and antifascist black metal group Feminazgul.
Crawl – Necrotic Fear
One of those one-man bands that manages to sound like an army, Crawl is simultaneously caustic and haunting. Latest release Necrotic Fear straddles the line between extreme metal and dark ambient, creating a stifling mood that wouldn’t be out of place as the soundtrack to a horror movie.
Devourment – Obscene Majesty
Obscene Majesty stands head and shoulders above every other slam or brutal death metal album released in recent memory. 45 minutes of straight-up, no-frills brutal death, Obscene Majesty was a much-needed reminder of what slam can sound like when it isn’t overrun by deathcore and tired lyrical themes.
Skeleton – Skeleton
There’s nothing complex about Skeleton: the Texas unit clearly worship thrash metal’s younger days, locking it into an unholy union with Venom’s love for Satan and primitive black metal. If you like riffs or banging your head, Skeleton is must-hear.
Haunter – Sacramental Death Qualia
This San Antonio band deftly maneuvers between black metal and slyly blended death metal influences. Within the same song you’ll hear the Swedish prog-death of Edge of Sanity and Opeth before the melodies are vaporized by Gorgutsian discord. This record was in my top 10 of 2019, and my spirit is waiting black-eyed in the void for more of their music.—Sean Frasier
Switchblade Jesus – Death Hymns
Stoner sludge for fans who would rather thrash like hell than groove on the same riff for half an hour. This record is a tireless sprint of black-resin fuzz and southern-fried hardcore. Fans of High on Fire will snarl hallelujah for these death hymns.—Sean Frasier
Kombat – New Dimensions of Pain
Denton based bruisers Kombat describe themselves as “greasy Texas death metal” and deliver the rancid goods as promised. That’s a not a surprise when the band features multiple members of death/doom executioners Torture Tomb. While their nasty cassette with tape-titans Transylvanian Recordings has sold out, you can still support their flesh-ripping EP.—Sean Frasier