That one time at…Brewdle’s Bandcamp Besties!

The internet can be a wonderful thing, and is one of the greatest little corners of it. If you’re not aware of what Bandcamp is, then let me give you a very brief run down. It’s a platform for musos to sell and promote themselves directly to their adoring public, and it’s a place I spend a lot of time at, digging around for my next favourite band. So below are my spotlight artists for the month, get on and check em out.

For around $30 you can support the following five releases.

Listenable Records - sampler (released 8 July 2015 through Listenable Records)

Who doesn’t like a comp? Listenable bust out an eclectic mix of heavy artists on this sampler, we’ve got all bases covered, from death (melodic and not) to prog to post-hardcore to stoner to psych to heavy blues and even straight up hard rock n roll – making this one cool party album cause there’s something on here sure to please everyone!

Listenable are a french label so close to half the artists represented on the sampler are French in origin but there's also representation from Sweden, Finland, Germany, the US and even a couple of Aussie artists that get a shout out (Electric Mary and Palace of the King). Highights include the likes of Armageddon (Christopher Amott smashing out some mighty tasty licks on Captivity and Devourement), Gojira (a live version of Wisdom Comes), Mos Generator (a live version of Breaker), and Mars Red Sky with the rolling groovy hippiness of Circles. There's also the spit and snarl that comes from the Sticky Boys busting out some punk n roll with Bad Reputation, and the heavy bar room swagger of The Milestones, with its Black Crowesque bluesy boogie. 

Do yourself a favour, jump on Bandcamp and download it; it’s a sampler aimed at showcasing the label’s talent; it’s meant to be free but hey, if you love it throw the dudes from Listenable some bucks  – and definitely dig into their catalogue and further investigate your sampler highlights. Support the labels that make this sort of shit available for us to check out! Hail Listenable!

(18 tracks, name your price, digital)

KhemmisAbsolution (released 7 July 2015 through 20 Buck Spin)

This is the debut album for Denver’s Khemmis, and I must say the young fuckers have given things a mighty good shake with this little beauty! Absolution offers up six tasteful, interesting, bluesy doomy heavy metal tunes seasoned with the odd ‘deathy bit’. It’s bloody hard to find fault with Absolution; the foursome have obviously put a lot of thought into this release and play hard, heavy n slow, locking into those grungy seventies tinged grooves and shaking the foundations with heavy doom drenched riffs. The vocals dance between clean sorta Steve Wilson like and deep guttural growls, but not in some cheesy metalcore way, it’s tastefully done and compliments the music perfectly. Actually, it’s fair to say that there is some Porcupine Tree like pieces throughout, there’s a kinda proggy Sabbath worship going on in places (check out Antediluvian). One of the highlights for mine is Burden Of Sin, a riff-tastic, chuggingly good time. While it's only six tracks, Absolution clocks in around the forty minute mark so you're getting some pretty good bang for seven and a bit of your bucks. 

(6 tracks, $7.77 (USD) digital, $9.99 (USD) CD)

SentinelThe Priomridal Ruin (released 03 July 2015)

Australia seems to be awash with proggy metalcore bands at the moment and here’s another in Sentinel, although this Melbourne five piece are arguably a bit harder than some of the other offerings floating around. I’ll say it up front, I’m not a huge fan of this style of metal but credit where it’s due this is a perfectly fine effort and Sentinel deliver some crushingly brutal moments.

If you’re into these sorts of bands you’ll dig Sentinel, if you’re not then you'll be pleased to know that they’re not doing anything on The Primordial Ruin that will convince you you're missing out on anything. They play hard, they have some nice musical passages juxtaposed over the dischordant agression of the riffs and strike the right balance between clean and growl. They've included contributions from some of their brothers in the scene with guest vocals from Chris Millward of Glorified (The Terrible Lie), Mark Poida of Aversions Crown (Nadir) and Mason Bunt from Pridelands (The Primoridal Ruin). 

(7 tracks, $5 (AUD) digital)

GreenbeardStoned At The Throne (released 10 July 2015)

It's not hard to imagine what you're in for when you read the album title and see the cover art for this album (bong pillars ffs!), and you're pretty much getting exactly what you would expect. Stoned At The Throne is the second album from this Austin bred four piece, being the follow up to 2014’s self-titled effort (available here for $5 USD), and the boys deliver some mighty fine desert stoner vibes throughout the album's eight tracks.

So, if you like your tones fuzzy and served up with liberal lashings of slow groove (and the bass player locks into some awesome grooves throughout)  then you’ll love what these blokes dish up. They sometimes slip into QOTSA like playfulness as evidenced by the second track Don’t Get Too Desperate and don’t mind rocking things out a bit harder, like during the heavy jam that ends The Voyager, but mainly they stick to the desert formula made famous by John Garcia. It’s a great release and highly recommended.

(8 tracks, $10 (USD) digital, $12 (USD) CD, $5 (USD) cassette)

WulfhookThe Impaler (released 17 July 2015 through Tribunal Records/Divebomb Records)

You’ll want to get your battle gear on for this one. Go on, dig out the denim jeans, the studded wrist bands, the black tees and your denim or leather jacket, no you can put the cat o’ nine tails back, we won’t be needing that! Wulfhook provide the perfect excuse to don the metal uniform on this their debut, where they deliver a perfect tribute to all that is traditional eighties heavy metal \m/

You get the soaring vocals ala Mr Halford, fast n furious solos the like of which Messers Smith and Murray might produce, galloping rock steady bass riffs and pounding drums. What’s not to like about five blokes from Detroit channelling the English (Maiden, Priest) and German (Accept, Blind Guardian) metal greats. There’s nothing new here, but it’s glorious in its execution and old school delivery. Close your eyes and this could be the album Priest should have released instead of Demolition.

(10 tracks, $10 (USD) digital)