It’s the holiday season, which means it’s time to celebrate the thinly veiled pagan tradition of your choosing! In the spirit of giving without having to actually give anything ourselves (other than some links on the Internet), here are some of the finest recent metal albums available for free download on Bandcamp (a few of them may be “name your price,” in which case consider giving a gift of your own to some great musicians). Bio Crisis - En Memoria Al Dolor
Out of all the genres to slam together, “atmospheric post-rock” and “anarcho crust punk” seem like a pretty odd couple. Weirdly enough, though, the shotgun marriage works, at least as executed by Bio Crisis. The jangly bits help balance out the angry bits, giving the rage an edge of futility that wasn’t already present by the very nature of, you know, anarcho crust punk. Anyway, at the very least, it adds some really welcome variety to a sound that can get pretty repetitious pretty quickly.
Necronomicon - The Queen of Death
There are at least five other bands with this name, so if you plan on starting a metal band, avoid the works of H.P. Lovecraft – even his more obscure creations have most likely already been taken. That will prevent you from being confused with the old-school German thrash band or the Canadian traditional metal act, especially when you’re from Brazil and play 70s-inspired occult doom. On the heavy end of psychedelia (Pentagram’s early daze come to mind), and damn good at it, I’ll be surprised if these guys don’t wind up on Teepee or Meteor City within the year.
Xul – Malignance
There is no Dana, there is only XUUUUUL – okay, maybe not. For those who like true metal under their Christmas trees, this is definitely adjective-free death. There is a fair amount of Behemoth influence, which is certainly better than a fair amount of, say, Whitechapel influence. Even If the triggered drums get a little old, well, it’s modern death metal, so I suppose that this is something we just need to get used to. At the very least, this has actual songs, a rarity to be sure.
BONUS STOCKING STUFFER:
Ludicra - Almost everything!
One of the best experimental black metal bands of the past decade, offering all their pre-Profound Lore catalog titles for “name your price” and a bunch of bootlegs for guilt-free free download? Go to the website! Go now!