Bandcamp Picks of the Week 1/10/18

Bandcamp Picks of the Week, as large and in charge as ever

Bandcamp Picks Bloodstone

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Bloodstone – BLOODSTONE

Genre: Krautrock, Psychedelic Rock

Favorite tracks: “Witch,” “Forrestfield”

I always love when a piece of music looks to film for inspiration. It’s a type of reverse engineering that most people would probably associate with rap and sampling—both Wu-Tang Clan and Jay-Z are just a couple of artists who’ve employed filmic elements into their work, either from kung-fu classics or gangster epics. But perhaps where cinema is even more infused is metal: long has it been tradition for bands to replicate or pay tribute to the scores and imagery of the horror genre. German kraut-psych-rockers Bloodstone aren’t strictly metal, although there’s certainly elements of it present, but the similarity is in this essence of horror that underlies their sound. Like their contemporaries, they wear their influences on the sleeve—the cover sleeve, to be exact, considering that their self-titled EP is adorned with a still from the film I DRINK YOUR BLOOD.

There’s a tinge of prog with opener “Witch,” commenced by a spacey, slipstream synth which is strongly reminiscent of the beginning of prog-gods Rush’s “Tom Sawyer.” Yet there’s no Geddy Lee, it’s all instrumental, which works in their favor, letting the listeners (or viewers) create their own visuals of icy, cratered, forgotten planets or metallic, basement-dwelling laboratories draped in cobwebs and ornamented with the occasional brain in a jar. This is Bloodstone’s forte, translating sonics into graphics. The winding guitars evoke images of staircases of a similar nature and the organ peals out like distant screams deep in the forest. Of the three tracks, the spookiness is raised on the final one, “Forrestfield.” Just like the films that inspired it, there’s a slow burn, a tangible atmosphere to wade through. Ghostly synths sweep and mist over—it’s all very unsettling, an effect that just goes to show the significance and vitality of the horror score. Finally before the tension gets unbearable, those Carpenter-esque synths ring back out along with some sidling percussion and swelling guitars. Despite being the closer, the arrangement signals a fading in, not out. It’s the moment preceding the entrance into the house on the hill, the cursed mausoleum, or the thick backwoods. It’s here where we realize the story has only just begun. [Nick Funess]

Bandcamp Picks Nap

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Genre: Krautrock, Psychedelic Rock

Favorite Tracks: “Donnerwetter,” “Sabacia,” “Ungeheur”

German-based Krautrock and psych rock outfit Nap use their debut album, VILLA, to create a wide smorgasbord of various genres, with obvious stylistic tributes to the stoned instrumentals of the ‘60s and ‘70s, along with the occasional doom metal influence. The album kicks off with the downright funky intro track, “Donnerwetter,” where the guitar riffs are intricate and densely layered, presenting a true attention to detail and bass riffs that roar with blown-out reverb. This track, along with others, seems to draw heavy influence from bands such as The Jimi Hendrix Experience or Jefferson Airplane, yet Nap apply their own modern spin on the psych rock foundation which prevents VILLA from coming across as stale. The second track, “Sabacia,” is a beast of a cut, a strangely successful amalgamation of stoner metal with a slight tinge of both doom and good old classic heavy metal. Nap artfully jump between these genres seamlessly without letting any style overstay its welcome, creating a varied yet wildly fulfilling song over an almost eight-minute runtime. There is so much to enjoy off of this album, rendering VILLA a charming love letter to the heavier music of the ‘60s and ‘70s with some modern tricks and tweaks that leave it with an unequivocally classic feel that is a true joy to partake in. [Will Turmon]

The good people of Crossfader Magazine.

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