Microdose: Medium, Crypt Crawler, Soul Dragger & Thrash Bandicoot

Written by Carcassbomb

No theme this time, just four cool albums to check out with a bit of variety. For the most part it’s filthy stuff to bang your head to.

Medium – Self titled (March 2020)

This just came out a few days ago on Transcending Obscurity Records and it’s an interesting one. It starts off in a way where you can’t be sure what kind of album you’re listening to. At very first notes it sounded like a melodic hardcore intro but what followed through were vocals on the grind side of death. The instruments are a blend of hardcore punk, death metal and black metal with variations like black n roll. It flows in and out of the various styles in an admirable way that blends into a signature kind of sound. It’s something off the beaten path for the bored metalhead, it’s certain to rouse something out of you in it’s short 18 minute run time. It has experimentation without the cost of losing any momentum, it’s a constant banger, a lit fuse from the first track. From “Skullcomet Sorcery” all the way to “Radiation Huntress”.

The track titles give you a sense that this isn’t a regular metal album or in any way straight forward grind record. This is a band I’ll be keeping my eye on over the years to listen out for a bigger album. It’s a very memorable debut out of Argentina.

Crypt Crawler – Blood Sustenance (March 2020)

Crypt Crawler are one of my favorite Aussie death metal bands and they have a new EP coming out on the 13th of March which is just around the corner. If you were a fan of 2019’s To The Grave (It was on my Aussie top 25) then you’ll want to get on this one. First off, this is a good example of one way to circumnavigate the art commissioning process by using a piece in which the copyright has lapsed and been edited to make it more metal. The original piece is a painting by Aert van der Neer (and his hair was perfect) called “Moonlit Landscape with a View of the New Amstel River and Castle Kostverloren” from the 1600’s. The sound is 15 minutes of death metal with exceptional drumming and solid song writing. There’s a good amount of stripping the sound back to build up towards a peak or to regain some energy. On “Decaying Host” there’s some refreshing melodious guitar parts that stood out and contributed a lot to the dynamic of the album.

It’s deeply rooted in old school death/thrash styles but has the pace and attitude of something new and formidable. The sound has somewhat matured since To the Grave and cements their signature sound that I look forward to seeing them develop over future releases.

Soul Dragger – Self Titled (February 2020)

This is a nice record from Italy, it’s not too flashy or complex but it delivers a strong punch of melodious heavy metal song writing with a gothic metal vibe to the vocals on some tracks. There’s a bunch of songs that make me want to bust my lighter out and hold it up as I sway along (is that still a thing at rock shows?). Inspired by the 80s but being closer to an early 00s band in sound, somewhere between Sentenced and Black Label Society. I could also just as easily say it’s somewhere between Metallica and Alice In Chains. These are all good things, it’d be boring if they were derivative of just one thing. There is the odd death growls thrown in for a nice accentuation, it almost feels like a melo death experiment where the melo is maximised. Overall it’s a catchy as hell album that many will find endearing in some way. The artwork really does this album an injustice.

It’s one of the worst covers I’ve seen this year and will no doubt put a lot of people off. Such is the power of album covers in the digital age, it’s an aspect of the product that you have to invest in if you plan on competing.

Thrash Bandicoot – Milwaukee Cannibal (January 2020)

I knew I was going to like this as soon as I saw the name and that it was from Australia. While there is certainly plenty of thrash elements, it’s played so fucking fast and with such resentment that it feels like death grind and tastes like scum. All you can do is headbang and mosh, if you do anything else then you’re a right dickhead. Your neck will not get a rest either because this is a non stop whipping that barely pauses for the guitar solos and when they do calm down even a fraction it’s to let the wet double kicks have a momentum building solo into some sharp riffs. The track “Scaphism” rips pretty hard, it has a hardcore punk approach to the vocals then mutates into some gut wrenching death growls. It’s good shit, especially for a debut EP but it probably should have been Name Your Own Price on Bandcamp to get the ball rolling for the band in general. A paywall this early can be a barrier – having CD’s available on the page is a good way to do both at the same time.

People love free shit and often pay for it anyway. It’s the cool name you wanna spread as far as possible first. A debut LP is hard enough to make money from, let alone an EP so prioritising promotion can be more beneficial. Bandcamp rant aside, it’s a good little record from a new Australian band.

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