Mini-release assault! Starring Slaves BC, Barghest, Visigoth

Slaves BC

It’s been such a busy past couple of weeks for metal releases that’s it has been hard to sandwich everything we wanted to cover into this site. If only time wasn’t a scarce resource. Anyway, we have some smaller releases that are boiling to the surface or are already out in the world, and we’re going to take a quick look at three of those today that are more than worth your time.

There’s no question that Slaves BC are one of the heaviest bands in Pittsburgh, and they’d put up a pretty goddamn good fight against any city’s mightiest. They’re also concerned for some of the darkest elements of society that is ruining people, one in particular being the scourge of the Catholic church’s sex abuse scandal that has rocked the world for years. That hit close to home for a lot of us in Pittsburgh because last year, much of that focus was on abuse that happened in this area, and one of those cases was very sensitive and enraging to me in particular. No, I was not a victim. Slaves BC didn’t take this shit lying down, and they delivered a single-track release “300 Dead Rapist Priests Floating at the Bottom of the Ocean,” which won’t win any song title awards for subtlety, but fuck that. Go for the throat, which they do on this 15:27-long display of destruction. But they’re not just lashing out; the proceeds from this pay-what-you-want release will go toward RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest Network), a group that’s seen its horrifying fair share of these cases. We’ll also link up below if you want to donate, period.

This track is a battle from front to back, which is the point. Riffs cut in as Josh Thieler’s shrieks rampage in and destroy, coupling with guttural growls later, with despondent guitars taking on a Portal-style drone (the band is rounded out by guitarist/vocalist Sean, bassist Adam, and guitarist/noise artist Brandon). The riffs warp while the tempo kicks into higher gear, blasting you punishingly, as the guitars begin to sicken, and alien strangeness warps your mind. The track returns to a death march as the growls lurch and music bleeds in fury. The savage shrieks mar the crust of the earth, pained noise begins to corrode, and the track pounds hellishly, eventually giving the mercy its subject matter never offered.

For more on the band, go here:

To buy the album, go here:

For more on RAINN or to donate, go here:

You know, it’s really difficult to find a band that reveals as much in hatred as do Baton Rouge-bred crushers Barghest. Ever since their splattering 2011 self-titled debut, it was pretty clear the band was out for blood, indiscriminately going for the throat of anything that stood in their way. We haven’t gotten a new full-length from the band since 2014’s “The Virtuous Purge,” but they’ve checked in with some smaller releases, their latest being their new EP “The Pious/The Poisoned” that is more tar-blackened death metal that’s as harsh as the title indicates. Over three tracks and a little more than 14 minutes, the band—guitarist/vocalist Dallas Smith, guitarist Jason Thorning, bassist Troy Bennett, drummer Max Kimmons—tear open fresh wounds and dump gallons of salt inside, leaving you writhing in pain and more than just a little bit bruised.

“Endless Empty Shape” gets things going with a dose of grimy, ugly death, with a violent chorus that’ll tear your head off. There is some melody buried beneath the madness as gruff guitars bend and bleed before the storm hits a violent high. The riffs smash and spiral, while gruff growls punish as the song blasts out. The title track follows as the riffs encircle like a tornado, and the delirious pace goes into gravelly growls. An ominous cloud hovers over everything while the guitars twist and turn, the track rampages, and the drums rattle your brains. Guitars tunnel and find a new level of intensity, while the track disintegrates in dust. “Negative Forms” ends the record with sounds scraping and tricky playing causing confusion. The vocals seer flesh as demented riffs arrive, while trauma squashes wills, blistering and powdering bones, with a neck-jerk sudden end causing whiplash.

For more on the band, go here:

To buy the album, go here:

Finally, we’ve got something a little less dour and utterly depressing with Visigoth’s new EP “Bells of Awakening,” which just unloads with pure heavy metal glory. This quickly follows last year’s killer “Conqueror’s Oath,” putting this unit as one of the finer power/fantasy metal bands out there, one with an awfully sharpened sword. This music is fun as fuck, but make no mistake: These guys are deadly serious, and that comes to the forefront on these tremendous two new songs. The Utah-based band—vocalist Jake Rogers, guitarists Jamison Palmer and Leeland Campana, bassist Matt Brotherton, drummer Mikey T.—go all out here, mixing in their high-energy, razor-sharp playing with mythological-style tales, the type on which the foundation of heavy metal was built. The band even teases there are elements that tie together both songs and the EP’s artwork, so there’s even more reason to delve into this and devour it whole.

“Fireseeker” is your opener, coming in with fiery riffs, surging singing, and a classic feel that instills nostalgia. The chorus is a killer, with Rogers howling, “Your time has come, your flame is rising,” as soloing lights up and adds more glory. The chorus rounds back for a final go, causing your blood and adrenaline to fire back. “Abysswalker” charges up right away, as Rogers is in command again, calling, “Ancient fire, fill my raging heart.” The track is a pounder, as the soloing fills up the air, with Palmer and Campana going back and forth. “I will not turn back, I know it must be done,” Rogers commands as the song ends with all of its torches blazing. Just killer stuff.

For more on the band, go here:

To buy the album, go here:

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