Welcome to the 5th installment of BAZ Underground Updates where our writers Julia Katrin & Tom Boatman scour the internet for offers, releases and general wholesome entertainment in the world of underground metal during these trying times of global carnage.
Given that labels and bands often pick Friday as the day to run special offers or announce some tasty news, we’ve decided to move our updates to earlier in the week so we can be better positioned to let you know what’s going on as soon as possible.
Now let’s see what’s out there…
As a platform for labels, bands and artists, it might be sometimes that we take Bandcamp for granted and don’t think so much about what a vital service it provides for underground bands, whether metal or any other genre. It’s worth having a look at the mission statement of Bandcamp for an insight into their ethical business model, which truly puts the artists first.
In these troubled times Bandcamp have already shown their commitment to supporting struggling labels and artists by waiving their fees on set days. Below is part of the recent statement by Ethan Diamond, the CEO and a heads-up for everyone on the forthcoming days where your purchases can make even more of a difference to all the people in music that we want to help sustain:
“On June 5, and July 3 (the first Friday of each month), we’re waiving our revenue share for all sales on Bandcamp, from midnight to midnight PDT on each day. It may sound simple, but the best way to help artists is with your direct financial support, and we hope you’ll join us through the coming months as we work to support artists in this challenging time.” – Ethan Diamond, Co-Founder & CEO, Bandcamp
Label: Transcending Obscurity
We are Blessed Altar are big fans of Transcending Obscurity Records. Countless bands signed with the label have fallen into our laps to review and repeatedly we find the label raising the bar of generosity and support through different special offers and discounts. Throughout May the label offers 20% off of merchandise with the code MAY2020. Simply add the discount code into the little box in your shopping cart before checkout.
Label: Season of Mist
A home to such metal titans as ATHEIST, ABBATH and DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, as well as well as recent BAZ reviewees BENIGHTED and ABYSMAL DAWN, Philadelphia’s Seasons of Mist is a label well worth keeping tabs on, and they’ve just addeda variety of merch to their bandcamp page, including Vinyl, CDs, t-shirts and hoodies of various bands. Don’t miss out!
It seems like there’s stiff competition on the underground metal front in Philadelphia. Horror Pain Gore Death Productions (to give them their full title) are a label and distributor specialising in extreme metal of some of the most gory and punishing forms. On top of cool releases like the recent “No Chords Barred” by FORMLESS MASTER / BAYHT LAHM, (and check out the delightfully nasty Sludge/Grind of MUSKET HAWK), there’s a stack of great merch to check out, including more metal t-shirts than you could imagine as well as lots of tasty CDs and bundle offers.
Label: Fucking Kill Records
If you like underground punk, hardcore and metal and you like records then you want to check out German label Fucking Kill Records who specialise in vinyl releases. The label has a busy release schedule and right now there’s a new limited coloured vinyl by SCALPTURE and UNDEATH/ DEVOID OF THOUGHT you’ll want to check out, not to mention at least five upcoming releases on pre-order, that you can get ahead of the pack on. Expect the music here to be as rabbid, filthy and aggressive as the label’s name suggests.
As mentioned in an earlier edition of our Underground Updates Brighton, UK’s noisy sludge metal merchants WALLOWING have recently put out a live recording from their excellent “Planet Loss” album on their bandcamp page with all proceeds going to support the NHS. Now the band have also unearthed a very limited stock of band Logo T-shirts, while there’s still stock remaining of their album in a limited coloured vinyl/ t-shirt bundle. All available on their merch page.
Band: Cursed Be Thy Flesh
Oh so you’re looking for some grimy, avant-garde, black metal with an occasional dungeon synth twist? Well step this way and check out what CURSED BE THY FLESH have got brewing on their cauldron. With an extremely limited cassette run forthcoming of the band’s latest release “The Ritual Album” you can pick up a digital copy on the band’s bandcamp page on a name your price offer. You can’t say fairer than that.
We are always looking for new ways to support bands and artists in these times, and of course we are not the only ones. Spotify has implemented a new feature that allows fans to make direct donations to the hard working people behind the music (whenever the artists have already agreed to the donation campaign). Simply find the band or artist you wish to support, check their Spotify page and see if they have a donation available. It only takes us 5 seconds to check, but could make a huge difference for them. What else makes a huge difference for bands and artists is to browse the offers and special prices the bands and labels have going on, and take full advantage of them. And remember, even if most festivals for the year 2020 have already been cancelled, it doesn’t mean that you can’t treat yourself to a new fabulous metal shirt or a fancy nice looking vinyl.
By Julia Katrin & Tom Boatman
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.