Fee-Free Friday: May Day Metal Recommendations from Kim Kelly

On May 1st, International Workers Day, many of us would normally be out in the streets, raising hell, building barricades and screaming for vengeance. We are not living in normal times, and so we must bring the spirit of May Day – the love and rage of working class resistance – into our homes, and into our community mutual aid efforts, and broadcast our solidarity out onto the internet.

Today, in light of the global pandemic (and, one can assume, in a nod to May Day), Bandcamp is once again waiving its fees so that every penny made goes directly to the artists. If you happen to have some extra cash on hand, the next 24 hours offer a perfect opportunity to pick up a few new albums or that one very specific black T-shirt you’ve been eyeing–and in the process, funnel some monetary support to struggling creative workers.

The following list of recommendations is culled from things I like, things I’ve discovered recently, and the results of entreating explicitly anti-fascist metal bands to send over their freshest, tastiest Nazi-smashing tunes for your listening pleasure. I’ll keep updating this throughout the day on Patreon, and I understand that Bandcamp will be doing this every first day of the month through the summer, so consider this Volume 1 – and keep your eyes peeled on June 1.

So Happy May Day, my dear fellow workers and fellow heshers. Up with the workers, down with the bosses, and heavy metal forever!

 

RIFFS FOR REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE 

A compilation of killer extreme metal/punk tracks from some of my favorite humans to raise money for abortion access that I released this time last year. So far, we’ve raised almost $20K for the National Network of Abortion Funds and the Yellowhammer Fund!

 

 

RACETRAITOR / NECKBEARD DEATHCAMP / CLOSET WITCH / HAGGATHON  

Talk about an antifascist metal (and hardcore) dream team.  This four-way split is an essential combination of brutality, integrity, and blastbeats.

 

 

PHRYNE 

Off-kilter, lo-fi, droning blackened doom.  Support sex workers and destroy fascism.

 

 

INEXORUM 

I adore this band – ’90s-style melodic black/death perfection.

 

 

MVT X ANE – FOR OUR VENUES

A new compilation in aid of Music Venues Trust’s #SaveOurVenues Fund, featuring a host of awesome artists who have performed at Astral Noize Events shows.

 

 

GLACIAL TOMB 

Denver’s premier sludgy black/death miscreants are back with some new blood; this time, there’s some nice, rotten Domination vibes going around involved.

 

 

VILE CREATURE 

I can never say enough good about these queer vegan Canadian doom sweethearts. This new record of theirs will break your heart.

 

 

EYE OF NIX 

This Portland avant-garde black/doom/orchestral outfit are one of those bands that is so unique, so spellbinding and so wonderfully odd that you find yourself wondering why other bands even bother sometimes.

 

 

DIVA KARR 

Disorienting, atmospheric Boston grind with chaotic evil tendencies.

 

 

WRETCHED EMPIRES 

I adore when modern bands are able to properly nail those ’90s black metal vibes (while vehemently rejecting the problematic aspects of the second-wave scene). The production’s a little better here, but the melodic tint is pitch-perfect.

 

 

GHOUL 

Enough said – and I bet Creepsylvania has done a way better job containing the coronavirus than anywhere in the U.S.

 

 

EXTINCTION 

Loose, manic, grindy death focused exclusively on the environmental devastation wrought by humanity. Cattle Decapitation are shaking rn.

 

 

CHURCH / FISTER 

Tense, elegantly devastating doom for the end of the world, from two of the U.S. underground’s finest heavyweights.

 

 

SOOTHSAYER

A dense live recording from one of Ireland’s heaviest modern doom outfits, playing far afield in Malta. Bow your heads.

 

 

CAINA 

One of the prime architects of post-black metal has uploaded some of his most cherished releases on Bandcamp, and not a moment too soon.

 

 

THOU / THE BODY 

The ongoing creative relationship between Thou and The Body is a testament to art of noise, collaboration, and – honestly! – of friendship. It takes a crew of beautiful souls to coax out something this ugly (especially live, and especially at Roadburn, where this was recorded; I was there, it ruled).

 

 

INTER ARMA 

Speaking of sweet dudes and live records, this 2017 set from Inter Arma shows them already at the top of their game, and ready to claw their way up to dizzying new heights. One of the best bands in the U.S. period.

 

 

COMMON EIDER KING EIDER

CEKE’s ritual black ambient has long been a balm for me during dark times, and now, their charred devotionals are the perfect soundtrack to a plague.

 

 

AWENDEN 

Shimmering melodic black metal that’s bursting with light, and aligned against the evils of empire, fascism, and civilisation.

 

 

RESENT

Bleak, corrupted B.C. sludge, we truly love to see it.

 

 

OZZUARIO 

Hellacious blackened industrial noise from the bowels of Chicago.

 

 

UNDERDARK 

A tidy little split to hold you over until these British anti-fascist black metal originals finally release that new album they’ve been teasing.

 

 

MAKE 

Hypnotic, grimy doom from one of the Southern scene’s best-kept secrets.

 

 

SALLOW MOTH 

Sci-fi horror meets creeping (technical) death.

 

 

ADZES

Adzes’ raison d’etre has long been to churn out socially conscious, noisy, atmospheric sludge with teeth, and this latest entry into their anti-capitalist canon seems finds them even more woebegone over the fate of our dying planet. 

 

 

AEONS AND MONUMENTS

Synth-heavy, droning black metal meets dungeon synth ambience on a faraway cursed frozen landscape.

 

 

SEAS OF WINTER

If all those second-wave black metal dorks had gotten into militant anti-fascism and prison abolition instead of weak Nazi shit, we could’ve had a band like Seas of Winter decades ago. At least we’ve got them now!

 

 

REEKING 

Gruesome, low-tech, skull-stomping death. Jersey strong!

 

 

STANFIELD

Properly horrible, low-slung, smoke-stained UK sludge/doom with an anti-capitalist bent.

 

 

FEMINAZGUL

Atmospheric, anti-capitalist, feminist Appalachian black metal from the heart of the forest.

 

 

WOUNDVAC 

Grind your fucking face off.

 

 

VENOMWOLF 

Scottish black/thrash mayhem that howls mockery at the cross and stomps out boneheads.

 

 

NIUTA 

“Nazi-killer stadium crust” is a better description than anything I could ever write (featuring a co-organiser of Black Flags Over Brooklyn).

 

 

BOTANIST 

Some scintillating B-sides from your favourite hammered dulcimer eco-black metal troupe.

 

 

DYING SUN

Gorgeously grim, heavy doom with plenty of space for the light to creep in.

 

 

SHRIEKING

Experimental black metal/grind/ambient/doom mind-melt.

 

 

AXEBREAKER 

Compilation/unreleased tracks from the don of antifascist power electronics.

 

 

ALLFATHER

Burly modern metal Vikings with riffs to spare (and no sympathy for fence-walkers).

 

 

BORN WITH HAIR

Spooky new leftist black metal project from the Mid-Atlantic with an eye towards black magic and past struggle. This grimoire kills fascists.

 

 

THE SUN CAME UP ON THE LEFT

Blackened doom from PDX with some really lovely sneaky melodic bits.

 

 

BIG LICH

Anti-fascist wizard metal. You heard it here first, compadres.

 

Thanks for reading, support Kim Kelly on Patreon for more.

Words: Kim Kelly (@GrimKim)