Random Roundup: March, 2024

Ancient Teeth

Almost precisely one year after the excellent Deathbed (which landed on my list of 2023 Year-End Favorites), Canadian troupe Ancient Teeth has returned with another impressive full-length in Humanizer. Be not misled, however, that aptly-titled opener "Feral" kicks off with a vicious, Mastodon-esque metal riff, as the bulk of the material is comparable in tone to Deathbed. Think atmospheric alternative rock that balances high-energy hooks with more subdued and textured ambience. Both grungy and 'gazey, but not something that I would call "grungegaze," in large part due to the impressively soaring vocals, but also well-crafted songs that display a great sense of melody. They're exploring too wide a range of influences to box in, and personally I can't really compare them to any other bands too directly, which is always a good sign. I still feel like this project has the potential for wider appeal if they could land in front of the right ears. Nicely done.

Grab standalone tapes (limited to 100) of Humanizer from Debt Offensive Records. The band has a few cassette bundles left. As usual, stream through Spotify or Apple Music or whatever if that's your thing.


Another great indie act out of Pittsburgh, Blinder seems to carry a rugged 'n' warped type of aesthetic that brings to mind their citymates in Gaadge. However, amidst elements of the chaotic and noisy, with occasional swells of piercing feedback and experimental interludes, there's also a certain degree of grungy, dual-vocal dream pop vibes that set them apart. This is quite an amalgamation, really—melodic, but kinda heavy and punkified, too. Nothing comes across as irritating, the material relies on high-quality songwriting at its core; with quirky, atypical hooks. Very cool. This is an impressive debut, so I'm already curious to hear more.

Drugs of the Sun was released by Michi Tapes late last month, but tapes were already sold out when I first learned of its existence in mid-March!? There have been murmurs of a possible second pressing, so I guess time will tell. For now, head to Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, or wherever else you enjoy your audio entertainment...


I was introduced to the brilliance of Melbourne, Australia's Convulsing by an astute reader who thought I was likely already in-the-know. It's entirely possible that I had been exposed to the project's past work in some capacity, but sometimes something has to find you at the right time, and this was the right time! I was instantly intrigued by a form of churning and dissonant death metal akin to fellow Australasians Ulcerate, with moments bringing to mind the swampiest of Morbid Angel riffs, but Perdurance in particular occasionally explores some really powerful melodic attributes—at times even conjuring small fragments of Opeth. It can be nastily abstract and holds a somewhat nuanced sense of intense technicality, but nothing's so off-the-wall that it becomes off-putting, which is important to me. In other words: this is very listenable material. All the more mind-boggling when you notice that this is in fact a one-man outing!?

Perdurance is digital-only at this time, and is available as a name your price download through Bandcamp. I'm not seeing it on streaming in the U.S., which suits me just fine, 'cause I despise streaming and don't use it. For those who rely solely on such platforms, perhaps this is a lesson as to why you should not!


I know that 20 Buck Spin is one of the top metal labels out there these days, and deals with a lot of high-quality death metal that seems to be relatively popular by underground standards, but the reality is that I simply don't follow a ton of that stuff. Thankfully, another in-the-know reader shot me a link to the debut album from Montréal, Quebec's Dissimulator, and I quickly realized that this was some of the best technical death/thrash I've heard in quite some time. I find that most contemporary acts who lean in this direction focus far too much on relentless speed and overly-clinical precision, which often strikes me as unnaturally processed or simply lacking in any tangible feeling whatsoever. Dissimulator, however, are a trio that offers plenty of breathing room in the mix, and doesn't hit you with any head-spinningly over-the-top nonsense. I certainly wouldn't put Lower Form Resistance alongside the holy trinity of Focus/Elements/Spheres—perhaps they're more mildly reminiscent of fellow Québécois such as Martyr and Obliveon (especially the former with regard to the brilliantly sleek leads)—but it damn sure scratches the itch for fans of this style. A great album that displays a lot of promise for the future.

Lower Form Resistance is available on CD and multiple vinyl variants through 20 Buck Spin and Bandcamp. If you prefer your music to figuratively "exist" in the ether, find the album on Spotify or Apple Music or something.

Fates Messenger

I believe the reunion of U.K. metalcore outfit Above All fell apart, which may have somehow resulted in the formation of Fates Messenger alongside ex-members of Romeo Must Die and Dishonour the Crown. The quartet released two promising singles earlier this month, and my favorite has been "Bonechapel," which takes crushing metalcore into a thrash-leaning vein that definitely brings to mind some of the final material from U.K. legends Stampin' Ground, which is a high compliment. There's enough modern polish to achieve a fresh clarity and punch without going too far, so the results should appeal to any fan of crunchy thrash with pummeling grooves. A full EP is said to be on the way, and I'm quite excited to hear it based on these first two tracks...

Stream Fates Messenger's material to date through Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, etc.

Miss Mofet

I wrote about Swedish metalcore unit Miss Mofet several times in the early days of Aversionline. Recorded all the way back in 2004 but not released until about a month ago, The Match to Spark the Revolution Was Used to Light My Last Cigarette would have been the band's final nine-song EP. Equal parts churningly heavy and caustically abrasive, you'll hear a touch of that "Cult of NeurIsis" type of atmosphere combined with fiercer Convergisms and moments that have the charging drive of, say, His Hero is Gone. It would have been a shame for these tunes to remain unreleased, so the 20-year delay is better than nothing! Miss Mofet guitarist/vocalist Daniel Wallenborg is now in Kollaps\e, if you're interested (and you should be).

Issued through La Haine Recordings, The Match to Spark... is digital-only at the moment, and I imagine it'll stay that way. It seems Bandcamp is home (which is fine by me, and name your price is always an admirable move), so if you only use one of the streaming services, you're screwed again, sucker!