Metal Bandcamp

Label Spotlight: Transylvanian Tapes. Vol. 4

Written by Craig Hayes

This is the third in a continuing series of posts highlighting recent releases from Oakland, California-based label Transylvanian Tapes. I first encountered the label back in 2013, when the decidedly fetid and pile-driving death metal found on Caffa’s bruising debut, Day Of Disease, caught my ear. Since then, Transylvanian Tapes has issued a bunch of impressive cassette and digital releases. So let’s dive into some more of that riotous noise. 

San Francisco-based trio Brume bring some damn tasty bluesy and fuzzy metal to the table with their five-track release, Donkey. The band’s debut features abundant stoner swagger, and plenty of spliff-friendly doom. All of which isn't too dissimilar to the kind of slow-baked psychedelic metal that bands like Witch Mountain or Windhand have produced. 

Certainly, Brume frontwoman Susie McCullan’s voice has the same entrancing magnetism and power that we've heard from Windhand’s Dorthia Cottrel, and Witch Mountain’s ex-vocalist Uta Plotkin. The rest of Brume are no slouches either. Drummer Jordan Perkins-Lewis pounds the skins and cymbals with gigantic concussive strikes on Donkey. While guitarist Jamie McCathie dishes out gargantuan Sabbathian riffs that rumble and reverberate for an age. 

Transylvanian Tapes have released a number of doom albums so far, and Donkey is right up there alongside Chrch’s Unanswered Hymns as the best of the bunch. Brume might not reinventing the wheel with Donkey, but the album crashes and smashes with enough aplomb and creative thunder to awaken the Gods. It's gloriously heavyweight and enthralling music. And kudos to Donkey producer Ryan Massey, because this album sounds massive. 

Jordan Perkins-Lewis

San Francisco, CA