Awww, you guys didn’t think we’d pack up for Christmas without giving you a little gift now, did you? In the best of all cheapskate Christmas traditions, rather than go to the effort and expense of going out to the shops, fighting our way through the hordes of last-minute present buyers, and then umm and ahh over what to get each and every one of our readers, instead we’re just going to re-package up and pass on someone else’s gifts to you.
And just what is it that we’re passing on to you? Why, a vertiable mountain of free music, that’s what.
At Christmas, record labels like to give something back – and more often than not, it’s the form of vast download compilations featuring the cream of their rosters. We’ve gone and gathered six of the very best of them here, so you can download the whole lot of ’em with the bare minimum of faffing about. Just click the pretty pictures to be taken to the corresponding download sites, or any of the handy links we’ve embedded in our explanatory blurbs. We’re too good to you guys sometimes.
1. Earache Records Winter 2011 Sampler
Including tracks from bands like Evile, Wormrot, and Cerebral Bore, all Earache want in return for this is your email address. That’s pretty much par the course for these freebies, so if you’re ultra-sensitive about such things, you might want to stop reading this article now.
2. Peaceville Records 2011 Sampler
All Peaceville want you to do to get your hands on their 17-song compilation featuring the likes of Autopsy, At The Gates and Opeth is to sign up to their mailing list. Given that Peaceville know not to SPAM their mailing list throughout the year anyway, this is hardly the biggest burden they could’ve asked you to bear in exchange for their sampler.
3. Basick Records 2012 Sampler
Basick Records are one of our favourite independent UK labels, and their 2012 Sampler is a perfect demonstration as to why. Not only does it feature tracks from Chimp Spanner, Uneven Structure and Aliases, but they’re giving it away in a whole variety of lossless formats via Bandcamp. Good on you, chaps!
4. Nuclear Blast – The Best of 2011 Sampler
Nuclear Blast also just want you to join their mailing list, and they’ll let you download a whole hellaload of songs from bands such as Anthrax, Vader, and Fleashgod Apocalypse for free. Seems like a fair deal to us. Even if they did cut a few corners when it came to commissioning some artwork for it.
5. ‘A Cheery Wave From Stranded Youngsters’ post-/math-rock compilation
We’re going a bit more obscure for our fifth pick – A Cheery Wave From Stranded Youngsters is a free compilation album of underground UK post-rock/instrumental/math-rock scene, and feature tracks from the likes of Brontide, Talons, and Three Trapped Tigers. As with Basick, it’s available in a selection of sexy lossless formats via Bandcamp.
6. Siege of Amida 2011 Label Sampler
Now technically this came out in November, but in exchange for a ‘Like’ on Facebook, Siege Of Amida will give you a compilation featuring every damn act that’s currently on their roster. We don’t even have to list them, as they’re all in the packshot image up above. Pretty damn sweet, right?