After a week off on wedding duty, I’m back ready to trade the Air Supply for, well, you’ll see…
WHAT TO HEAR: Kicking us off this week are one of Brooklyn’s now longest-tenured USBM acts, Anicon, and their ripping new full length, Entropy Mantra (Vendetta Records). Anicon are still definitely Anicon—which means cascading, blast beat-driven black metal with dustings of thrash and modern atmospheric stuff around the edges—but on their second full-length in as many years, the band, pushing drummer Lev Weinstein to the forefront, showcase a progressive bent, tearing through their most ambitious, dexterous, and unexpected work to date. If you live in the area and somehow aren’t woke to Anicon, I can’t think of a better place to begin your descent.
After that, purported trad-doom saviors Khemmis return with their third full-length slab of downtuned, half-speed power metal, Desolation (20 Buck Spin). Khemmis’s place as doom critic darlings somewhat escapes me, but they have always churned out solid, catchy, and reasonably cohesive records and Desolation is definitely more of the same, lead heavy with soaring leads, subterranean riffs, and hooks for eons. It hasn’t changed the way I feel about Khemmis (personally, just give me Pallbearer or Crypt Sermon), and it probably won’t change the way you do either, but since everyone seems to love them, that’s meant more as a compliment than anything else. Hear it via bandcamp.
Summer is also prime grind season, and San Jose maniacs Deathgrave deliver one the year’s best specimens this week with their full-length debut, So Real It’s Now (Tankcrimes). Blending spastic low-end, ping-ponging growl-shrieks, and plenty of unexpected surprises—like the surf-inspired whammy wharbles on “Live Fast Die Slow”—and you have an absolute must-own for frequenters and lurkers of the death/grind/powerviolence persuasion. Grab your neckbrace and check it out via Revolver.
After that, turn your attention to the Swedish underbelly, where early-oughts black metallers Craft return with their first LP in over seven years, White Noise and Black Metal (Season of Mist). A maximalist onslaught of riff, riff, riff, White Noise tangles itself into writhing coils, projecting its nihilism and despair in a monochrome array of traditional black metal instrumentation. Pedalboard aficionados and shoegaze crate-diggers need not apply, but for everyone, it’s definitely worth the trip. Give it a listen on YouTube.
Also spawning from the depths of San Jose today is Mortuous’s Through Wilderness (Tankcrimes), a periodically mournful slab of death/doom from current and former members of Exhumed, Repulsion, Necrot and more, while elsewhere in the Golden State, funeral doom outfit Amarok are set to drop their new Sanford Parker-produced long-play, Devoured (Translation Loss). Very different sides of the same coin, just don’t ask me to pick any favorites.
Finally, wrap things up with some crusty DIY death metal courtesy of Appeal to Your Denial (independent), the first output from Satan’s Basement in over a decade. A scathing takedown of the pharmaceutical industry and the opioid crisis they’ve perpetuated for profit, Appeal to Your Denial is a metal record with something to say about the fucked-up world that spawned it and this week, of all weeks, that feels important.
WHAT TO SEE: We rumble into another week of shows tonight with Perdition Temple at Lucky 13 Saloon, Soakie at Brooklyn Bazaar, Knuckle Up at Debonair Music Hall, Of Feather and Bone/Tomb Mold at Saint Vitus, and Wo-Fat at The Kingsland. On Saturday, get out there and catch Adolescents at Brooklyn Bazaar, Sick Head in the Bazaar basement, Negative Sky at Jackson Moose Lodge #1459, Matte Black at Lucky 13 Saloon, Poison at PNC Bank Arts Center, Code Orange at Irving Plaza, Insomnium at Gramercy Theatre, and either NJ Metal Fest 4 at Debonair Music Hall or the Punk Island festivities out on Randall’s Island.
After that, one of the better Sundays in awhile rolls through with Fórn at Elsewhere, Rest Repose at The Kingsland, The Sword/Atomic Bitchwax at Irving Plaza, and Noir at Saint Vitus rolls through, followed by a correction to the mean on Monday (not a hardcore band name, but prob should be). Things pick back up on Tuesday with Eternal Black at Lucky 13 and the Vulgar Display of Purring benefit show featuring Dead Empires, Belus, Godmaker, and more at Saint Vitus, while Wednesday welcomes Whiner to Our Wicked Lady and ASG to Vitus. Finally, things wrap up on Thursday with Lovelorn at Saint Vitus, Body Void/Sunrot at the Meatlocker, and YOB/Bell Witch at Le Poisson Rouge.
WHAT THE FUCK: Ordinarily I would go out of my way NOT to mention Avenged Sevenfold here, but this one is too good to pass up: According to MetalSucks, sweep-picker and eyeliner aficionado Synyster Gates (actual name) is planning a (drum roll please) solo fucking jazz album. I wish I were making this up—really I do—but hey, I guess a laugh or two never hurt anyone. Plus, he already has the fedora collection to pull it off…