In honor of Labor Day, do your god-ordained duty and listen to me labor about metal for 1,000 words. This is a capitalist world we live in, man. Three day weekends don’t come without a price.
WHAT TO HEAR: While the fall metal releases—sonically at least—have been trickling out for a few weeks, Paradise Lost just logged the first official entry with their new full length, Medusa (Nuclear Blast). Make no mistake, the legendary UK doom outfit know today is September 1st and planned accordingly, rattling off one mournful riverside lament after the next. Chock full of cavernous crunch and lyrics about the dying of things (and all that good stuff), this one is definitely the perfect final act prelude, so make sure to give it a listen.
Keeping things completely fucking depressing, meanwhile, are glacial blackened doom outfit When Bitter Spring Sleeps and their new full length, Star-Thrown (Pagan Flames). And if that doesn’t your melodramatic mood well, the maybe the latest split from atmospheric USBMers At Dusk and Sacredos (Pacific Threnodies) will do the trick. Either, get ready to feel gloriously by the time you’ve clawed your way to the end of these suckers.
Also saber-rattling out of Greece today is Codex Omega (Prosthetic Records), the latest symphonic salvo from long-running opera-chugga act, Septicflesh. These dudes have been doing this for 10 albums now (yep, this number surprised the shit out of me), and it shows in each and every stitch of their complex rhythmic tapestries. It’s definitely not for everyone—and it’s definitely not some trendy diamond in the bandcamp mire, but if you like your death metal shameless with a side of epic, check out Metal Hammer’s full stream here.
Black metal specialists Avantgarde Music also have a pair of solid releases on offer this week, starting with Botanist‘s Collective: The Shape of He to Come. A sedate distillation of his trademark “verdant metal” sound, The Shape of He to Come finds Otrebor—the former man in this one-man band—working with a host of collaborators for the first time, conjuring visions of everything from Obsequiae to The Mars Volta in the process. Meanwhile, Nyss‘s Princess Terre (Three Studies of Silence and Death), offers a sporadically dissonant alternative for black metal fans who prefer concrete ruin to mossy forests. Hailing from France, there are some pretty obvious dots to connect here (cough Deathspell Omega cough), so if that’s your shit, make sure to get on it.
Finally, although there’s a bone pile of other odds and ends to sift through this week, let’s wrap our release coverage with Sxuperion, the one-man blackened death metal project of Valdur drummer Matthew S., and its latest penance, Myriad (Bloody Mountain Records), as well as Subterranean Masquerade‘s Vagabond (ViciSolum Productions), an oodly-noodly tangle of archetypal prog metal. These couldn’t be more different, and to be totally honest, that’s the way we like it around here.
WHAT TO SEE: In showland meanwhile, Friday kicks off a solid Labor Day weekend with Madball at Brooklyn Bazaar, God Module at DROM, Code Orange at Revolution Bar, and Metal Punk Death Feat II at Saint Vitus, featuring Pink Mass, Organ Dealer, and more. After that Saturday welcomes the aforementioned Madball to Mexicali Live, Witchtrap to Metal Kingdom Record Store, Haken to the Highline Ballroom, Phobia at Brooklyn Bazaar, Venom Inc. to Gramercy Theatre, and Profanatica/One Master at Saint Vitus, before Sunday offers up Spectral Voices at Lucky 13 Saloon and Open the Nile at Bowery Electric.
Labor Day itself is understandably quiet, with a free DopeRider gig at Porta Jersey City the only show of note, before Tuesday brings Shroud Eater, Begotten, and Eternal Black to Saint Vitus. Finally on Wednesday, Stuyeyed hits Our Wicked Lady while Lionize host an album release show at Saint Vitus, before Thursday rolls through Giuda at our favorite Greenpoint holy house in tow and, oh hey, This One Goes to Eleven’s latest showcase, featuring Thera Roya, Black Black Black, Ereptile Dysfunction, and the debut of my very own band, Fliege, at The Well. Tix for that one are $8 in advance, so grab one and come find me. I’ll buy you some beers.
WHAT THE FUCK: Whoo boy. All sorts of stuff this week. If you want my thoughts on the whole Matt Harvey/Hell’s Headbangers NSBM controversy, you can check them out via this embarrassingly long Twitter rant I puked up on Monday. In short, fuck NSBM and fuck the labels that sell it, but enough with the opinions, let’s talk solutions. Are we talking about policing thought/the free market economy? Good luck. The best shot is to put economic pressure on HHB by not supporting their products/bands/shows, but at this point the concept of “should” feels like a waste of precious breath. Of course they SHOULD do the right thing (read: not profit from or promote extremist hate groups), but then again so SHOULD everybody. Now take a look at the world and ask yourself how that’s working out.
On a lighter note, I guess Metallica has a $175 Master of Puppets box set on the way. Needless to say, it’s ridiculous fucking overkill and I need it.