OK, no time for niceties this week. WAY too much to get to, which, let’s be honest, is good news for both of us. Now will someone count me in for fuck’s sake??
WHAT TO HEAR: Oh, look who’s back this week. It’s MYRKUR—the ethereal black-ish metal project of Amalie Brunn and 2015’s harassment target of choice for metal mouthbreathers everywhere—and her new album Mareridt (Relapse). If you dug the Ulver-meets-Elven-folk template on her debut, M, then there’s certainly plenty to dig into here, but MYRKUR augments that night/day push-pull with plenty of twilight this time around, blending her two diametrically opposed approaches for a wonderfully heavy in-between. Plus there’s a Chelsea Wolfe cameo, so yeah, put down your prejudices and check this one out.
While we’re still lost in the woods, let’s stick to the brooding black metal theme with Hell is Other People and their latest full length Embrace (CDN Records). Hailing from Windsor, Ontario and named after an infamous Jean Paul Sartre quote that we can all occasionally identify with, Hell is Other People play a frosty, immaculate breed of atmospheric black metal that sounds a bit like Wolves in the Throne Room with less ragged, witchy edges. In other words, it’s a perfect long-play for the dying days ahead, so head over to their bandcamp and give it a spin.
After that one, turn your attention to Philly duo Hate Moon and homespun-but-fist-pumpingly-symphonic debut, The Imprisoning War (Folkvangr Records). Combining lo-fi black metal fervor with night-crawling synth strings, The Imprisoning War combines Tuathail and Tohmar’s Norse and Celtic heritage into a single brutal, but beguiling, sound. Best of all, these guys know their sonic limitations and embrace them at every possible opportunity, making for a clear, concise, committed vision. Give it a listen via bandcamp.
After that, let’s drop the tunings to something subatomic and check out Ardor (Souther Lord), the sophomore full-length from Montreal art-doom trio, BIG|BRAVE. There’s a tendency with this kind of band—who blend elements of doom, drone, post-rock, slowcore, and indie—to say they “defy” categorization, but let’s dispel that analysis right now: I’ve seen BIG|BRAVE open for Sunn O))). Ardor is three songs and 40 mins long. This is a doom band—and a pretty damn good one at that—so don’t sleep on them.
Back in Mordor, meanwhile, I, Voidhanger has also forged a pair of crazy releases this week. First up is The Self-Process of Becoming, the latest philosophy-focused full length from coarse and coursing Finnish black metal outfit Verge, followed closely by the final release from one of modern metal’s most sonically terrifying acts, Howls of Ebb. That one, dubbed With Gangrene Edges/Voiidwarp, is a split with Khtoniik Cerviiks, so come for the swan song and stay for the Hooked on Phonics lesson.
Speaking of Mordor, the least verdant Tolkien metal band in Middle Earth, Battle Dagorath, are back with II – Frozen Light of Eternal Darkness (Avantgarde). The continuation of last year’s I – Dark Dragons of the Cosmos, Eternal Darkness is fantastically atmospheric and wonderfully dark, so make sure to give it a listen when you have 80 minutes of uninterrupted brooding time on your hands. After you’re done there, also make sure Belphegor‘s Totenritual (Nuclear Blast), another catacomb-bone-rattling blast of black/death from the Austrian vets.
Finally, in decidedly cheesier news (sorry to all my lactose intolerant metal image consultant readers), legendary Viking folk metallers Ensiferum are back with their latest bloody-snow-stain Two Paths (Metal Blade ), while former post-USBM standouts Vattnet Viskar complete their transformation to simply Vattnet, with their self-titled re-debut (New Damage). In addition the Viskar, Vattnet have also mostly discarded their black metal roots as well, pursuing a slick brand of emo-tinged post-hardcore-if-we’re-being-nice/post-grunge-if-we’re-being-honest instead. Needless to say, this one is going to be a metal opinion muckraker.
WHAT TO SEE: If you’re feeling unusually social this week, then get out there see something, starting tonight with La Misma at Secret Project Robot, Dark Tranquility at Gramercy Theatre, Crescent Moon at Highland Park, Slaves at American Beauty, and Vastum at Saint Vitus. On Saturday, check out Blacque Jacque Shellacque at Blackthorn 51, Bound by Substance at DROM, Helmet at Debonair Music Hall, Ace Frehley at BB King’s, Tombs/River Black at Saint Vitus, Scorpions/Megadeth at MSG, and Fucking Invincible/Krimewatch at Brooklyn Bazaar, before wrapping up the weekend on Sunday with Carabao at Irving Plaza and Exodus/Obituary/Power Trip at Starland Ballroom.
On Monday meanwhile, get out there for The Freeze at Knitting Factory, The Horrors at Rough Trade, and Castle at Vitus, before Tuesday welcomes that aforementioned Exodus tour to Music Hall of Williamsburg, The Horrors to Rough Trade (again), a listening party for the new The Black Dahlia Murder record to Vitus, and Front 242 to Irving Plaza. After that, dive headfirst into Wednesday’s offerings, including Sleeping With Sirens at Gramercy Theatre, Weeping Icon at Secret Project Robot, Tesla at The Paramount, and Wovenhand/SubRosa at Saint Vitus, before Thursday rattles toward another weekend with Decapitated at Gramercy Theatre, Martin Rev at Brooklyn Bazaar, and X‘s 40th anniversary tour to Stage 48.
WHAT THE FUCK: Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Shameless self-promo time, wheeee! Over the past 12 months, I have been splitting my time writing about metal with actually making it (shocker, I know). What began as a drunken joke at some forgotten show—”dude we should write a black metal record about The Fly lol”—slowly became reality, and now, following the release of our self-titled debut YESTERDAY, I’m psyched to introduce you all to Fliege.
I don’t want to offer any opinions, because that’s not my job in this context, but if you are interested in checking it out (and I hope you are) here are the straight facts, homie: Fliege is an industrial black n’ roll duo from Brooklyn, New York, whose six-song demo is based entirely around David Cronenberg’s 1986 body-horror splatterpiece, The Fly. Fliege is offering up their demo for a pay-what-you-want fee (yes, that means free) on bandcamp. Fliege will be fucking up metal DNA at venues around NYC this fall.
For now, that’s pretty much all you need to know, but feel free to reach out with feedback, even if you fucking hate it. Oh, and as always, thanks for listening…especially this time.