After an illness-related layoff last week, we are back with metal (and phlegm) aplenty, which seems like a fitting introduction to the bubbling grotesquery ahead. Happy Friday the 13th, everyone.
WHAT TO HEAR: Batting lead off this week (it’s the MLB Playoffs!!…No? Anybody?) are long-running local trio Belus and their scathing new full length, Apophenia (Vendetta Records). Once a doom band with singed black metal edges, Belus flip that recipe on its head on Apophenia, morphing into an apocalyptic and unapologetic black metal band before our very ears. With a droning, melodically complex take on the tremolo picked doctrine—augmented by a genre-straddling mid-range vocal approach—Belus now sound very much like the kind of black metal act only Brooklyn’s burnt-out warehouse district-dwelling metal scene can produce, and if you know anything about TOGTE, you know that’s a compliment of the highest order.
Keeping with that sub-genre sub-dividing approach are Colorado slow merchants Spectral Voice and their cave troll of a debut LP, Eroded Corridors Of Unbeing (Dark Descent). Culling a large part of their sound and ethos from early-mid 90s death/doom pioneers like dISEMBOWELMENT and Autopsy, Spectral Voice—like their statesmen in Primitive Man, whose latest batch of audio torture dropped last week—specialize in hideous textures and dungeon atmospherics, and Corridors of Unbeing captures that sound with unerring focus and conviction. If that sounds rad to you (and it should), go book your descent over at the Dark Descent bandcamp.
After that, legendary gore-grind trailblazers Exhumed return with their latest horror-and-entrails-bathed full-length, Death Revenge (Relapse). Essentially an extreme metal retelling of Boris Karloff’s The Body Snatchers, Exhumed’s first-ever concept album renders the true story of grave robbers turning to murder to satisfy scientific demand for cadavers in 19th century Edinburgh in an array of insane yet irresistible riffs (Exhumed’s greatest strength has always been catchiness, not brutality). There’s no chainsaw solo this time around, but if you can get past that, this one is a must hear.
Next up we have Hegemony (Napalm Records), the latest offering from Swiss black metal pioneers turned industrial heavyweights, Samael. Dealing in buzzsaw-blade grooves, Hegemony continues what has been an awesome year for electronic-influenced metal (Statiqbloom, Peturbator, et al.) with perhaps the niche’s best offering yet. Imagine Streetcleaner with a continental European flair (read: a watercolor wash of gothic synths flair), and you’re off to good start on this one. Pick up the record here and give it a listen via bandcamp.
Speaking of oodles of atmospheric synths, Enslaved—perhaps the only band you could ever call “blackened viking prog” and mean it as a compliment—also return today with their brand new studio offering titled, simply, E (Nuclear Blast). Welcoming a new keyboardist to the fold, E finds the Norwegian vets doing what they do best—penning one winding, pristinely produced epic after the next. The black metal-isms have given way to a more traditional, riff-based approach, but don’t worry, Scandinavia still burns at the heart of this one like a fire in the night.
And since we hoofed it all the way to Norway, we may as well as kick off our boots, put up our feet, and check out Viige Urh (Indie Recordings) the new record from Nocturno Culto’s Sarke. Sharing that connection with Darkthrone is a decent indicator of what lies inside, just expect a far more pronounced rock n’ roll influence throughout and you should be good. Just across the border in Sweden meanwhile are Saiva and their new record, Markerna Bortom (Nordvis). As you might expect from a Nordvis release, Markerna Bortom is brooding, pastoral black metal with trees on the cover, which means it ticks all the right boxes this time of the year. Check that one out via Invisible Oranges while there’s still some fall left to go around (even though it feels like it hasn’t even started yet).
Following a similar sonic template are Norway’s Mork and their latest full-length Eremittens Dal (Peaceville Records), currently streaming at Invisible Oranges. A drier, more aggressive take on the same kind of blackened heavy metal Sarke are shilling, Mork sound like they just graduated from Bathroy Vocational High School, and we mean that in the best possible way. Finally, end your weekly gorge with Altarage’s latest manic blend of black, death, and prog, Endinghent (Season of Mist)—also streaming at Invisible Oranges—Nachtblut’s Apostasie (Napalm Records), the perfectly gothic accompaniment for a season spent toasting blood with your undead besties.
WHAT TO HEAR: As previously referenced, it’s a Friday the 13th in October, so if you’re not headed to a metal show or a horror movie tonight, I’m not sure how you ended up halfway down this column in the first place. Thankfully, however, there’s still time to do both, with Fister at Matchless, Wolves in the Throne Room/Pillorian at Villain, Thunderpussy at Saint Vitus, Runny at The Well, Judas Priestess at Blackthorn 51, Andrew W.K. at the Warsaw, LANY at Irving Plaza, and Brooklyn Horror Film Festival at Videology tonight. On Saturday, the annual Lit House Show goes down at Amityville Music Hall with bands like Catacomb and Get Ignorant, while LANY hit Irving Plaza, Smock play Clash Bar, Triple Cripple take the Eastern Blocc, and Out.Live.Death/Silence Equals Death stay alive at Silent Barn, before Sunday wraps up the weekend with Superjoint and DevilDriver at Starland Ballroom, a third fucking night of LANY at the Plaza, and Guns n’ Roses at MSG.
The working week begins with the first of two stacked Aura Noir shows at Knitting Factory—this one featuring Mutilation Rites, Meek is Murder, and Skullshitter—as well as Ministry and Death Grips at Brooklyn Steel and The Manx at Vitus. After that, Tuesday wraps up Aura Noir’s Knitting Factory double-header with some help from Trenchgrinder, Couch Slut, and Funeral Leech (quite possibly the best bill of the month), which gets some stiff competition from Chelsea Wolfe/Youth Code at Irving Plaza, Ministry at T5, Rik & the Pigs at Brooklyn Bazaar, and Belltower at Saint Vitus. Wednesday is decent, featuring PEARS and Big UPs at Knitting Factory, Panicsville at The Glove, and Toadies at Gramercy Theatre, before Thursday wraps things up in some style with Comeback Kid/Burn at Brooklyn Bazaar, All Pigs Must Die at Vitus, Necromantix at Gramercy Theatre, and finally Pants Exploder/Beast Modulus/KRUD Brothers/Fliege at Lucky 13 Saloon. As you may or may not already know, Fliege is my band, which leads me to….
WHAT THE FUCK: SHAMELESS SELF-PLUG TIME! If you’re even morbidly interested, come out, say what’s up, download our debut for free on nearby Dunkin’ Donuts wi-fi, etc. We’ll be playing our entire blackened heavy metal retelling of ‘The Fly’ (plus a tune from another little cinematic classic that we’ve whipped up for the occasion) and want eyeballs and earholes. Plus, Pants Exploder and Beast Modulus are two of the most criminally underrated bands in Brooklyn and if you don’t believe me just go check out Beast Modulus’ insane new record, BEING, and then we can chat. Cheers, maniacs.