Spring has sprung, and while that may not seem very metal, consider that MDF is less than a month away, allergies are hell, and the ridiculous summer release slate is just getting fired up. So yeah, take your winter and shove it.
WHAT TO HEAR: We kick things off in merciless fashion this week with Trumpeting Ecstasy (Profound Lore), the latest record from PA grindcore auteurs Full of Hell. Following collaborations with Merzbow and The Body, Trumpeting Ecstasy is the first “solo” record from the band in a couple of years, pushing their sound as far from their punk roots as it’s ever been with a tangled web of electronics that traps categorization like a doomed fly. Typically crystalline Kart Ballou production helps to hold everything together, but if you’re showing up just for the half-time breakdowns, you might find yourself waiting awhile.
Also out this week is A Stirring in the Noos (Relapse), the long-gestating debut from extreme supergroup John Frum. Featuring former members of Dillinger Escape Plan, John Zorn, and more, John Frum play knotty tech, dissonant tech death for a post-Colin Marston world, which is either definitely your thing or definitely not. Between this and Artificial Brain’s Infrared Horizon, however, it’s been a big month for the death du jour, so make sure to check it out.
Up next on the death metal docket this week is Succumb‘s self-titled debut (The Flesner). Hailing from the Bay Area, featuring Bosse-de-Nage’s Harry Cantwell on drums, and boasting production courtesy of Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker, etc.), Succumb certainly aren’t short on talking points, but most of the buzz has focused solely frontwoman Cheri Musrasrik’s subterranean howls and the classical poetry inspired that inspire their lyrics. Ultimately, these sort of narratives exist mostly for writers and the reps who write the press releases, so if that all sounds a little pretentious, just take it with a grain of salt. As Noisey’s stream makes abundantly clear, domestic death metal is best served straight up, with a splash of nihilism.
One you’re done, uhh, succumbing to that one, also make sure to check out Thousand Mile Stare (Closed Casket Activities), the latest offering of pain from Long Island hardcore vets Incendiary. Though operational since 2007, Thousand Mile Stare—a ferocious-but-tuneful throat punch of socially conscious hardcore—is only Incendiary’s second full length, and, given the state of the world, it couldn’t have come any sooner. Needless to say, this kind of stuff is as vital now as it has ever been in our American lifetimes, so sleep on it at your own peril (stream via Clrvynt).
Finally, we wrap things up with Oxbow‘s Thin Black Duke (Hydra Head Records), an artful array of avant metal/rock/whatever (streaming via Noisey) from a band that has been shilling exactly that for 30 years, and Ruins of Beverast‘s latest slab of monolithic black metal, Exuvia (Van Records). These are certainly exercises in contrast, but both more than warrant a close listen this week.
WHAT TO SEE: After your done stuffing yourself with tacos and tequila (it is Cinco De Mayo after all), make sure to check out a killer Friday night of shows featuring Judas Priestess at Blackthorn 51, The Cult at Brooklyn Steel, Yngwie (first name basis) at Starland Ballroom, Coheed and Cambria at Terminal 5, and Hank Wood & the Hammerheads at Saint Vitus. It’s going to be rough a Saturday morning, obviously, but drink some fucking coconut water and get out there on Saturday for Abazagorath at Metal Kingdom Record Store in Ridgewood, Tiger Flowers at Lucky 13 Saloon, and Multicult/Gnaw/The Austerity Program at Saint Vitus.
Sunday cools down a bit (sometimes I feel like I’m scripting a weather report here), with Opeth/Gojira at Starland Ballroom before Monday returns the torch to its rightful perch with Mad Diesel and Inertia at Saint Vitus. Tuesday follows in similar suit with Animals as Leaders at Saint Vitus, Korn at The Paramount (where Animals of Leaders also open), before Wednesday rolls around with the third Animals as Leaders set in two nights—again at Vitus—as well as The Unkillable Witching Hour at Lucky 13 Saloon, Amon Amarth at The Paramount, and Yngwie, this time at Gramercy Theatre. After all that, Thursday punctuates the week with Richie Kotzen at B.B.’s, Oceano at Webster Hall, Nordjevel/Imperial Triumphant at Saint Vitus, and Mastodon/Eagles of Death Metal/Russian Circles at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Good luck and godless speed.
WHAT THE FUCK (but in a good way this time): Local death metal merchants Internal Bleeding announced this week that they are set to soldier in the wake of the tragic passing of drummer Bill Tolley—a New York firefighter who lost his life in the line of duty earlier this month. Needless to say, this is both incredibly sad and incredibly rad, so if their upcoming tour with Vader lands anywhere near you, make sure to get out there and get in the pit.