And so the weary traveler stepped through the gates of list season and was greeted with a hot meal…and a knife in the back.
WHAT TO HEAR: First up this week are one Brooklyn’s very own (and very finest) in Somnuri, who drop their self-titled debut today (Magnetic Eye Records). A throwback blend of old-school harpoon-wielding Mastodon and post-slow Matt Pike, Somnuri are ruthless and riff-focused, but anything but blunt, lacing their sound with trace amounts of psych and prog. Easily one of the most promising debuts to drop in the local scene this year, you can expect to hear a lot about Somnuri in the coming months, but it all starts right here. Check it out via Decibel and enjoy the ride.
Next up, take another big ol’ rip off the stoner metal peace pipe with the Wizard Bloody Wizard (Spinefarm), the latest Visine séance from legendary UK doom trio Electric Wizard. The band’s 9th studio offering—and first since 2014—Wizard Bloody Wizard finds Electric Wizard returning to their roots…and we don’t mean Dopethrone. Instead the band have gone back even further, to late ‘60s heavy-psych explosion, drawing on everything from Blue Cheer to Iron Butterfly to Zeppelin for inspiration. The result is a doom record teeming with vintage analog boogie that will sit just as well with casual rockers as it does full-blown metal fiends. Clear the chamber and check it out.
After that check out Nekrasov’s The Mirror Void (Prosthetic Records), which has come halfway around the world (Australia in this case) to rain beautiful, aching noise upon the metal masses. A cascading, convulsing blend of atmospheric black metal melody, harsh noise backdrops, and power electronics vocals that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Prurient record, Mirror Void—streaming via Decibel— is nihilistic and agnostic in the extreme, shirking parameters, definitions, and ethos by design. Needless to say, if Nekrasov’s other outsider metal project, Rebel Wizard, are too inviting for you, then you’ll feel right at home in The Mirror Void.
Once you’re done frying your brain on that blue-hot coil, turn your attention to To Venomous Death (Season of Mist), the much-anticipated debut from Atlanta blackened goth rock collective Cloak. That Cloak cite the likes of Danzig/In Solitude/Tribulation as influences is telling, but they are also far more than the sum of their various modern and classic metal parts, turning in great songs, big hooks, and memorable riffs with goat-slaying aggression (minus the actual goat-slaying…sorry Watain folks). Cloak have the potential to be that next big thing that you’ll probably then hate, so check out To Venomous Depths via Noisey while your cynical bastard self can still enjoy it.
Season of Mist aren’t done there, however, loading up the metal cannon with Farvegir Fyrndar, the latest full-length from atmospheric Icelandic black metallers, AUÐN, and Impureza’s new death-flamenco rager, La Caida de Tonaituh. The former, a ferocious and ferociously gorgeous ice storm, is the perfect pre-winter prep, while the latter—the French-Spanish outfit’s stellar sophomore effort, now playing over at Decibel—is a must for fans of anything the Cavalera bros have ever touched.
Finally, before you go anywhere, get over to Decibel (big week for Decibel streams apparently) and check out Deliverance From the Godless Void (Dark Descent), the latest crusty, claustrophobic, and corpse-strewn studio offering from prolific Finnish Death metallers Desolate Shrine. Wash that one down with Infaust’s steely German black metal masterclass Verblichen (Eisenwald Tonschmiede) and you’ve got yourself a meal.
WHAT TO SEE: OK, it’s mid-November somehow already and the shows are coming fast and thick, starting tonight with Regalia at Dingbatz, Scale the Summit at The Kingsland, Michael Angel Batio at Blackthorn 51, Knuckle Puck at Irving Plaza, Kindling at Trans-Pecos, Xibalba Itzaes at Lucky 13 Saloon, Sticks & Stones’ last show at El Cortez, and the final NYC appearance of the almighty Trap Them at Saint Vitus. After that, Saturday crushes with Embrace Agony at Gussy’s, Varukers at Blackthorn 51, One Hundred Thousand at Matchless, the Freakshow Festival at Dingbatz, Straphangers at Parkside Pub, The Mr. T Experience at Saint Vitus, Skid Row at Starland Ballroom, and Pyrolatrous’s record release show at Union Pool, before Sunday puts a nail in the weekend coffin with Goblin at Irving Plaza, Mutual Interest at Gold Sounds, (A)Truth at The Footlight, Crossing Heavy Borders 2 at The Delancey, The Convalescence at The Kingsland, and tunic at Silent Barn.
If you survived that ridiculous run-on sentence, also make sure to check out Tomb Mold at Saint Vitus, Cold Wrecks at Bushwick Public House, and King Crimson at The Paramount on Monday, as well as Chomper’s record release bash at Secret Project Robot on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Letallis play a free one at Vitus while Sic Tic hit Secret Project Robot, before Thursday brings us back around once again with Traitors at Sunnyvale, Stinking Lizaveta at Bar Matchless, Dream Theater at the Beacon Theatre, Gatherers at The Kingsland, Dark Desert Eagles at Gramercy Theatre, and Unsane/Cherubs at, you guessed it, Saint Vitus.
WHAT THE FUCK: Uncharacteristically good news out of the American political establishment this week, where transgender metal vocalist Danica Roem beat out bigoted incumbent Robert Marshall for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates while Indecision guitarist Justin Brennan was elected to New York City Council. In other words, if you’re jamming Baroness this week, go Blue instead of Red.