New week, more metal, short intro. Let’s get to it.
WHAT TO HEAR: Getting us underway this week is an early AOTY contender from the heart of the bleak, god-forsaken heart of the Midwest: Locktender’s Friedrich (Moment of Collapse). Built from the ashes of Men As Trees, Locktender’s focus is a narrow but engrossing one, with each new release focusing on a specific artist and each of its constituent tracks telling the story of a specific work. The self-professed “philosophercore” quartet’s first LP since 2015, Friedrich focuses on (you guessed it, art history minor) the life and work of Caspar David Friedrich, a painter and monk whose loneliness and nihilism eventually drove him to suicide, drowning himself in the ocean in the latter years of his life. Rendering Friedrich’s oeuvre in a fatalistic palate of emotive (and outright emo) post-sludge, Locktender have crafted not only a fresh take on the tired “concept” album, but a perfect batch of melancholy metal for the winter ahead. Check it out via bandcamp.
It’s a good week for I, Voidhanger, whose trio of twisted black metal missives begins with YHDARL’s desperate, depressive new LP, Loss. Monochromatic, mid-tempo, and masochistic in the extreme, Loss straddles the line between miserable trudging sludge and yalping depressive black metal over the course of its three long-form explorations. The result of five years and five losses (at least according to the bands bio), this one is a must hear for dark times, which seem to be coming thick and fast at the moment.
After that, make sure to check out Helian, a new two-song split from two of the most fascinating—and challenging—black metal acts in current existence, Spectral Voice and Jute Gyte. Hailing from the Old and New Worlds respectively, this one will fry your ears and brain alike, so give it a listen via Invisible Oranges. If that doesn’t quite whet the whistle, also make sure to check out Voidhanger’s reissue of The Sea Which Has Become Known, Mare Cognitum’s (inter) stellar 2011 debut.
If that’s not enough bombed-out blast-beat madness for you this week, then make sure to check out Maltrér, the sophomore full-length from German black metal kvlt, Verheerer (Vendetta Records). One part classic second-wave assault and another contemporary atmospheric epic, Maltrér augments big brimstone riffs with ambient, expansive washes of synth for a uniquely catchy breed of black bile. It doesn’t exactly find a better way to slice the bread loaf, but not everything can nor has to. Give in and give it a listen via their bandcamp.
Finally, after you’re done devouring all of that, check out Pounding the Pavement (Steamhammer), the latest salvo from the unkillable Anvil, and Scorched Earth (Auris Apothecary), a new batch malignant blackened doom from Indiana trio Gnaw Bone who somehow managed to work actual bits of bone into the deluxe vinyl press of this one. A for effort there, guys.
WHAT TO SEE: On the show-front, tonight starts firing with Framework/Windfaerer at Cianfano’s, Royal Thunder at Saint Vitus, Royal Trux at Market Hotel, Black Wail at White Eagle Hall, Underdog at The Kingsland, and Purgatory at Shaker’s Pub. Saturday keeps thing rolling with Necroptic Engorgement at Mother Pug’s Saloon, Dead Roses at Desmond’s Tavern, and Nuclear Assault at Saint Vitus, while Sunday wraps up the weekend in fitting fashion with Hookers and Blow at Blackthorn 51. Just another weekend is paradise, amirite?
Monday is mellow, but Tuesday hosts a free Rails-headlined gig at Saint Vitus, followed on Wednesday by Neither God Nor Master at Gold Sounds. After that, Thursday brings a slightly underwhelming week in local metal shows with a worthwhile consolation at Brooklyn Bazaar featuring Krallice, Pyrrhon, Thaetas, and more.
WHAT THE FUCK: I will not link to this. I will not link to this. I will not link to this. I will not link to this. Ahh, fuck it.