TRENDING hardcore, CRAZY shows, and…figure skating? Yep, it’s another weird week here in Brooklyn Metaland. Let’s get to it.
WHAT TO HEAR: We kick this week off with one for punk kids in Turnstile’s hot hot hot major-label debut, Time & Space (Roadrunner). A hardcore record for kids who want to wear tie-dye shirts into the pit, Time & Space is essentially the entire GTA: San Andreas Radio X playlist crammed into 25 hook-packed minutes, slamming elements of Jane’s Addiction, Helmet, Jane’s Addiction, and Black Flag off each other like some sort of DIY particle collider. The hallmarks of a major-label debut are there—more accessible, super hyped, maybe trying to do a little too much (do you really need “I’ll Be There You”-esque handclaps in a chugging breakdown?)—but Time & Space, now streaming via NPR, is an oddball hardcore odyssey, even if all you wanted to hear was Nonstop Feeling over and over again until the sun burns out.
On the local landscape, meanwhile, former instrumetallers Dead Empires return with their first non-instrumental record, Designed to Disappear (Silent Pendulum Records). A wild, proggy joyride into the heart of Dillinger Escape Plan worship, Designed to Disappear is also so much more, shredding through one major/modal/mixed-up riff after the next. With Torrential Downpour’s Jason Sherman adding his searing vox (and some twisted electronics) to the proceedings, this one is a quantum leap forward for one of the scene’s vets. Whatever you do, DO NOT sleep on this one.
On more serene waters, ethereal drone outfit Insect Ark—formerly the solo project of former Swans collaborator Dana Schechter, now a duo—are set to release their latest full-length, Marrow Hymns (Profound Lore). A brooding, slow-burn smear of pedal steel, foreboding bass, and glitching synth, Marrow Hymns is metallic in its omnipresent sense of doom, building to one horrifying (and horror movie-inspired) crescendo after the next. When you’re looking for something a little mellower, check it out via bandcamp.
Keeping things somber, meanwhile, are folked-up black metallers Bhleg and their brooding new LP, Solarmegin (Nordvis). The culmination of four years of “ancient meditation and solar worship” by the Swedish duo, the 98-minute opus is an earthy, sprawling celebration of the sun and it’s shining gifts. Pagan metal in the truest sense of the term, Solarmegin is patient, triumphant, and the perfect reintroduction to spring. If you’re looking for seasonal rebirth and all that crap, turn this one up today.
After that we head to the bitter wastes of Alberta, where Calgary grindcore monsters Wake have their fourth full-length pain vehicle, Misery Rites (Translation Loss), set for release. Based around themes of isolation, depression, and addiction and awash in swirling psychedelic walls of gain, Wake are thinking man’s grindcore and Misery Rites their most complete thesis yet. If you just want to get your brain erased for a couple of minutes, however, it also more than does the trick, peeling back layer after hideous, desperate layer with every listen. Give it a spin over at Noisey.
If it’s a contrast in black metal extremes you’re after, however, the make sure to devote some time to Funerary Bell’s Undead Revelations (Saturnal Records) and Arkheth’s 12 Winter Moons Comes the Witches Brew (Transcending Obscurity). The former is the perfect Satanic soundtrack to your next fireside ceremony while the latter is a skronking, woozy blackened blues metal acid trip from Down Under. It sounds nothing like anything you’ve heard all year, and honestly, that’s the highest praise you can earn around here.
Wrapping up the week’s releases in tidy fashion are a pair of crushing, contrasting splits, both born from Japan’s ruthlessly experimental underground metal scene. The first up is Nine Cocoons of Dens to F (Daymare Recordings), from Far East death merchants Coffins and their compatriots in doom, Second to None. Crushing is what to expect and crushing is what you get. After that, things get even stranger with American Dollar Bill – Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous to Look at Face On (Thrill Jockey), a collaborative effort from legendary Japanese sound provocateur Keiji Haino and American post-sludge savants, Sumac. No use trying to put this specific breed of madness into words, so I suggest you go and hear it for yourself.
WHAT TO SEE: If you’d prefer to get out there and hear this stuff in the flesh, that’s always an option as well, starting tonight with Bury Your Dead at The Kingsland, The Nuclears at Diviera Drive, DIRKSCHNEIDER at Gramercy Theatre, and Pig Destroyer at Crossroads, followed on Saturday by Skullsplitter at The Gateway, Wrathchild (Iron Maiden tribute) at Blackthorn 51, and Windfaerer at Backstage Pass. The sabbath is equally heavy with Doyle at Blackthorn 51 and Boysetsfire at Vitus before Monday sucks your soul out with a Whores/Primitive Weapons/Plaque Marks noise rock spectacular.
In the immortal words of Newman, Tuesday has no feel unless you’re going to see the middle of three Jawbreaker shows at Brooklyn Steel (guilty as charged). Wednesday follows with a free Ultor-headlined rager at Saint Vitus and Silverstein at Irving Plaza, while Thursday goes dark once again. So yeah, a slow week on the show front, but they can’t all be parking lot dingers I guess.
WHAT THE FUCK: Here’s a Hungarian figure skater performing to an AC/DC medley in a studded denim vest because the Winter Olympics. That the judges and announcers pretty much called it trailer park trash on live national TV makes it that much better. FUCK YOUR SWAN LAKE JOHNNY.