Welcome to our annual MDF-hangover edition. Let’s keep it short, sweet, and maybe just a little bit quieter than usual.
WHAT TO HEAR: First up this week is Reflections of a Floating World (Armageddon Label), the latest long-play from psychedelic Boston sludge lords, Elder. Following in the footsteps of the band’s 2015 full-length Lore–one of our absolute favorites that year–is certainly no easy task, but Elder manage to pull it off, adding an extra pair of band members to their power trio format for a more diverse and dynamic listening experience (yes, there’s even pedal steel). As you’ll quickly see, categorizations like “stoner” and “sludge” fall far short of Elder’s technicolor sprawl, so take those with a grain of salt before heading over to bandcamp to check this one out.
After that, you are also required to check out Servants of Countercosmos (Avantgarde Music), the second LP in as springs from Manchester-based black metallers Wode. A beefed-up, brimstone-scorched take on the long-form melodic char the quartet were peddling this time last year, Servants is bigger, bolder, and more badass than its predecessor, trading slow-motion atmosphere for urgent riffage. Despite all these changes, Wode don’t sound like a new band, just an evolved version of themselves, which, in a post-Black Album world, is a compliment of the highest order.
Gasping for mercy? Well, don’t expect any, as Mutoid Man‘s sophomore effort, War Moans (Sargent House), also hits digital (and actual) shelves today. The Cave In/Converge spin-off’s most uncompromising work to date, War Moans is teeming with massive heavy metal riffs, earworming hooks, and enough ridiculous solos to make Steve Vai blush. If you’re just looking to crack a few Banquets and have a good time, this one is absolutely essential listening (stream it via Noisey).
Whatever you do, however, don’t miss Through the Mirror (Hydra Head Records), the latest mind-fuck from Japan’s first and only self-professed “catastrophic noise metal” maniacs, Endon. A caustic and notorious blend of harsh noise, hardcore, and just about any other former of sonic S&M you can dream up, Through the Mirror finds Endon in their purest form—as both an assault and influence, informing the work of experimental grind bands like Full of Hell, Cloud Rat, and the now defunct Gridlink at every drop of the d-beat. If you just want to be turned to fucking pulp, this one—currently streaming at Invisible Oranges—is your pick of the week’s mutated litter.
Meanwhile, on flaming battle grounds of big-budget death metal and its sinister underground counterparts, Vallenfyre‘s Fear Those Who Fear Him (Century Media) and Triumvir Foul‘s Spiritual Bloodshed (Invictus Productions) wage their war eternal. The victors? Well us, mostly, because we get two killer—but contrasting—new releases to sink our fangs into. The former is brawny, crusty, and straightforward—an obvious homage to the U.K. DM scene that spawned it—while the latter is subterranean and serpentine, a closer cousin to Tampa’s most twisted, swamp-sick minds in the early 90s. In other words, pick your poison and get to it. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
Grindcore fiends won’t be let down by the fare this week either, with a new split from Birdflesh/Organ Dealer (Horror Pain Gore Death) serving up a well-composed amuse bouche to Phobia‘s new full length (if there is such a thing in grindcore) Lifeless God (Willowtip Records). Quit your newfangled readin’ and get in the pit.
Finally, if you’re looking to keep the crazy throttle pinned to the floor, definitely check out Völur‘s Ancestors (Feuer Publications), a manic swarm of proggy black metal from the Finnish underbelly. After everything we’ve covered today, however, I suggest a proper cool down instead, and Canadian folk doom outfit Völur provide the perfect soundtrack with their somber new LP, Ancestors (Prophecy Productions). Chock full of mournful strings and brooding amplifier worship, this one is an ideal heavy-as-lead chillout.
WHAT TO SEE: I hope you brought your stand-around-and-drink boots because it’s a jam-packed show weekend, starting tonight with Dehumanized at Parkside Pub, Blacque Jacque Shellacque at Blackthorn 51, Skinlab/IKILLYA at Saint Vitus, and Mutilation Rites/Luminous Vault at Matchless. After you shake those off, Saturday will be there waiting for you with Sunlord at Gussy’s, Psyclon Nine at Blackthorn 51, Born Without Bones at Gold Sounds, and a Gatecreeper-headlined matinee at Saint Vitus, followed by Legacy of the Witch III once the sun goes down. Finally the Sabbath wraps up the weekend in style with The Hudson Horror at Lucky 13 Saloon and Acid Witch at Saint Vitus.
Monday offers a killer duo of shows in Behexen at the Paper Box and Mutoid Man/Helms Alee at Saint Vitus while Tuesday welcomes the same pairing back to the venerable Greenpoint hell hole, as well as Signals of Bedlam/Embrace Agony to Lucky 13 Saloon. Finally, Wednesday finds the almighty Iron Maiden at the Prudential Center (with Ghost in tow, no less) before Thursday wraps up another week in paradise with The Explosion/Dark Blue/Subcults at Saint Vitus. Ticketfly don’t fail us now.
WHAT THE FUCK: A Ukrainian zoo just erected a statue of Slayer‘s Tom Araya for reasons yet unknown. No really, I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.