We have the first big summer release week on tap and I have show to prepare for, so let’s skip the pleasantries and dive in. Enjoy yourselves, folks.
WHAT TO HEAR: It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from YOB—four years since Clearing the Path to Ascend, in fact. In between Mike Scheidt dropped a new VHOL record and nearly died following a battle with diverticulitis, so it’s not like he hasn’t been busy. But thankfully, despite the odds, YOB are finally back with a new cosmic swirl of life-affirming doom, Our Raw Heart (Relapse), and there’s balance in the universe once more. Maybe the iridium-dense chord voicings and Scheidt’s piercing tenor don’t work for you (maybe you’re a pod person) but Our Raw Heart confirms what we already sort of knew: That metal band does more with the power of positive energy than YOB. Feast your soul on this triumphant, titanic comeback via NPR.
After all that sky-scraping beauty, however, I understand the need to drag things back down to the depths, and Manor of Infinite Forms (20 Buck Spin)—the sophomore salvo from Canadian death metal quartet Tomb Mold—is more than happy to oblige. A crusty, cavern-dwelling beast that’s not afraid of an occasional blast of Horrendous-esque grandeur, Infinite Forms is a little bit new school, a little bit old school, and absolutely fucking filthy. Arthur Rizk produces, as he is seemingly everything at the moment, and given how good this sucker sounds, let’s hope it cements him as the new Colin Marston for up-and-coming death metal bands everywhere. Hear it all via Decibel.
In slow-as-you-can-go news, meanwhile, Oakland blackened doom unit Abstracter return for their third sonic implosion, Cinereous Incarnate (Sentient Ruin). Arty around the edges—thanks in large part to the noise contributions from Sutekh Hexen’s Kevin Gan Yuen—and pure char its core, this lumbering, crumbling full length is one of the most caustic in recent memory, sitting comfortably alongside the likes of Primitive Man and Hell in the heinous modern sludge pantheon. Turn all the lights off and check it out via bandcamp.
After that, we pack our bags and head west, where desert death/doom outfit Lago return with their sun-baked new LP, Sea of Duress (Unique Leader). If you like your death metal thrumming and guttural, this one is for you. Hot on the wheels of that one are Exmortus and their latest batch of black-ish heavy metal, The Sound of Steel (Prosthetic), which makes up for a, ahem, slight lack of subtlety with oodles of Iron Maiden noodles.
Once you’re done there, spend some time with a pair of incredible black metal splits from Vilkacis and Turia— featuring M. Rekevics’ traditional anthems on one side and the mysterious experimental Dutch collective on the other—and Isenordal and Void Omina, both of whom deserve way more credit than they get. Check them out via Invisible Oranges and CVLT Nation respectively.
Finally, wrap up the new stuff with Ruined (Pelagic Records), the debut album from Boston post-doomers Lesser Glow (featuring former members of Black Elm, Irepress, and The Proselyte), and Doitashimashite, a new, fully improvised EP from Brooklyn avant-everything trio Think Tank. Clocking in at just under 20 slow-burning minutes, Doitashimashite captures the stirring groans of the band’s Mall of Found residency in upstate New York last fall. Here it in its entirety below:
WHAT TO HEAR: Ticketfly is back up and running and so are the shows, starting tonight with SIXES at The Kingsland, Skullshitter at Lucky 13 Saloon, Skinless at Brooklyn Bazaar, Combichrist at Gramercy Theatre, and the second night of Caspian playing Dusk and Disquiet in full at Saint Vitus. Saturday continues with Majestic Downfall at Music Stage-Train, Beast Modulus at Lucky 13, The Armed at Saint Vitus, Jynx at the Knitting Factory, Queensway at The Meatlocker, and a free Blame God rager at The Kingsland. After that Sunday wraps up the weekend with the aforementioned Think Tank at Coney Island Baby, The Murder Junkies at QXT’s, a 2pm Coma Regalia matinee at Vitus (followed by First Blood in the evening slot), and Deathcrown at the Meatlocker alongside ExoVoid, and, oh look, my band, Fliege.
Monday, meanwhile, kicks the working week off in crazy fashion with an early/late Full of Hell/Gatecreeper beatdown, followed on Tuesday by Erabella at Lucky 13, Walls of Jericho at Debonair Music Hall, Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime at Revolution Bar, and Immortal Bird/Pyrrhon at Saint Vitus. Wednesday screams toward another weekend with The Dickies at The Kingsland, Def Leppard at MSG, Celeste at Saint Vitus, and a Rocks Off Concert Cruise with Municipal Waste before Thursday arrives, brakes squealing, with Danger Sluts (pro tip: don’t name your band Danger Sluts) at The Footlight, End of Hope at The Kingsland, Young Widows/Emma Ruth Rundle at Saint Vitus, and a special evening at National Sawdust celebrating the release of Charlie Looker’s (Psalm Zero, Zero & Ardor) new album, Simple Answers, featuring 17-piece Chamber Orchestra and guests like Doug Moore of Pyrrhon and Zohra Atash of Azar Swan.
WHAT THE FUCK: I would now like to draw your attention to Vulgar Display of Purring, a killer new compilation celebrating the heaviest cat-loving metal bands in all 50 states. The comp dropped last week and is available here (alongside some killer merch), with proceeds benefiting And Justice For Paws…, a new non-profit organization from Brutal Panda Records owner (and the guy I get all my lovely Relapse promos from) Bob Lugowe designed to aid domestic and wild animals around the globe. As a cat owner with a metal band, this one hits close to the bitter old heart, so if—like me—you are down for the cause, make sure to get to Vitus on June 26th, when Dead Empires, Belus, Godmaker, and Wreath of Tongues headline the inaugural Vulgar Display of Purring release show.