Originally I was feeling guilty about missing the last two release weeks, which were absolutely packed with flashpoint metal records…then I took a look at this week’s lineup. Yeah, sorry, not sorry.
WHAT TO HEAR: Let’s start this week at the fucking bottom with Mutilation Rites’ scathing new full-length, Chasm (Gilead Media). A crusty grind opus tracked at Saint Vitus of all places (as if things weren’t already heavy enough), Chasm is swarming, claustrophobic, and malevolent from its opening peals of feedback to the dying breaths of “Putrid Decomposition.” In between, there’s a manic splatter of buzzsaw riffs, plenty of d-beat rollick, and some of the most viscous (yes viscous, not vicious) vocals ever laid to tape (these things are flemmy, man). In short, Chasm is probably the most brutal album to come out of Brooklyn this year, and that’s high praise around these parts. Check it out via Decibel.
Now turn our focus to a band whose name you probably haven’t heard in awhile: Skeletonwitch. It’s been five years since Skeletonwitch’s have graced us with a full-length, but that long, cold wait comes to a close today with Devouring Radiant Light (Prosthetic). As you’ll quickly realize, Skeletonwitch have not exactly picked up where they left off. Gone is longtime frontman Chance Garnette—replaced by Veil of Maya’s Adam Clemens—and the band’s beer-swilling blackened thrash, supplanted by a rich, grandiose vein of straight black metal gold. Some core fans may be turned off by that. They may call it a cash grab, but remember, there’s very little cash to be made in all of this anyway. Also it rips. Don’t believe me? Give it a listen over at their bandcamp.
After that thoroughly enjoyable red herring, make sure to check out Extremity’s debut LP, Coffin Birth (20 Buck Spin), which is sure to hit your expectations right on the back of the head (as long your expectations are “brutal throwback death metal”). Retro death metal supergroups seem to be the hot new side-project thing at the moment, but Extremity—featuring members of Vastum, Repulsion, Agalloch, Cretin, and more—are definitely the, um, most extreme, embracing the late-90s’ guttural gore instead the earlier thrash-but-scarier sound. You can check it out via bandcamp, which you should definitely do.
If you’re looking to keeping things organic, meanwhile, make sure to check out Twilight Fauna’s achingly gorgeous new LP, Where Birds See My Name (independent). An atmospheric love letter to Appalachia, Where Birds Sing My Name—conjuring apparitions of Panopticon and Agalloch—is a continuation of 2017’s The Years the Star Fell and the perfect black metal accompaniment to coming of Autumn. “This is an album about about family, my home, and the things I love about this often painful existence. It’s about rebuilding your life after tragedy and finding a small piece of contentment in a chaotic world,” says the project’s mastermind Paul Ravenwood. So if you’re looking a coping companion, or just like a little banjo with your blast beats, give it a listen via bandcamp.
Next up is Khôrada—yet another band rising from the ashes of Agalloch today—and their new full-length, Salt (Prophecy Productions). A blend of moody prog rock, black metal, and doom, Salt is stylistically everything all at once, but tethered by a unwavering commitment to melody and an undying urge to experiment. If you have a sense of what “avant-garde” feels and sounds like in the metal space—cold-sheen production, an unshowy approach to time signature manipulation the denial of release at the apex of every crescendo etc.—this one, written in response to our increasingly perilous times, is sure to feel at once totally familiar and entirely foreign. Check it out via bandcamp.
I, Voidhanger also comes correct this week with a pair of solid new releases, starting with Danish outfit Phantom’s latest batch of trad metal-inflected underground black metal, Death Epic. Wash that one down with Khanus’ psychedelic black/death opus, Flammarion, and you have yourself a meal.
Finally wrap things up with Elegy (Prophecy Productions), the third windswept LP from Canadian blackened doom outfit Finnr’s Cane (who employ cello instead of traditional bass, in case you’re looking for a hook), and The Lion’s Daughter’s Future Cult (Season of Mist), which finds the once traditional black/crust outfit branching out into a palate of industrial synthscapes. From what I’ve heard, it mostly seems to work for them, so make sure to check it out.
WHAT THE FUCK: Another insane week of shows kickstarts your heart tonight with Epicardiectomy and Artificial Brain at Revolution, Fragments in Motion at The Kingsland, Backwoods Payback at Shakers Pub, and Sasquatch at Saint Vitus, followed on Saturday by Leeds Point at Lucky 13 Saloon, Michael Angelo Batio at Blackthorn 51, Heresiarch at Saint Vitus, Coheed & Cambria at the Coney Island Amphitheater, CTTD at Clash Bar, Sweet Magma at Desmond’s Tavern, and a crazy one featuring Krallice, Yellow Eyes, Pyrolatrous, and Fórn at Brooklyn Bazaar.
If you survive that, Sunday has The Last Stand at The Hideout, Bible of the Devil at Bowery Electric, and Crazy Bull at Saint Vitus waiting for you, bolstered on Monday by Backwoods Payback at The Meatlocker and Street Sects at Saint Vitus. Tuesday, meanwhile, kicks off a wild mid-week run of shows with Deafheaven/Uniform at Brooklyn Steel, Rob Zombie at the PNC Bank Arts Center, and The Ominous Circle at Saint Vitus. Wednesday answers the call with Bongripper playing Satan Worshipping Doom in full at Vitus and Avenged Sevenfold at Jones Beach Theater, before Thursday wraps things up with Faster Pussycat at Revolution, Paradise Kitty at Blackthorn 51, Powerglove at Gramercy Theatre, another night of Bongripper at Saint Vitus, and the almighty Sleep at Brooklyn Steel.
WHAT THE FUCK: This sign-language teacher interpreting Slayer’s farewell tour to deaf audience members is the best thing you will see all week. Put your hands down. Submissions are closed.