After several crazy weeks, things cool down on the release front this weekend—the last of July, in case you’ve been slacking on your summer metal binge and need a kick in the ass. As always, however, quality reigns over quantity, and in that respect, we are doing just fine once again.
WHAT TO HEAR: Technically Thou’s Rhea Sylvia (Deathwish) isn’t a full-length, but it’s Thou, so we aren’t gonna get bogged down in technicalities. The third EP released in the build up to next month’s Magus, Rhea Sylvia lands somewhere between its siblings, The House Primordial—a scathing batch of doom/drone—and Inconsolable—the band’s love letter to MTV Unplugged—blending their usual strain of soul-splitting doom with grunge hooks and mid-tempo groove. Check it out via bandcamp and see why that’s the best damn idea metal has had this year.
After that, give in to your autumnal inclinations with Lore of the Lakes (Gilead Media), the debut album from relentlessly melodic Minnesota black metal project, Inexorum. The brainchild of Carl Skildum—current live guitarist for Obsequiae and former member of Threadbare—Inexorum dwells in up-tempo blast beats, sweet n’ chewy tremolo melodies, and massive, in-your-face production. It all adds to a record that is introspective and fist-pumping all at once. Turn it up and let it smack you in the chest like a Lake Superior swell.
After that, wash down all those pretty feelings with The One Who Lurks (Krucyator Productions), the latest torture kit from dungeon death metal crew, Drawn and Quartered. If you’re still spinning Tomb Mold and Of Feather and Bone, make sure to check it out, because modern, Crypt fume-huffing death metal like that owes a lot to bands like Drawn and Quartered (who in turn owe a lot to Cannibal Corpse). The One Who Lurks is at once grotesque and easy to listen to thanks to fantastic production that allows listeners to actually hear the horrors taking place on the other side of the door. Stream it via bandcamp.
If you’re looking for some hope on grind/hardcore horizons, meanwhile, you’ll find plenty of it this, thanks in large part to Axis of Despair’s Contempt For Man (Southern Lord). Featuring current and former members of Nasum, Coldworker, Infanticide, and more, this one has some serious punishment pedigree, tearing through twenty tracks (side-eye emoji) in just about a half an hour (100 emoji). Head over to their bandcamp and give yourself the beating you deserve.
After that, spend some time with Escape (Agonia Records), the final installment in a trio of LPs inspired by formative brain surgeon Henri Laborit by French-language black metallers Decline of I. Elsewhere in the underground—Philadelphia to be specific—crusty, throwback black/death crew Blasphemous have their first record since 2010, Emerging Through Fire (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions), snapping at its chains. Blasphemous are equal-opportunity when it comes to their early-mid 90s influences, so if you’re into everything from Gothenburg to Tampa, you’re gonna be into this one too.
Finally, let’s cool down (jk) with a pair of awesome splits, the first of which—a political d-beat rager—comes your way courtesy of Violation Wound and Cliterati (Tankcrimes), while the second, Transmissions (independent), marries the oddball black metal stylings of Teloch Vovin and Grave Gnosis to good effect. May your heads forever roll.
WHAT TO SEE: Even with Migration Fest going down a few hours away, the shows keep on coming this week, starting tonight with The Ominous Circle at The Meatlocker, Killcode at Bowery Ballroom, Bush at the Jones Beach Theater, Sweet Magma at Gussy’s, Jinjer at The Kingsland, and Sleep at Brooklyn Steel. Saturday brings you another night of Killcode at Bowery, Acid King at The Kingsland, Stone Temple Pilots at the PNC Arts Center, and Giraffes? Giraffes! (good god fucking band names, amirite?) at Brooklyn Bazaar, before Sunday wraps up the weekend with Brimstone Coven/End of Hope at Lucky 13, Tallah at Revolution, The Iron Maidens/Judas Priestess at Mulchay’s, Through the Eyes of the Dead at The Kingsland, Ostraca (matinee) and Witch Mountain (8pm) at Saint Vitus, and the Slayer “farewell” tour (also feat. Lamb of God, Testament, Anthrax, and Napalm Death) at Jones Beach Theater.
Don’t dread Monday this week. It rolls back around with early and late shows from Pallbearer at Saint Vitus, as well as Faster Pussycat at QXT’s, before Tuesday lands with an even better lineup featuring Noisem/Skullshitter at Lucky 13, Havok/Jungle Rot at Saint Vitus, Birds in Row/Portrayal of Guilt at The Kingsland, and Spirit Adrift at Union Pool. On Wednesday make sure to check out ATTILA at Irving Plaza, Dio Disciples at Blackthorn 51, and Kontravoid at Vitus, before Thursday shudders to a stop with Nequient at Lucky 13 Saloon and Glassjaw/Quicksand at the Wellmont Theater.
WHAT THE FUCK: DIY ain’t dead. It’s only just begun.