Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone. Here’s the last little bit of labor you’ll see from me until Tuesday.
WHAT TO HEAR: There was no real backstretch drama this week: Thou, thanks to Magus (Sacred Bones), their fourth and final release of 2018 (probably), were always gonna lead the way and that was that. And that’s not because I’m one of these huge Thou apostles, either. It’s because Magus—an emotionally destructive 70-minute doom marathon—is the climax The House Primordial, Inconsolable, and Rhea Sylvia promised it would be. Thou do dense, jagged sludge just as well as anyone, but where Magus really shines is in the quiet moments—like two-minute mark of “The Changeling Prince”—when the din dissipates and the band’s melodic heart comes shining to the fore. Whether or not it’s Thou’s finest work is for a bigger Thou fan to say, but it’s absolutely mandatory metal listening nonetheless.
Meanwhile, straddling the line between plodding doom and searing black metal are Faustcoven and their new full-length, In the Shadow of Doom (Nuclear War Now!). What that means this time around is that Gunnar Hansen’s first offering as Faustcoven in six years leans on a lot of big, serpentine riffs and sinister hooks, delivered in the rawest digestible format possible. If you’re going on expecting something pretty because of the foliage-heavy album art, hoo boy, I can’t wait to hear what you think of this hideous beast.
Spiraling even deeper down the weird wormhole, we arrive at Mamaleek’s Out of Time (The Flenser), the latest scattershot from the Bay Area avant black jazz guardians. The double-album span is rife with samples—from crumbling old pop songs to Turkish concert recordings—and finds the duo tying knots upon on their already twisted knots. If Bosse-De-Nage, who also have a new LP on the way, are too normie for you, give Out of Time a try. 1000% guarantee you won’t be bored or we will refund your entire click.
After that, get your weekly death metal fix with Cast the Stone’s Empyrean Atrophy (Agonia Atrophy). Featuring current and former members of Misery Index, Cattle Decapitation, and Scour, Cast the Stone blend icy Swedish death metal with American hardcore angst for one of the heaviest, catchiest DM offerings of the now rapidly fading summer. Produced by Dan Swano, who has previously helmed releases from the likes of Katatonia and Edge of Sanity, this one is old school and new school all at once and a TOGTE-certified banger.
Speaking of Scandinavian death metal, veteran Finnish heshers Omnium Gatherum return today with their new LP, The Burning Cold (Century Media). These dudes have been at it for eight album’s now and show no signs of slowing down, so make sure to pay your dues. Finally, wrap things up with throwback black metal trio Tyrannic and their new crypt-dwelling, cobweb-eating full length, Ethereal Sepulchre (Seance Records). Hailing from Australia and specializing in lo-fi first-wave fun, these leather loving maniacs will get you in touch with inner underground today.
WHAT TO SEE: Labor Day can be a tough weekend for promoters and, more importantly bands, so if you’re around this weekend, make sure to get out there and see something, starting tonight with Mind Maze at Roxy & Duke’s, Morningside Heights at Debonair Music Hall, and Sissy Spacek/Stimulant at Saint Vitus Bar. Saturday keeps things rolling with Entropy at Avenue DIY, APTOW at Angry Papa Entertainment, Sworn Enemy at The Kingsland, Godsmack at PNC Arts Center (noooo), Invalids at Gold Sounds, Deep Purple/Judas Priest at Jones Beach Theater, and a star-studded record release show featuring Thou, Uniform, and Sunrot at Knitting Factory.
Sunday brings you a Hopeless Otis-headlined matinee at Lucky 13, Parius at Saint Vitus, Non Servium at Blackthorn 51, Pynkie at Alphaville, and Upon a Burning Body at (le) Poisson Rouge, before Monday takes a must-needed break. Tuesday picks things back up with Orgy at Gramercy Theater, Deterioration at Avenue DIY, and a good one featuring Wiegedood and Mutilation Rites at Vitus. Wednesday is heavy (and weird), featuring Stern/Hunter Hunt Hendrix at Vitus and Persefone at Mercury Lounge before Thursday wraps things up with Toke/Geezer at Elsewhere, Alice Cooper at Beacon Theatre, Judas Priest at PNC Bank Arts Center, Tarja Turunen (Nightwish) at Highline Ballroom, Breaking Benjamin/Five Finger Death Punch at Jones Beach Theater (double nooooo), Insect Ark at Vitus, and Metal Allegiance/Venom Inc at Gramercy Theatre.
WHAT THE FUCK: This fucking cracked me up. Shout out to Bosse-de-Nage/Succumb drummer @HarryCantwell for digging this up. #RatlordRules
Also my band, Fliege, got featured on Decibel this morning and I’m losing my mind. Have a great weekend, everybody.