We’ve barely touched September, and my inbox is already drowning in new fall releases. A good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. Let’s get these things covered so I can delete some emails, please.
WHAT TO HEAR: Breaking the ice this week are beloved grind vets Pig Destroyer and their first album in six long, Pig Destroyer-less years, Head Cage (Relapse). The world is a different place than it was in 2012 and Pig Destroyer sound fittingly and newly pissed, grinding through one caustic beatdown after the next as if Dubya was still shelling Baghdad (see: Early PD. I know he wasn’t in office in 2012). The more things change, the more they stay the same, however, and Pig Destroyer still sound like Pig Destroyer, cutting their scathing strain of powerviolence with touches of southern fried sludge and power electronics. Check it out via NPR if you dare.
Speaking of comebacks, immortal NWOBHM act Satan return for their second of decade with Cruel Magic (Metal Blade). Three years removed from Atom By Atom, the Newcastle natives keep the fire lit with 10 rollicking new tracks, inspired in greater part by their unhinged, spontaneous live shows. After 35 years, the band say they finally feel like they got it “100% right this time.” That may be press-release speak, but put these guys on a NA tour with Eternal Champion and Crypt Sermon and we are there. Anyway, check it out via bandcamp.
As long we’re on the subject bands we haven’t heard from in awhile, we absolutely have to touch on Boston doom crew Morne and their new long-play, To the Night Unknown (Armageddon Label). The first whisper from band in over five years, To the Night Unknown finds the band kicking the metronome up a couple of clicks, drifting across time, space, and all manner of post-sludge over the course of its eight sprawling epics. You can catch Morne opening for Tribulation at Elsewhere next month, but for now, sate yourself with this.
After that, turn up the strange grooves with Norwegian art/death rockers Årabrot and their lovely new full length, Who Do You Love (Pelagic). Like The Raconteurs covering The Talking Heads in a remote Swedish church—which, coincidentally enough, is where the band set up shop to rehearse and record this one—Who Do You Love is catchier than it is crusty, but always remains anchored by its emotional heft. Diagnosed with throat cancer in the middle of a 2014 tour, project mastermind Kjetil Nernes, now cancer free, wields that experience (and resulting perspective) expertly throughout, making this one essential, elegant, and thoroughly enjoyable weekly listening.
Once you’re done there, get your doom on, starting with the Sabbath-y swagger and classic cleans of both Cauldron’s New Gods (The End Records) and The Skull’s The Endless Road Turns Dark (Tee Pee Records). Follow that up with the glacial cacophony of Owl’s Nights In Distortions (Temple of the Tortuous) and you’ve got yourself a stew.
But don’t worry, death metal apostles, you’re not left out in the cold this week, with both Malthusian’s Across Deaths (Dark Descent) and Siege of Power’s Warning Blast (Metal Blade) more than worth the price of admission. The former is cavernous black/death bubbling up from the Irish underground while the latter—spearheaded by Autopsy’s Chris Reifert Asphyx’s Paul Baayens—is 19 punked-up death metal rangers that might even be enough to get your old bones in the pit.
Finally, put a sick little bow on everything with Monstrosity’s The Passage of Existence (Metal Blade). One of the lesser heralded bands of the early ‘90s Florida death metal scene, Monstrosity are still kicking some 30 years later, so make sure to pay your respects and give this reeking pile of swamp rot a listen.
WHAT TO HEAR: Your live pilgrimages begin tonight with Dehumanized at Lucky 13 Saloon, Nekrofilth at Brooklyn Bazaar, Iron Chic at Amityville Music Hall, Amorphis at Gramercy Theatre, Blacque Jacque Shellacque at Blackthorn 51, and Sumac/Dalek/Infernal Coil at Saint Vitus. On Saturday, Sumac and Dalek hit National Sawdust for an encore, while Power Trip headline Back to School Jam 2018 at White Eagle Hall, Cauldron throw it back at The Kingsland, Ozzy says goodbye to the Jones Beach Theater, and Infernal Coil strike out on their own at Shakers Pub. After that, Sunday goes hard to wrap up the weekend, with Obituary at House of Independents, Tarja at Gramercy Theatre, The Dead Boyz at Dingbatz, Panic Lift at The Delancey, and All Pigs Must Die at Saint Vitus dragging our cold, stuff corpses into a new week.
Monday keeps the guillotine oiled with Monolord/Usnea at Saint Vitus and Ozzy at PNC Bank Arts Center, while Tuesday welcomes Jethro Tull to Beacon Theatre, Nonpoint to Gramercy Theatre, and Cellar Darling to Vitus. Wednesday gets things rolling downhill again with Killing Joke at Irving Plaza, before Thursday brings us home again with D.R.I. at Brooklyn Bazaar, Tigers Jaw at Revolution Bar, day 1 of Cold Waves VII at Irving Plaza, Propagandhi aboard The Liberty Belle, and Abigail Williams/Ghost Bath/Wolvhammer at Saint Vitus.
WHAT THE FUCK: Wow, big miss last week. My usually calibrated radar for caustic Canadian noise rock went a bit haywire and I totally missed KEN Mode’s brilliant new full-length, Loved (Season of Mist). Thankfully I’ve since spent some time with it and I’m happy to report that it’s not only welcome return to the charred sonics and lucid anger that made 2013’s Entrench so compelling, but also another worthy installment in what has rapidly become a banner year for modern hardcore. Between this and Uniform’s latest, The Long Walk—which I caught live this weekend at Knitting Factory—I have been a pig in myopic, disillusioned shit lately, and here’s hoping that doesn’t change, at least on the musical front, anytime soon.