I’m still playing metal catch-up after mostly unplugging last weekend. Take one day off this time of year, however, and you miss five AOTY contenders, so let’s get started.
WHAT TO HEAR: First out of the blocks this week is Credo (Profound Lore), the long-awaited new LP from Quebecois black metal legends Akitsa. If you’re already familiar with Akitsa, you know what to expect: Punked-up black metal of the largely no-frills variety. What Akitsa lack in fancy pedalboards and verdant production, however, they more than make up for with conviction, aggression, and massive, melodic riff-work from the heart of massive, melodic black metal country. Shout vive metal noire Québécois at the rafters and check it out via bandcamp.
After that get in the pit with upstart Pennsylvania death metal merchants Outer Heaven and their debut LP, Realms of Eternal Decay (Relapse). 30 minutes of gurgling, gagging old school death metal that could have just as easily spawned in Pensacola swamps as it did in the Poconos, Realms of Eternal Decay is riff-first and everything else a distant second, as all throwback stuff of this ilk should be. There’s been tons and tons (and tons and tons) of good death metal this year, but Outer Heaven have carved off their own little chunk and are more than worth your time.
Maybe post-Jesse Pintado Terrorizer is a bridge too far for you, but the grindcore pioneers are back with a new full-length all the same. Fittingly dubbed Caustic Attack (The End Records), finds original drummer Pete Sandoval—the literal inventor of the blast beat, in case you were wondering—stepping back into the spotlight for another no-brakes auditory assault. The rag-tag trio, also featuring Monstrosity’s Lee Harrison and Sam Molina on guitar and bass respectively, do an admirable job soldiering on, so if you have the stomach for it, make sure to pay your respects via YouTube.
After that, let’s get moody with Allelic’s folksy black metal brooder, The Smoke of Atavistic Fires (Green Man Records), borne on the winds of a Quebec autumn. After that, sink your teeth into “dark metal” trailblazers Aeturnus’s latest offering of grief, Heathen (Dark Essence) or punish your psyche with Deadbird’s III: The Forest Within the Tree (20 Buck Spin), a sprawling sad-sludge opus that hangs heavy like a blanket of depression. Pick your poison, but trust me when I say all of these hurt so good.
Finally, since I wasn’t on-duty last week, I also suggest you go back and check out any of the major releases you may have missed, including solid new records from Windhand, Behemoth, High on Fire, Ultha, and Author & Punisher. Happy hunting, fiends.
WHAT TO SEE: The show week starts in fine fettle this evening with Drunks With Guns in the Brooklyn Bazaar cellar, Pathmaker at Rams American Pub, Chesty Malone and the Slice ‘Em Ups at Shillelagh Tavern, Dance With the Dead at Knitting Factory, Trivium at The Paramount, Satan/Natur at Saint Vitus, and whole lot of blackened Blue Oyster Cult at Elsewhere, where Tribulation and Black Anvil headline the main stage. On Saturday check out Perpetual Warfare at Las Catrinas, Royal Skulls at 269 Norman, Negative Sky at Dingbatz, Prisoners of New York at The Kingsland, Every Time I Die (old metalcore) at Saint Vitus, Vein (new metalcore) at Amityville Music Hall, and Mudhoney/Pissed Jeans at the Warsaw, before Sunday curtains another weekend with Winter Sun at Irving Plaza, Doyle at Gramercy Theatre, more Every Time I Die at Vitus, something called the Knuckle Down Showdown at The Delancey, Terror/Harms Way at Brooklyn Bazaar, and Nine Inch Nails at Radio City.
Monday takes a bit of breather before Tuesday storms back with The Lions Cage at Vitus and NIN at Kings Theatre, before hump day blows up with Cryptodira at The Kingsland, Akitsa at Vitus in the early slot, and Alberich at 11. After that, Thursday wraps things up with stacked lineup including The Urinals at Brooklyn Bazaar, The Damned at Irving Plaza, LSD and the Search For God at Vitus, and Revocation/Exhumed/Rivers of Nihil at (le) Poisson Rouge, and Dying Fetus/Incantation/Gatecreeper at Gramercy Theatre. Good luck picking between those, fellow death metal nerdz.
WHAT THE FUCK: Lots and lots of very dumb shit happening in music this week, which kind of puts a damper on this whole “have fun with dumb shit” section honestly. That said, I still can’t get over Megacruise, an actual Megadeth-hosted, five-day cruise around the Pacific featuring Anthrax, Testament, Corrosion of Conformity, Vic & the Rattleheads, and plenty more. I’ve always said I would pay money to NOT go on a cruise and this only reinforces that feeling. No leather vests in the pool ya dummies.