The homestretch. The beginning of the end. List season. Hell of earth. Whatever you call it, it’s here. Happy November, folks.
WHAT TO HEAR: First out of the gates this week is Den Doblette Grav (Dark Descent), a new 7” from Denmark’s most-wanted death metal crew, Undergang. Recorded during 2016’s Misantropologi sessions, the EP is comprised of a new original composed in concert with young adult horror author Benni Bodker’s latest anthology of the same name and a cover of Bolt Thrower’s “Powder Burns.” No matter what they’re doing, Undergang always sound like a sentient sewage spill and that’s a very high praise indeed. Get your hands dirty via their bandcamp.
After that, keep the crust caked on for Xibalba Itzaes’ latest batch of primitive black metal insanity, Ah Tza Xibalba Itzaes (Nuclear War Now!). Twelve tracks of unrelenting Mesoamerican black metal—featuring eight new tunes and four tracks re-recorded from the band’s 2010 demo and subsequent EPs—Ah Tza Xibalba Itzaes establishes its namesake as one of the single vilest Mexican metal bands going. If you like it nasty and simple, get over to bandcamp and give your blood sacrifice.
Meanwhile, Norwegian outfit Sylvaine have set up camp at the opposite black metal pole with their new full-length, Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone (Season of Mist). A lush, lurid take on the post-black metal medium, Atoms Aligned—unlike contemporaries such as Oathbreaker, Deafheaven etc.—is almost entirely about texture and feel, eschewing riff-work for tidal soundscapes and haunting clean vocals. That doesn’t make it any less intoxicating, however, so throw it on when the skies are gray and the trees are bare later this month. Stream the whole thing below:
Once you’re done there, check out a pair releases from Carbonized Records, the brand new imprint of Necrot drummer Chad Galley. First up is a split between Scolex and Chad’s death/doom dealers Mortuous and next is San Diego grind unit Deadpressure’s self-titled debut. If crust is king, Carbonized are queuing up for the throne.
Now it’s time to get in touch your proggy side, starting with The Ocean’s crystalline new LP, Phanerozoic I: Paleozoic (Metal Blade) and continuing with Arsis’s Visitant (Nuclear Blast), prog-tinged death metal-core with black metal vox. Trust me, it’s way more palatable than I’m making it sound here.
Finally, dive back into the Mexican metal underground with Abyssal’s funeral doom opus, Misanthrope (Transylvania Tapes) or Heirs of Discord (Negative Grade Records), the new EP from Swans of the Lotus’s death-grind side-project Graven. Either way, wash it all down with Gridfailure’s When the Lights Go Out Vol. II, dark, doomed-up ambient music for the end of days (or perhaps just Halloween).
WHAT TO SEE: The month in metal shows starts strong tonight with Windhand at Elsewhere, DevilDriver at Brooklyn Bazaar, Dog Eat Dog at Blackthorn 51, Volur/Xasthur at Knitting Factory as part of Prophecy Fest, Carbon Leaf at Gramercy Theatre, Machine Head at Starland Ballroom, and Unearth at Saint Vitus. Things don’t let up one bit on Saturday, with Reign of Zaius at Hanks Saloon, Zygome at El Cortez, E. Town Concrete at Starland Ballroom, Mychildren Mybride at The Kingsland, more Prophecy Fest at Knitting Factory headlined by 1476, Dead Bars at Bushwick Public House, Necrotic Society at The Cobra Club, Stryctnyne at Revolution, Haken at Highline Ballroom, The Giraffes at Saint Vitus, and Behemoth/At the Gates at Playstation Theater leading the way. After that, Sunday cleans up the weekend with Mortuary at Lucky 13 Saloon, Lifetime at Brooklyn Bazaar, and Daughters/Street Sects at Vitus.
Monday goes cold, before Tuesday fires back up with Fishbone and Living Colour at Brooklyn Bowl and A Perfect Circle at the MSG Theater. Mid-week welcomes The Muckers to Union Pool and Cursive at Irving Plaza, before Thursday puts things to bed with Ereptile Destruction at Saint Vitus and Headsplitters at El Cortez.
WHAT THE FUCK: Just want to introduce y’all to Eddie and Dave, a new Off-Broadway play premiering in January that chronicles the “rise and fall of Pasadena’s most groundbreaking 80s rockers told through the foggy lens of a lonely, out of work MTV-VJ.” So yeah, see everybody there, I guess.