Last one of these suckers before Thanksgiving, so drink it in like cheap Chardonnay and bring some new tunes home to mom.
WHAT TO HEAR: Leading the way this week is Let Pain Be Your Guide (Gilead Media), the debut “full-length” from emotive Texas hardcore outfit Portrayal of Guilt. Weaponizing frustration and disillusionment, Let Pain Be Your Guide sounds like pg. 99 for a post-USBM world, teleporting between shrieking treble and foreboding chug at any of its many, twisting turns. For a 20-something minute record, maybe it has too many, especially on the b-side which seems like a collection of partially finished ideas rather than songs. Structural issues aside, however, I keep finding myself drawn back to this one’s unrelenting bleak worldview, which is about the best compliment I can give an album these days. Check it out via bandcamp.
After that, let’s keep it crusty and pissed off with German black-core outfit Ancst and their new charred-to-the-dental records EP, Abolitionist (LifeForce Records). Though by no means unheard, Ancst are one of the best-kept secrets in metal right now and are deserving of all the hype in the world. Don’t believe me? Just check out this quartet of impossibly ruthless headbanging heartstring shredders…and then note that they make up the band’s fifth release this year alone. Needless to say, stopping sleeping on these dudes now.
If you’re looking for totally fresh (and listenable) take on black metal, meanwhile, then spend time with Slegest’s new mid-tempo black n’ roller, Introvert (Dark Essence). Where peers like, say, Tribulation have relied on classic goth and NWOBHM influences to build their sound, however, Introvert comes across like a Scandinavian Dinosaur Jr., building foot-tapping grooves with warm midrange tones and even a major-key melody or two. There’s not a huge amount of dynamic range here, but Slegest do what they do really well and will maybe even inspire you to go listen to Kvelertak today, which is never a bad thing.
After that, get weird with Baring Teeth’s Transitive Savagery (Translation Loss Records)—which is the sound of a hardcore band going tech-death—and then dial up the crazy even farther with Japanese legend’s Sigh’s new batch of demented spazz-core, Heir to Despair (Candlelight Records). Good luck headbanging to these suckers. Hope you can feel 16/9, otherwise you’re gonna look like an idiot.
Finally let’s fade out this week with two solid black metal offerings from the Old World, starting with Sacrificium Carmen’s Hermetica (Saturnal Records)—coursing classic stuff from the heart of Finland—and Karg’s impossibly catchy Dornenvögel (Art of Propaganda), post (but still very heavy) black metal from JJ of Harakiri for the Sky. Can’t go wrong, so just pull the trigger and get after it.
WHAT TO SEE: The pre-holiday show weekend fires up tonight with Runemagick/Evoken at Brooklyn Bazaar, Suffocation/Cattle Decapitation at Gramercy Theatre, Darkest Hour at The Kingsland, Judas Priestess at Blackthorn 51, Backtrack at Shakers Pub, Died at Trans Pecos, Lakras at El Sabor Norteno, Max Pain and the Groovies at Alphaville, and a Trappist-headlined No Corporate Beer fest at Vitus. On Saturday, Schirenc plays Pungent Stench in full at Brooklyn Bazaar, while you can also catch Velvet Acid Christ at Blackthorn 51, Irkallian Oracle at Pistas Bandas Unidas Oficial, Debra Devi Band at Roxy and Dukes, Iron Chic at The Kingsland, Echo Black at Gold Sounds, Forward/Warthog at Vitus, and a collaborative effort from Uniform and The Body at Market Hotel. After that, Sunday wraps things up with Backwoods Payback/Blackout/Eternal Black at Saint Vitus and the ridiculously crushing Innumerable Forms at Union Pool.
Monday kicks off the Thanksgiving clusterfuck with Massa Nera at The Meatlocker, Cruel Hand at The Kingsland, Witchcraft at (le) Poisson Rouge, and City Morgue at Saint Vitus. Tuesday is quiet and Wednesday gets ya As We Die at Blackthorn 51 and Stray From the Path at Knitting Factory while Thursday is whole lot nothing, as you’ve probably guessed.
WHAT THE FUCK: Decibel’s Top 40 Albums of 2018 rundown is already live, which in addition to being way, way too early (though I get it from an SEO standpoint), also features some eyebrow raising choices this year. I don’t want to spoil anything too much and you should definitely form your own opinions on this stuff, but somehow this list that makes a great year in metal seen pretty “meh.” Check it out and see what you think.