OK, in all likelihood this will be the last one of these this year. There will be a TOGTE year-end list of some form—and also FREEWilliamsburg’s top albums which I’ll contribute blurbs to—but this is probably it for semi-poetic waxing on new releases and weekly ticket link dumping until the first week of January or so. Thanks for reading (and stay tuned for that long, dark 2018 night cap).
WHAT TO HEAR: Leading us off in fitting fashion this week are the bitter, windswept snow-scapes of Cantique Lepreux’s Paysages Polaires (Eisenwald). For fans of fellow québécois black metallers like Forteresse, nature lovers like Panopticon, and, um, Paysage d’Hiver, Polaires wears its massive melodies like a frost crown, howling through one winter-lorn epic after the next. A vocal approach plucked from the hardcore playbook sets things apart just enough to keep this one fresh, so turn it up and come to terms with the next five months—and impending ice age, if the reports are accurate—now.
The black metal goodies don’t end there, however. In fact they’re just beginning, thanks in significant part to Stilla’s Synviljor (Nordvis), which picks up the majestic winter worship where Cantique Lepreux left off. After that, hang a bit of u-turn and check out Ayyur’s The Lunatic Creature (Vendetta Records)—the new project of former Deathspell Omega vocalist Shaxul (now on drums)—and Wulkanaz’s self-titled full-length (Helter Skelter), a sort-of sea-sick take on underground black metal. Despite their oddball inclinations, both of these remain totally listenable (and, yes, even catchy), so don’t be afraid.
Once you’re done there, cool down a bit with Disparity (Season of Mist)—the shred-tastic-in-a-very-zen-Steve-Vai-kind-of-way new solo album from Sarah Longfield—and Aussie outfit Virgin Black’s final installment in their shape-shifting Requiem trilogy, Requiem – Pianissimo (self-released). Call it whatever you want—chamber doom, post-classical—but it’s bound to make you feel some shit all the same.
Finally let’s wrap up the weekly releases with a couple of old things made new again, starting with Napalm Death’s new limited edition 7” Stunt Your Growth picture disk (Nuclear Blast)—featuring the title track on the A side a couple of Apex Predator Japanese edition bonus cuts on the B—and a reissue of Blind Guardian’s 1998 Tolkien metal classic, Nightfall in Middle Earth (Nuclear Blast).
WHAT TO SEE: A new month of shows begins tonight with Patterns of Decay at Trans-Pecos, Kore Rozzik at Blackthorn 51, Graces of Chaos at Shakers Pub, Beach Rats at Saint Vitus, and A Deer A Horse at Secret Project Robot. On a Saturday check out Fragmented at Lucky 13 Saloon, L.O.T.I.O.N at The Glove, Convictions at The Kingsland, Cloud Nothings at the Warsaw, Ryder at Gold Sounds, a Holiday Oddities Flea at Brooklyn Bazaar, and Mutoid Man at Saint Vitus before Sunday brings the down with Slaves at The Kingsland, Queen City Rejects at Cobra Club, Leftover Crack at Brooklyn Bazaar, and From Beneath the Veil, a one-night dark art and craft installation at Saint Vitus exclusively featuring the work of non-cis male artists like Eva Jean, Ashley Rose Couture, Seven Spike Studio, and more. Support diversity (and people who put more than just C02 back into this hollowed-out world) and check it out.
On Monday, it’s back to regularly scheduled programming with Lazer Wulf headlining the Greenpoint House of Horrors, accompanied by End of Hope at Bowery Electric and Day By Day at Brooklyn Bazaar, while Tuesday brings you Steve Vai/Zakk Wylde/Yngwie playing lots and lots of notes at the NYCB Theatre, Doom Side of the Moon (mems. of The Sword) at the Warsaw, and Toxic Twin Joe Perry at Playstation Theatre. Wednesday is spearheaded by Brother Hawk at Saint Vitus and Underoath at Saint Vitus before Thursday wraps up the shows with a stacked lineup including Ministry at Irving Plaza, Killswitch Engage at Starland Ballroom, Biohazard’s Billy Bio at The Kingsland, Like Moths to Flames at Gramercy Theatre, and Moon Tooth at Saint Vitus.
WHAT THE FUCK: Kudos and condolences to Witchrot, who went viral for their breakup notice this week (which I’m still having trouble believing is real). If you haven’t seen this yet, welcome back from whatever rock you’ve been living under.