Since we last spoke, we all survived a day dedicated to a groundhog, another Pats Super Bowl win, and a false spring. In other words, you’ve earned a catharsis, and hopefully we here in the TOGTE Metal and Mental Wellness Department can help to provide it.
WHAT TO HEAR: Leading the way this week is Ethic of Radical Finitude (Metal Blade), the fifth full-length from German post-black brooders Downfall of Gaia. Downfall of Gaia have always specialized in sprawling monochrome melancholy, and Ethic of Radical Finitude is no exception, unfolding over six slow-burning movements bursting at the seams with boulder-sized riffs and mountain-scraping crescendos. A masterclass in genre blending and epic songwriting, Radical Finitude is best saved for a rainy day, but if you just can’t wait, you can check it out here.
Equally moody is Deliquesce (code666), the latest full length from downtrodden doom maestros Maestus. Opening with synth swells and plinking piano, Deliquesce finds the Portland outfit toying with both restraint and Pallbearer-esque operatics, eventually blooming into a garden of chugging guitars and aching vocals. If you’re sleeping on this, you’re sleeping on doom as a whole, so yeah, don’t do that. Carve out 50 minutes and get over to Invisible Oranges and give it a spin.
Keeping things slow n’ low, meanwhile, are Seer and the 6th volume in their lumbering back catalog, aptly titled Vol. 6 (Artofactt). And while that title may conjure echoes of Sabbath’s swaggering coke record, the sound is anything but, utilizing crushing lurch and stately baritone to vocals to craft a brand of doom not so much otherworldly, but ancient. Between the killer album artwork and the impeccable songcraft, this one is more than worth picking up—especially considering it marks Seer’s first real venture into the wonderful world of vinyl.
After that, let’s kick up the BPMs a bit (OK, a lot), with Tribe of Pazuzu’s Heretical Uprising (self-released)—the debut EP from the new black/death supergroup featuring members of Incantation, Pestilence, and Cryptopsy that begins with a wah solo and group chant vocals. Seriously, not even kidding. Once you’re done digesting that, head over to Decibel and get your thrash on with Critical Defiance’s Misconception, a dexterous (think Num Skull) and occasionally proggy (Vektor/Voivod) batch of modern thrash from the heart of Chile.
Finally, we box up the week’s new stuff on a punk note with Los Huaycos’ acid-soaked Peruvian hardcore, as heard on their new record Savage Monstrosities (Tankbeat), and Kicker’s East Bay bash-a-long, Pure Drivel (Tankcrimes)—which boasts some serious pedigree that includes Pete the Roadie and current and former members of Neurosis, Dystopia, and Operation Ivy.
WHAT TO SEE: On live fronts, check out Ghost Atlas at The Kingsland, SRSQ at Saint Vitus, Soulfly at Dingbatz, Earthless night one at Vitus, and Krimewatch at Brooklyn Bazaar tonight, before tapping into Anaka at the Gramercy Theatre, Earthless night two at Saint Vitus, Spear of Destiny at The Red Party, Perpetuated at Rams American Pub, and Dysrhythmia/Cleric/Pyrrhon at The Kingsland on Saturday. The weekend wraps on Sunday with A Sunday Funday hard rock and metal bash at Knitting Factory, Moths at The Kingsland, and Knuckle Up! at Saint Vitus…in other words, get your ass to Greenpoint.
Monday sees Soulfly and Kataklysm hit Gramercy Theatre, followed on Tuesday by Like An Animal: A Valentine’s Celebration For Filthy Fucks at Saint Vitus. Wednesday brings you Tallah upon the same altar, er, stage, World Sucks at Cianfano’s, Corrosion of Conformity at Gramercy Theatre, and Sevendust at The Paramount and not much else, before Valentine’s Day wraps shit up with Tetrarch at Saint Vitus, and Between the Buried and Me/Astronoid at Asbury Lanes if you’re feeling like a hike.
WHAT THE FUCK: Ambivalently seeing Lords of Chaos tonight, which I’m told is good because it makes Varg look like a fascist butt plug and bad because the book it based on was written by a fascist butt plug. God, sometimes I really hate this genre. I’ll spare you all a review unless it really pisses me off or something.