A lot to get to and not a lot of time to get to it this week, so I hope you didn’t forget your EZ Pass on the counter again.
WHAT TO HEAR: We stoke the hellfires this week with a little something local courtesy of heavy metal trio Sanhedrin. That little something—the band’s brand-new full-length The Poisoner (Cruz Del Sur)—is anything but little, swaggering through eight leather-clad. While the “trve” metal movement is rife with dungeons and dragons at the moment (a good thing, don’t get me wrong), Sanhedrin—especially Erica Stoltz’s dusky vocal delivery—keep things gritty and grimy, which sounds about right given where they’re coming from.
That’s only the tip of the trad-metal iceberg this week, however, thanks in large part to Pounder—the new NWOBHM nostalgia project of Exhumed’s Matt Harvey—and their aptly titled debut Uncivilized (self-released). If galloping guitar-scapes only the stoke the fire in your loins, then also make sure to check out Gatekeeper’s new EP, Grey Maiden (Cruz Del Sur). If you’re still not hip to this mythical Canadian outfit, get hip, because they are probably the best band in contemporary heavy metal at the moment.
Of course, what’s the point of all the whippersnappers when you don’t know where they came from. Thankfully doom pioneers Candlemass provide the necessary touchstone this week with their first album in seven years (and 12th total), The Door to Doom (Napalm Records). The band’s first album with original singer Johan Längqvist since, well, their first, The Door to Doom is at once a look back and a step forward, offering the same traditional doom experience from the band that the band practically invented.
Collapsing a similar vein is The Wings of War (Nuclear Blast), the latest salvo from unkillable Jersey thrashers Overkill. The band’s 19th LP—despite the departure of drummer Rob Lipnicki—is a lot like the 18 that came before it, oozing with vertebrae-snapping riffs punctuated when necessary by either operatic wails or wailing solos. It’s meat and potatoes to be sure, but who doesn’t love meat and potatoes?
But what if I only like the most extreme sonic splatter because I am superior to all other life forms on this earth you ask? Well don’t worry, there’s plenty of to go around too, starting with Hate Force’s Stolen Valor (Closed Casket Activites)—a new-ish death metal outfit with Harms Way’s James Pligge on vox—and Opprobium’s The Fallen Entities (High Roller Records), a crusty beatdown casserole from a band who have been baking them up for a decade now.
On punk-as-fuck fronts, I can’t stress to you how fucking unrelentingly brutal dissonant Ontario hardcore collective Minors’ new one, Abject Bodies (Holy Roar/Deathwish), is. It makes Ken Mode seem like power pop by comparison, so if you want to get nasty, check it out. After that, sink your teeth into Horndal’s Remains (Prosthetic), a crust-punk special with unexpected (and totally welcome) prog elements from the Swedish underground. Hardcore is so good right now, so I hope you’re listening.
Finally turn down the tempos and turn up the lurch with Bellrope’s You Must Relax (Exile On Mainstream), which twists groove-oriented doom into something artful and downright terrifying thanks to the juxtaposition of dog-whistle shrieks, samples, and harsh noise (and yes, it actually works). After that, choke everything down with a new split from Primitive Man and Hell, two of the single most punishing bands in existence full stop. If Decibel’s full stream doesn’t push you to the end of your rope, then clearly nothing can.
WHAT TO SEE: Live-wise, tonight you can catch Full Scare Riot at Blackthorn 51, a full night of viking metal at QXT’s, Psychonaut Underground at El Sabor Norteno, I See Stars at The Kingsland, Enziguri at Otto’s Shrunken Head, Face First at Pista La Junga, King Buffalo at Mercury Lounge, and Marty Friedman/Immortal Guardian at Saint Vitus. On Saturday, follow that up with Immortal Suffering at Red River Inn, Eye of the Destroyer at Amendment 18, H.R. of Bad Brains at The Kingsland, Daughter Chaos at Blackthorn 51, CrazyTown at Sunnyvale, and Accident Prone at Gold Sounds before wrapping up the weekend on the right note on Sunday with You Bred Raptors? at Bowery Electric and a free book release bash for Ben Dana’s Death Wish at Saint Vitus featuring sets from Liturgy and ACCDNTL DRED.
Monday gets you Azotador at Lot 13 and Disturbed (wha-awt-awt-awt-awt) at MSG while Tuesday keeps it mostly quiet. Wednesday picks things back up with In Flames/All That Remains at the Starland Ballroom and Semaphore at Saint Vitus, before Thursday brings the house down with Flogging Molly at the Wellmont Theatre. On second thought, let’s rain check that whole bringing-the-house-down thing.
WHAT THE FUCK: Want to read something dumb? Of course, you do. You’re on the internet after all. So go ahead and check out this inadvertantly hilarious Facebook manifesto from very seriously Satanic Minneapolis black metal gatekeepers TERATISM, who recently dropped from the Stygian Rites fest lineup due to their adjacency to Neckbeard Deathcamp—one of the current vanguards of the anti-fascist black metal movement. I’ll let you check out whole thing out for yourself (it’s going to take some time for its sheer absurdity to sink in), but here’s my favorite part to get you started: