Happy March, folks. Let’s bring this shit in like a lion.
WHAT TO HEAR: Leading the way this week are Philly’s newest disciples of the dark lord, Devil Master, and their full-length Relapse debut, Satan Spits on Children of Light. One part crushed velvet and one part beer-and-piss-soaked leather, Devil Master play breakneck blackened punk with just enough touch of NWOBHM to keep the metal kids interested. It’s ramshackle, ragged, and shouts endlessly at the devil, so if that’s not your thing, lighten up a little and check it out all the same.
After that, we arrive at the matter of Pissgrave and their new offering of death-metal-for-sociopaths, Posthumous Humiliation (Profound Lore). Much of the conversation in the build up to Posthumous has centered around the album art (a very NSFW photo of a suicide head wound), which, in addition to being something Mayhem did like 100 years ago with a photo they didn’t source from 4Chan, has given all the edgelords out there the half excuse they need to start shouting MeTaL iS A celEbRatIoN Of SufFeRInG at any comment section that will listen. But how does the actual music compare to other consciously extreme death metal acts like Undergang and Of Feather and Bone? Pretty well, albeit on the grinder side of the spectrum, spewing up a handful of corpse-fucking anthems that are roughly on par with the rest of their corpse-fucking anthems. Despite its wall-of-gore approach, however, Arthur Rizk’s production proves to be the secret weapon, with every downtuned note, thrumming kick, and quadruple-tracked gurgle cutting through the din like a dull knife through, well, you get it. Listen to the record for that, and not because you think gross pictures on the internet are cool, and we have ourselves a deal.
Up next, keep it nasty with Fange’s Punir (Throatruiner), which is either punked-up sludge and sludged-up punk, depending on your ear. My ear says the former, with caustic noise and liberal use of double-time passages all worshipping at the feet of the almighty chug. France’s metal scene is killing it right and now and Fange is one of its crustiest exports, so make sure to check out the crew’s punishing sophomore full-length when you’re itching to scratch.
After that, set the controls for the heart of dying sun with a killer trio of new black metal releases, each bringing its own flavor to the oft-imitated sound. First up is Georgia quartet Vimur and their new ripper, Triumphant Master of Fates (Boris Records), which takes a scorched-earth, lighting-pace approach to swelling, surging epics. If that’s not your style, check out DunkelNacht’s Empires of Mediocracy (Non Serviam Records), straightforward medieval-tinged char from the heart of Germany, and Phobonoid’s La Caduta Di Phobos (Avantgarde Music), a melodically twisted one-man project out of Italy driven by the industrial thrum of programmed drums.
If you still need some more death metal in your life, lend your ear to Pittsburgh’s Riparian and their new self-titled EP (Grimoire Records). Riparian’s blend of crust and prog elevates them above the pack, but if you just need something familiar, for better or worse, In Flames provides it with I, The Mask (Nuclear Blast)…for better or worse.
Finally, clean everything up and wipe everything down with Chrome Waves’ A Grief Observed (Disorder Recordings)—some lovely black gaze from the middle west punctured with articulate metalcore shriekage and some above-sub-genre-par guitar work. Let’s get sad, people.
WHAT TO SEE: While the releases have been absolutely overwhelming the last few weeks, the local shows have left a lot to be desired. Thankfully that all changes this week, starting tonight with Disparager at The Meatlocker, King Nine at Gold Sounds, the return of Prostitution at Gutter Bar, Symfinity at The Kingsland, Dark Blue at Saint Vitus, and Kalmah/Vreid at Gramercy Theatre. Saturday keeps the iron in the fire with Danny Diablo at The Kingsland, The Deeds at Lucky 13 Saloon, a Moon Tooth Crux listening party/beer release at Vauxhall, Within Temptation/In Flames at Playstation Theater, Necromancer at Gussy’s, and Kings Destroy (plus an NYC beer week “bangover”) at Saint Vitus, before Sunday brings the weekend screaming to a halt with None of the Above at Lucky 13 Saloon, Crystal Lake at The Kingsland, and Infera Bruo at Saint Vitus.
Monday starts strong as well, with Wacken Fest Metal Battle 2019 at Saint Vitus, Seven Spires at The Kingsland, and The Three Tremors at the Gramercy Theatre, while Tuesday welcomes Tierre Santa to the Highline Ballroom. Wednesday meanwhile comes packed with Born of Osiris at Gramercy Theatre and a rap-rock victory lap from Cypress Hill at the Wellmont Theater, before Thursday goes off with Nothing/Tony Molina/Candy at Brooklyn Bazaar, a Lords of Chaos screening at Saint Vitus, and of course the 2019 Decibel Tour, which rolls into Playstation Theatre with Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Necrot, and Blood Incantation in tow. Have fun out there, kids.
WHAT THE FUCK: Can we please, please, please go one week without some black metal dude getting outed as a Nazi sketchball? Good fucking lord, this is not a lot to ask. Anyway, RIP Pillorian. We hardly knew ye (apparently).