Apologies in advance for the impending sportiness of this section over the next few months. I have my 30th birthday, several weddings, a bunch of work stuff, and a cross-country studio trip for my band all on the ol’ Google calendar. But when I’m here, I’ll do my best to spit up one of these, as I am this week. Thanks for the patience (and click), as always.
WHAT TO HEAR: Dropkicking us into the proverbial pit this week are Cleveland metallic hardcore legends Ringworm and their latest closed sonic fist, Death Becomes My Voice (Relapse). While former hardcore peers like Hatebreed and Cro-Mags have gone either Main Festival Stage and/or YouTube conspiracy theorist, Ringworm are still keeping shit about the breakdowns above all else, of which there are plenty. Fire up the ol’ d-beat wagon and check it out here.
Speaking of legendary bands completely unswayed by anything another than the fucking riffs, Swedish viking metal overlords Amon Amarth also make their triumphant return today with Berserker (Metal Blade). 25 years into their unkillable career, Amon Amarth are practically classic rock at this point, but thankfully Berserker lives up to its ruthless, relentless billing, with vocalist Johan Hegg sounding just as nasty as ever. Your affection for Amon Amarth will always be directly related to your tolerance for cheese, but as long as you’re not totally lactose averse, you should get a kick out of this one.
There’s also plenty of solid underground black metal on offer today (which we’ll get to in a moment), but my pick of the litter is definitely Elegiac’s Thirst For Vengeance (Sacrificial Sounds). The one-man project of Zane Young, Elegiac is surging yet melodic, medieval yet modern, sitting comfortably in the castle halls alongside the likes Vanum, Vilkacis, and M. Rekevics’ many other projects through the years. If your idea of beauty is third-degree burns, then get over to the Sacrificial Sounds bandcamp and toss your carcass into the fire.
After that, also make sure to check out Archivist’s Triumvirate (self-released) and Stellar Master Elite’s Hologram Temple (Unholy Conspiracy Deathwork). The former is achy, breaky post-rock-propelled blackgaze while the latter is a chunky riff-fest that straddles the line between death, doom, and black metal all at once. Pick your poison wisely.
Finally, wrap up the week’s releases with more ripping black metal brawn from Chile’s Sol Sistere and their anthemic new LP, Extinguished Cold Light (Hammerheart Records). If that one’s layer-cake approach to guitar production isn’t your thing, then UK tech-death bruisers Osiah probably aren’t either, but still, their new full length Kingdom of Lies (Unique Leader) proves that hooks in a heavy package can be a very good thing indeed. Check it out here if you’re curious.
WHAT TO SEE: On Friday Decibelios hit Brooklyn Bazaar, Skeletonwitch kick-off a two-night Saint Vitus stand, Mariana’s Trench dig deep at Irving Plaza, Last in Line pay tribute to Dio at Mulcahy’s, and Infest, um, infest The Kingsland. Saturday brings Earth Crisis to Brooklyn Bazaar, more Skeletonwitch/Wiegedood to Vitus, a Pretty Burlesque Machine Nine Inch Nails tribute to Lucky 13 Saloon, Skid Row at Starland Ballroom, Infest/Dropdead at Gold Sounds, and Venom Inc./Exmortus to The Kingsland, while Sunday plays host to Rock Bottom at The Meatlocker, Falling in Reverse at Gramercy Theatre, and the almighty Thor at the equally mighty Saint Vitus.
Monday features Mad Diesel at the aforementioned hellhole and Black Label Society at Bowery Ballroom, before Tuesday detonates with a second night of BLS at Bowery, Doro at Knitting Factory, King Dude at Saint Vitus, and Whitesnake at Starland Ballroom. Wednesday keeps the embers alive with Sacred Reich at Vitus and more Whitesnake, this time at The Paramount, before Thursday puts the final nail in the weekly coffin with Iron Reagan/Sacred Reich at House of Independents, Zorp at The Meatlocker, Eternal Throne at Gold Sounds, Killswitch Engage at Terminal 5, and de-facto Saint Vitus house band Primitive Weapons at, you guessed it, Saint Vitus.
WHAT THE FUCK: The hottest band in death metal right now? Dada Bots, which isn’t actually a band at all, but an artificial intelligence engine generating an infinite stream of face-meltage over on YouTube. Good night and good luck, humans.