Summer is here and the rot has officially set in. So what better way to kick back and relax than with a blast hot, stale crypt air to the face. Ahh, what a beautiful world we live in.
WHAT TO HEARD: Leading the way this week is the long-awaited (at least given how long I’ve been getting emails about it) new Yellow Eyes full length, Rare Field Ceiling (Gilead Media). The acclaimed USBM outfit have always been something of an enigma, trading Brooklyn for rural Connecticut and the searing immediacy of their peers for slow-burn tension. Rare Field Ceiling is no different, finding the Skarstad brothers echoing of the Estonian choral music of their youth in a serpentine swirl of distorted guitars and unidentified howls in the night. As always, Yellow Eyes feel like a familiar face that you don’t recognize—atmospheric black metal played in reverse, perhaps—and Rare Field Ceiling yet another quality installment in what has become one of the decade’s most essential black metal discographies.
On the other end of the sub-genre spectrum are Ohio bruisers Axioma and their charred and chunky new LP, Crown (Translation Loss). A blend of pedal-to-the-metal black metal and throbbing sludge—as well as a pantry full of post-this and post-that seasonings—Crown drags the Buckeye state out of its stoner metal stupor with a vicious pallette of blacks and deeper blacks. If you’re just looking for nastiest fucking thing to put on this week, you could do a lot worse than this one.
Speaking of brutal sounds, Swedish hardcore vets Victims are also back today with their 7th full length, The Horse and Sparrow Theory (Relapse). A bareknuckled batch of political d-beat, Victims employ a rollicking Motörhead rhythm section for maximum fucking good times, so make sure to give it a listen via Decibel. After that, check out Birdflesh—more seething grindcore from Sweden—and their new hit list, Extreme Graveyard Tornado (Everlasting Spew Records). In addition to claiming the week’s album-title blue ribbon, Extreme Graveyard Tornado features 24 tracks, including “Crazy Train Decapitation” and “Guacomolestation of the Tarcopse,” and ends with epic 18-second album closer “Land of Forgotten Riffs.” We’ve got fucking cows, folks.
Once you’re done there, get weird (OK, weirder) with Calling Whitetails to a Tuned Bow (Nefarious Industries), the third long play from experimental death-jazz outfit Those Darn Gnomes. Words simply cannot do this intoxicating whiplash justice, but the first few seconds of album opener “Birds”, which ricochets from a ragtime folk diddy to some of the most blood-curdling death doom laid to tape this year, should just about paint the picture.
Finally, every sonic workout requires a nice cool down to avoid injury, and Norway by way of Denmark by way of Germany dark folk collective Heilung have just the ticket with their new record, Futha (Season of Mist), which layers ancient Germanic chants six feet deep for total disembodied bliss. If that doesn’t do it, Japanese drone legends Boris also have a new EP, Tears, out today, so in the immortal words of Mr. Lennon, turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream.
WHAT TO SEE: Let’s talk about shows, baby. Things fire up tonight with a Vitus back-to-back headlined by Astronoid at 8 and Grendel at 11, Ground at The Meatlocker, Backtrack at Brooklyn Bazaar, EVILTERROR at Blackthorn 51, Big|Brave/Dreadnought at The Kingsland, and King’s X at Starland Ballroom. On Saturday EKB Fest kicks off at 1pm at Brooklyn Bazaar with Xibalba, Billy Club Sandwich, and more, followed by Return of the Comet at 89 North, Witch Taint at Vitus, Devildriver / Static-X at Starland Ballroom, and Show Me the Body / Jesus Piece at Music Hall of Williamsburg, before Sunday kicks down the door of another week with Doc Rotten at The Kingsland, Ace Frehley at Starland Ballroom, King’s X at Gramercy Theatre, White Ring at Vitus, and Pissed Jeans at Brooklyn Bazaar.
Monday welcomes He Is Legend to Vitus and Anti-Nowhere League to The Kingsland, while Tuesday rolls through with The Chasm/Cruciamentum at Union Pool, Doobie Duke Sims at Brooklyn Bazaar, Ace Frehley at The Paramount, and the first night of Incendiary’s two-night holiday stand at Vitus. Wednesday features Halothane at Lucky 13 Saloon and that aforementioned Incendiary encore before Thursday brings the week to a fitting end with the first night of Stardust VIII at Brooklyn Bazaar featuring Dispirit, Lord Mantis, Ruin Lust, One Master, and tons of local support.
WHAT THE FUCK: An absolute fucking bummer to hear about the passing of Tengger Cavalry frontman Nature Ganganbaigal this week. Pour some out and crank this one to the rafters (and beyond.)