It’s one of the biggest release weeks of the year, so strap in and buckle up. Do whatever you have to do, because this is about to get hectic.
WHAT TO HEAR: OK, so first up this week is Fear Inoculum (RCA), the first new music from Tool in 13 years. 19/16 time signature enthusiasts across the world rejoice. Clocking in at seven songs and 86 minutes, you’re certainly getting your money’s worth, and it still sounds unmistakably like Tool, which was never really in doubt but still essential nonetheless. I’m probably not gonna be able to say anything more about this one that hasn’t already been said like 100,000 times on Rolling Stone and MetalSucks over the past couple of months, but I will admit that I find it—begrudgingly given the Maynard James ickiness and the army of incel warriors the band attracts—alarmingly good for a band who hasn’t made music together in this long. Go unearth your innocent ‘90s self and give it a feature-length spin.
As a brutal juxtaposition to Tool’s airy lurch, PNW Death dealers Witch Vomit are serving up some serious punishment with their new full-length Buried Deep in a Bottomless Grave (20 Buck Spin). While on the surface, Buried Deep may seem like more of the same crumbling, gorey OSDM that’s everywhere right now, it actually owes just as much to grind and Scandinavian death metal, landing somewhere between the caustic chaos of Pissgrave and oozy riffage of Ossuarium. If you’ve been staying up to speed on this whole movement that last few years, you owe it to yourself to check this one out.
Meanwhile, if you’ve found yourself missing the great and all-seeing Weekend Nachos since their demise, you’re in luck, because Nachos’ sludge spinoff Ledge are back with their latest full length, All I Hope For (Translation Loss). It’s nihilistic! It swaggers! It crushes! Allegedly written on an acoustic guitar with its few remaining strings tuned to e-standard and not rehearsed with the full band until the studio, it’s as punk as a slow record can get, so make sure to give it a listen when you’re well and truly pissed off (which I assume is all the time.)
There’s also a metric ton of new black metal bubbling up from the underground today, starting with Imperium Dekadenz’s When We Are Forgotten (Napalm Records). Imperium Dekandenz are one of modern black metal’s most under-appreciated bands, combining brawn and beauty in ways both orthodox and modern, so quit sleeping and give them their due. After that check out And the Darkness Was Cast Out Into the Wilderness (Vendetta Records)—a similarly inclined offering from Dutch outfit Mystagogue—and Hope Drone’s thrumming, downcast Void Lustre (Silent Pendulum/Moment of Collapse), a slightly post-ier take on the brooding mood board assembled above.
If you think the fun ends there, we have good news for you: It’s not even close. German black metal vets Crimson Moon are back with their first LP since 2016, Mors Vincit Omnia (Debemur Morti). If you’re wondering where Batushka got it from, Crimson Moon’s gothic, choral-laden evil is a good start. After that check out Keys of Orthanc’s black n’ roll take on age-old Tolkien metal—bountifully presented on their new full-length, A Battle in the Dark Lands of the Eye (Naturmacht Productions)—and Orm’s Ir (Indiscipinarian), a wintery two-part LP comprised of a pair of sprawling, 20-plus-minute tremolo opuses. Enjoy the blast beat feast you freaks.
Finally wrap things up Belarusian melodic death metallers Essence of Datum and their latest long play, Spellcrying Machine (Season of Mist)—which sounds like Iron Maiden passionately mating with At the Gates—and Chicanery (Deathwish Inc.), the new batch of misanthropy from hardcore supergroup Hesitation Wounds, featuring Touche Amore’s Jeremy Bolm on the mic as well as members Trap Them, The Hope Conspiracy, and Gouge Away.
WHAT TO SEE: Labor Day Weekend usually means a slightly lighter show load than usual, but thankfully this year nothing could be further from the truth with Byzantine at Gold Sounds, Oxalate at Clash Bar, Pagan Altar at Saint Vitus, Slay-bor Day Fest at Lucky 13 Saloon, and Slipknot/Volbeat/Gojira/Behemoth at PNC Arts Center all going down tonight. On Saturday, meanwhile, check out Massive Scar Era at El Sabor Norteno, Exinfernum/ExoVoid at Lucky 13 Saloon, Dyspell/Mallek at Roxy and Dukes, Impure at Union Pool, All In Moment at Mother Pug’s, Arkona at Gramercy Theatre, Sic Tic at Sunnyvale, a Sect matinee at Saint Vitus followed by Big Business after dark, and Murder of Crows Post Punk Festival V at Brooklyn Bazaar featuring Blacklist, Ash Code, Kaelan Mikla, and plenty more. Finally, Sunday wraps up the long weekend with Deathcrown at Lucky 13 Saloon, Punk Black NY Fest II at Sunnyvale, In Cold Blood at The Kingsland, Northlane at Gramercy Theatre, and Meth at Saint Vitus.
Monday is pretty much an off day, but Tuesday more than makes up for it with Planning For Burial in the Brooklyn Bazaar Cellar, Voarm at Pista Banidas Unidas, and Inter Arma/Creeping Death/Skullshitter at Saint Vitus. Wednesday quotes back down again before Thursday does its Thursday thing with Demons & Wizards at PlayStation Theater and Night Sins at Saint Vitus.
WHAT THE FUCK: New York noise rock legends Unsane broke up this week, which sucks but is also a perfect excuse to go listen to some Unsane. Here, let me help with that.