It’s hard to believe, but the last release week of September is already upon us. Next week is October and the week after that, 2050. But thankfully there’s plenty of new noise to help drown out the sound of your life rapidly evaporating around you.
WHAT TO HEAR: First up this week is Creeping Death’s Wretched Illusions (eOne), which, despite the big-label backing, is one of the most breakneck death metal beatdowns of the death metal beatdown-laden year. Of all the seven trillion OSDM bands currently dousing underground metal in their dank, drippy gurgle, Creeping Death possess the sharpest attack. The mid-boosted guitar tones are whittled into lethal spears and the growls are boosted to the forefront of every crushing breakdown. Elsewhere, whammy drenched leads and caveman drumming run point. If you don’t like OSDM, Wretched Illusions is a perfect gateway record, but consider yourself warned: The path beyond only leads down from here.
The fun’s not done there, though, because that one also happens to pair perfectly with Beyond the Wall of Desolation (Southern Lord), the debut full-length from Worcester rippers High Command. If Wretched Illusions is the missing evolutionary link between death metal and crossover then Wall of Desolation is missing link between crossover and classic heavy metal, adorning Power Trip’s spitfire thrash in King Diamond make-up for the season ahead. But make no mistake, High Command—who hail from the only relevant punk city in the once proud punk commonwealth of Massachusetts—are still hardcore to the core, so hang up your robes and get in the pit.
Speaking of heavy metal, Opeth are conjuring exactly that this week with their enchanting new LP, In Cauda Venenum (Nuclear Blast). Hailed as the band’s most fully realized post-Watershed work, In Cauda Venenum seamlessly segues Opeth’s 60s and 70s prog overtures into lucid gothic metal, conjuring the ghosts of Rainbow and co.—and modern torch bearers like Tribulation—in the process. Time-signature fuckery and Michael Åkerfeldt’s bellowing cleans still do most of the heavy lifting, but this feels like where Opeth were heading all along before the GPS recalculated a couple of times. If you’re out on Opeth, you’ll probably remain so, but if you’re willing to give them one more chance, now’s the time.
After that, brace for the detonation of Car Bomb’s humbling fourth full-length, Mordial (self-released.) The progressive New York hardcore unit have carved a career out of one of the most spastic sounds in metal, and Mordial brings that approach to its most honest and compelling fruition yet, shifting through time signatures like gears and juxtaposing closed-fist riffage against pops of irresistible melody. In our dystopian Dillinger Escape Plan-less future, Mordial is a ray of hope, especially for those of us who enjoy counting polyrhythms in the pit, so don’t sleep on it.
Black metal time? Black metal time. Kick things off with Borknagar’s symphonic Norwegian sound, rendered in full, vivid detail on their new LP, True North (Century Media). If you like your black metal in technicolor, then you’re gonna love what Øystein G. Brun has done with this one. Comparatively, Äril (Nordvis), the new three-song EP from Swedish brooders Bhleg, conjurers only the darkest thoughts with its melodic, mid-tempo mixture of black metal and folk. With colder days ahead, make sure to keep that one on speed dial (if you even remember what speed dial was.)
Finally, wrap up the new shit with Renounced’s Beauty is a Destructive Angel (Holy Roar.) The London quintet are the next in the new wave of hot hot hot neo metalcore bands, sitting comfortably alongside the likes of Candy, Jesus Piece, and Knocked Loose thanks to their equal reverie for neck-snapping breakdowns and Killswitch Engage. Go check it out and buy some merch so you can look cool at the next Vein gig. Oh, and before you go, check out Decade of Depression (Listenable Records), a new cover album from St. Louis sludge cretins Fister featuring covers of “Too Old Too Cold,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” and HOLY THE SHIT THE CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD THEME. MUST PURCHASE. IMMEDIATELY.
WHAT TO SEE: Meanwhile on the frontlines, things get underway tonight with Madball/Cro-Mags at The Kingsland, Vessel of Light at Lucky 13 Saloon, Every Time I Die aboard the Liberty Bell, Pig + Cyanotic at Vitus in the late-night slot, and Cerebral Rot/Fetid in primetime. On Saturday, check out Bad Luck Fest at Ram’s Head Pub featuring Nothing is Over, Splattered Entrails, and more, or check out more Madball at The Kingsland, Moisturizer at The Meatlocker, Evil Terror at Blackthorn 51, Cybertron at Knitting Factory, and Enter Shikari at Saint Vitus. If you survive all that, check out Bless the Fall at the Warsaw, Senses Fail at White Eagle Hall, and the film premiere of Hellfire featuring performances by Noche Tres Noche, among others, at Saint Vitus.
Monday welcomes one of the doom bills of the year in Evoken/Hell/Mizmor at Saint Vitus, as well Acid King/Wizard Rifle at the Knitting Factory and Enter Shikari at Bowery Ballroom, before Tuesday rolls through with Being as an Ocean at Gramercy Theatre and the West Bound East Coast Take Down at Blackthorn 51. The midweek doldrums get absolutely obliterated on Wednesday with Disentomb at Vitus, Jinjer at Gramercy Theatre, Slaughter to Prevail at The Kingsland, and GWAR/Sacred Reich/Toxic Holocaust at Starland Ballroom before Thursday wraps things up with Haggus at Hart Bar, Valence at Amityville Music Hall, Vince Neil at the Bergen Performing Arts Center, and Grayscale at Gramercy Theatre.
WHAT THE FUCK: Not to spoil the party or anything, but I also think DragonForce also have a new album out today and it may or may not include a Celine Dion cover. Do with that what you will.