Halloween is dead and gone and we’re steaming for the home stretch now. But before we get to lisztomania, there’s still plenty of new records from incredible bands on the way, so whatever you do, don’t turn that calendar just yet.
WHAT TO HEAR: So I’m gonna level with all of you: I’ve never really given Bask a chance. I also sort of thought they were just another Red Fang band and I don’t particularly like Red Fang so, well, you know how that goes. But if I’ve sleeping on Bask, then the Asheville quartet’s third album, aptly titled III (Season of Mist), is officially my wake-up call.Blending that iconic progressive Savannah sludge sound with elements of delay-drenched post-prog (think Minus the Bear) and tinges of Appalachian folk, Bask are doing something truly unique, but it not in show-y “look at this funny formula we’ve concocted in our mad scientist laboratory sort of way.” Instead they’ve synthesized the genre bending and blending into killer songs, and last time I checked, songs are an important thing for bands to be good at. Go give it a listen if you don’t believe me, but I’m done ignoring Bask and you should be too.
You probably won’t find a more different sonic experience in metal this week than Esoteric’s horrific new doom dirge, A Pyrrhic Existence (Season of Mist). The band’s first output in eight years, A Pyrrhic Existence is six tracks of hallucinogenic, self-flagellating deathed-up funeral doom—a bad trip that never ends, no matter how hard or long you claw at the walls. The 27-minute album opener “Descent” appropriately sets the stage, finding Esoteric’s compositions threatening to collapse under the weight of their own grim grief but always, somehow, just scraping by. If you like the hideous slow stuff, then you’re gonna love this.
Pair that one with Hearts of No Light (Prosthetic) the latest from experimental Swedish black metallers Schammasch. The accepted Schammasch tag is “progressive black metal” but that essentially just means “black metal that isn’t afraid to fuck with some other genres.” For Hearts of No Light, that means your usual array of classic heavy and death metal, but also a far-flung array of other kaleidoscopic hues. If you ask more of your black metal than tremolo picking and blast beats, Hearts of No Light will definitely deliver.
After that, set the controls for the heart of some seriously badass heavy metal, starting with Terminus’ operatic, mildly progressive take on their new full-length A Single Point of Life (Cruz Del Sur), and Niralet (Dying Victims Productions), the super-promising debut EP Ozzy-indebted Swedish rippers Megaton Sword. Heavy metal truly is alive and well and it’s absolutely fucking awesome to see (and hear.)
Finally wrap up the week with a pair of polar opposites. First up is Wolfbrigade’s latest crust-punk conjuring of Lemmy, The Enemy: Reality (Southern Lord), which filters Motörhead’s rock n’ roll rollick through 30-plus years of hardcore, d-beat, and death metal influences. Then set sail for the borderlands with Sea of Worry (The Flenser), the first new material from underground post-rock cult heroes Have a Nice Life’s since 2014. It’s not metal but it’ll make you feel many of the same things, and isn’t that the point?
WHAT TO SEE: In the world music you have to go into public to consume, things kick off tonight with a burlesque tribute to Type-O Negative at Lucky 13 Saloon (lol), Vio-lence at Brooklyn Bazaar, an Agnostic Front record release Q&A at Generation Records, Rings of Saturn at Revolution Bar, Bleedseason at The Meatlocker, and Bambara at Saint Vitus. On Saturday check out, The Chameleon’s Vox at the Greenpoint hell hole, Taken at The Kingsland, Kerbera at Blackthorn 51, another night of Vio-lence at Brooklyn Bazaar, and Slayer/Primus at MSG, and then wash it all down on Sunday with Crippled Fox at Cobra Club, Sharptooth at The Kingsland, and Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean/Sunrot matinee at Saint Vitus followed by more of The Chameleon’s Vox at 7.
The working week gets underway on Monday with Internal Bleeding at Amityville Music Hall, followed on Tuesday by insane bill featuring Exhumed, Gatecreeper, and Necrot at Brooklyn Bazaar. On Wednesday get to Vitus to catch Brutus and Planning For Burial, or head over to The Kingsland for Crisix, up to Gramercy Theatre for The Devil Wears Prada, or out to the Meatlocker for Mortiferum. Finally on Thursday, lay your weary head to rest with WER at Lucky 13 Saloon, Chelsea Grin at Gramercy Theatre, Gouge Away at Trans-Pecos, and Black Tusk/Child Bite at Saint Vitus.
WHAT THE FUCK: New Ozzy that doesn’t completely suck? New Ozzy that doesn’t completely suck.