Down to the final mixes on a personal project this week, so for the sake of my sanity, let’s keep this short and sweet.
WHAT TO HEAR: Well folks, black metal Liturgy is officially back with a surprise (surprisingly good) new LP this week, H.A.Q.Q. (YLYLCYN). Although billed as a musical detour before Hunter Hunt-Hendrix’s upcoming opera Origin of the Alimonies and philosophical System of Transcendental Qabala, it’s one we’re glad Triple H decided to take, finding the band exhuming their dulcet black metal tones for one last spirit quest. The meandering, modal tremolo lines return, as does Hendrix’s scratchy yalp, accompanied a cacophonous symphony of classical instruments and their digital manipulations. H.A.Q.Q. finally answer to the question Liturgy have been asking all along: What would happen if Sufjan Stevens made a black metal record? That answer, as it turns out, is pretty compelling.
War metal from Wyoming? That seems like a recipe for some really iffy politics, but thankfully Casket Huffer are bringing the riffs and the righteousness in their first full-length in three years, Filth Ouroboros (Hibernation Release Records). You might expect heinous low-fi grime, but Dave Otero’s production drags Filth Ouroboros out of the crypts and into the arenas with some absolutely massive moments. Despite the body horror and gore fetish, Pissgrave West this ain’t.
After that, check in with one of the longest running names in USBM, Abigail Williams, who return today with long-gestating new LP, Walk Beyond the Dark (Blood Music). Culled from 20 songs written over the course of four hard years, AW vanguard Ken Sorceron has assembled one of the band’s most honest, epic offerings, full of sprawling, patient compositions that produce real, tangible payoffs. Check it out here if you’d like.
Now it’s time to to get in the pit with Necropanther’s latest ripper, The Doomed City (self-released). A riff-tastic retelling of the iconic sci-fi novel Logan’s Run with shades of old-school Skeletonwitch (sonically, not the whole shitty-person element), this one is a win-win. You could also check out Despised Icon’s 6th full-length Purgatory (Nuclear Blast) if you’re really desperate for headbangin’.
Finally, we don’t get live albums around these parts very often, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Triublation’s Alive & Dead Södra Teatern (Metal Blade). After seeing Tribulation in the flesh a year or two ago, I can confirm they are one of the single best live metal acts going…and that was at a glorified Bushwick warehouse. Just imagine what they’d sound like at one Stockholm’s oldest (and most haunted) theaters. Thanks to Alive & Dead, you no longer have to…
WHAT TO SEE: The week in shows resets tonight with The Kingsland’s two-year anniversary celly featuring Leeway, The Muckrakers at Lucky 13 Saloon, The Fiendz at Clash Bar, Deadtide at Roxy & Dukes, Shoot to Thrill at Blackthorn 51, Taking Back Sunday at Terminal 5, and Mortician’s 30th birthday bash at Saint Vitus. Saturday picks things up from there with Vital Remains at Gold Sounds, Extreme Metal Fest III at Blackthorn Fitty One, Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean/Sunrot at The Clubhouse of Toms River, Heal at Lucky 13, more TBS at T5, Darediablo at Saint Vitus, and Tool at the Prudential Center, while Sunday wraps up the weekend with a Godmaker/Hyborian matinee at Vitus followed by Monolord/Blackwater Holylight at 7, as well as The Krays at Niagara, Solemn Vision at Lucky 13 and The Hu at Bowery Ballroom.
Monday will get ya more Monolord at Vitus, as well as Violent in Black at Arlene’s Grocery and Billy Corgan at Gramercy Theatre, before Tuesday goes off with A Day to Remember at Terminal 5, Ringo Deathstarr at Saint Vitus, Tool at Barclays Center, Pigface at Le Poisson Rouge, and Electric Wizard at Brooklyn Steel. Wednesday finds Blacktop Mojo at Saint Vitus and E-Town Concrete at Brooklyn Bazaar before Thursday brings us home once again with Boston Manor at Gramercy Theatre, End of Hope at Sixty Sixth Congress, and the first of two wild nights at Elsewhere with High of Fire, Power Trip, Devil Master, and Creeping Death.
WHAT THE FUCK: So at the time of publication, it’s November 15th, 2019 AD, and Decibel’s Annual Top 40 Metals Albums of the Year rundown has officially been live for over 48 hours. Like the Christmas decorations at Target, this gets earlier and earlier every year, veering dangerously close to self-parody. That’s not to say the list isn’t good, aside from some minor squabbles. As always, it remains the authority. But no matter what the SEO geniuses might say, if your number one record of the year HASN’T EVEN BEEN RELEASED YET, you’re dropping your year-end list too soon,