In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want start this week by extending immense gratitude to everyone who came out to see Occultation, Kosmodemonic, Mountain God, and Think Tank tear Palisades a new orifice on Friday night. If you couldn’t make it, no worries, there will be more This One Goes To Eleven showcases to come, but in the meantime take this week’s new trash barge full of glorious grime as proof that I love you all just the same.
WHAT TO BUY: I figure since most of us are in short week mode already, we may as well forego the pleasantries and begin with the most heinous, punishing, and outright brutal album of the year, courtesy of power violence purveyors Full of Hell and their dear friend, Merzbow. The Maryland outfit’s Profound Lore debut, Full Of Hell & Merzbow is a 24-minute audio massacre strewn with the copper gristle of skinned wires and splattered with the fat of similar albums lacking FOH’s militant adherence to form and focus. On the official mix (there is a secret version packaged with the CD that pushes the Japanese noise maestro to the forefront), Merzbow’s contribution—a 45-minute slab of raw material which Full of Hell then composed around—seems mostly atmospheric, but this one nonetheless remains one of the finest extreme releases this year. If you’re glutton for punishment, make sure to give it a spin.
After that sonic meat mallet, you’ll probably be starving for a little melody, so turn your attention to the epic-minded Irishmen of Primordial, and their latest LP, Where Greater Men Have Fallen (Metal Blade). While many of today’s black metal bands have drawn inspiration from the genre’s second wave icescapes, Primordial, like both Slough Feg and Dawnbringer already this year, owe more to first wave pioneers like King Diamond and Bathory, blending operatic bombast, ample brooding, and plenty of tube-amplified goodness into perfect fireside accompaniment for the frozen, solitary months ahead. All you have to do is sit your nostalgia down, pour a dram, and let the title track take you back to a time before bit torrents and Burzum.
If you prefer your black metal basement dwelling, then turn to Portland demons Urzeit—who have the very real potential to eclipse their parent project, Ash Borer—and Oakland crust heathens, Akatharsia, who together drop have a 10-inch split on unsuspecting skulls today. Vinyl is limited to a run of just 300, though, so get on it as soon as humanly possible. If you’re feeling that, then check out ZOM (surprisingly, our second Irish band in as many paragraphs), and their debut death/thrash blowtorch, Flesh Assimilation (Dark Descent Records), which essentially sounds like party music in hell.
Doom heads, meanwhile, owe it to themselves to check OWL’s latest EP, The Last Walk (Zeitgeister), which, though boasting just one song, still clocks in with over 25 noise, death, and black-choked minutes. After you’re done streaming it over at Decibel, also make sure to spend some time NorCal quartet Bog Oak’s A Treatise On The Resurrection And The Afterlife (Svart Records), which juxtaposes almost unrecognizably downtuned guitars against hauntingly clean vocals to create a pretty singular surge.
Finally let’s end the week on a weird note, with Detroit noise punk fucks Child Bite and their newest EP, Strange Waste (Housecore Records), which is better described by its name and predecessor—a collection of Anal Cunt covers with Phil Anselmo—than anything I could ever hope to put on this page. Enjoy, freaks.
WHAT TO SEE: Holiday be damned, this week still comes, well, stuffed with enough metal to make a robot blush. Saint Vitus, per usual, leads the way tonight with a free screening of Icelandic director Ragnar Bragason’s award-winning metal biopic, Metalhead. The film, which follows a fictional protagonist, Hera, as she transforms into a full-fledged hesher following the death of her metal-obsessed brother, has been receiving rave reviews on the festival circuit, so make sure to show up early to claim your seat. Thanksgiving eve honors, meanwhile, belong to Portland spazz sludge weirdos, Wizard Rifle, who, following the release of their latest LP, Here In The Deadlights (Seventh Rule Recordings), are ready to light up Greenpoint like an off-the-rails turkey frier with a little help from Organ Dealer, Pink Mass, Huldra, and more.
Black Friday—on title alone, perhaps the most befittingly metal holiday of the year—welcomes melodic hardcore ‘Nucks, Grade, to Brooklyn’s ninth circle alongside Ensign, The Judas Knife, and Regret. It’s almost sold out, so grab your tickets now, or simply hold out for Monday, when Industrial supergroup, Corrections House (featuring Eyehategod’s Mike IX Williams and Neurosis’ Scott Kelly, among others) have penciled in an evening of pure destruction with Statiqbloom and local noise boys, UNIFORM.
If that’s just not big enough for you, the glinting, homogenized wastes of Manhattan should have just what you’re looking for come Sunday night, when both Death and GWAR are set to headline Best Buy Theater and Iriving Plaza, respectively. Both bands share the same tragedy—the loss of their driving creative force—but have soldiered on nonetheless, with GWAR joining Corrosion of Conformity and American Sharks for their first post-Brockie NYC performance, and Death, amidst a series of smash-hit Relapse reissues, spearheading a quartet of American death metal legends including Obituary, Massacre, and Rivers of Nihil. This pair is sure to have more than a few metalheands sitting on an uncomfortable fence, but let’s be honest, when it comes to these lineups, you really can’t go wrong.
WHAT THE FUCK: Ok, I’ll begrudgingly and curmudgeonly admit it, these black metal-themed Foo Fighters Christmas sweaters are kind of awesome, but someone (seriously, anyone) please tell Dave that the Foos will never be a metal band, no matter how many times he tries to shrinkwrap and ship them as such. Bah humbug.