With a barrage of killer new releases, more Brent Hinds weirdness, and a huge show announcement from This One Goes To Eleven, this week is by far 2015’s biggest yet. So sit down, strap in, and get ready for some whiplash, it’s going to be a good one.
WHAT TO BUY: We begin this week with North American release of Norwegian trio Einherjer’s sixth full-length slab of blackened Viking metal, Av Oss, For Oss (Indie Recordings), which—although a 2014 release overseas—arrives fresh on new world shores today. A thrilling cauldron bubble of classic and contemporary ingredients, Einherjer call Av Oss, For Oss “a unique, self-made, original, and modern interpretation of our mighty Nordic heritage” and while they are by no means wrong (I don’t have enough Nordic blood in my veins to either confirm or deny, anyway) the myopically modern assessment is that Einherjer sound a lot like fellow Norwegian breakouts Kverlertak if Kverlertak grew up blasting Judas Priest instead of Turbonegro. If that sounds rad to you (and really, how could it not?) then make sure to pick up a copy.
Also clawing out of Scandinavia today is Desolate Shrine’s newest LP, The Heart of the Netherworld (Dark Descent). Throughout their third full length, the Finnish outfit bolt steel to ice, augmenting terrifying, downcast death metal with a melodic halo that many of their peers lack or, rather, have no interest in possessing. As tracks like “Black Fires of God” show, Desolate Shrine are technical, but not in a riff-centric way, letting dynamic tempo surges and top-shelf drumwork do the heavy lifting while the soaring guitars launch well into the second-wave black metal stratosphere. It all feels and sounds indescribably European—Scandinavian death metal pretty much set the template for that—but there’s more than enough cross-genre pollination here to keep everyone else interested too.
Moving from the frosty warehouses of Helsinki to the sun-kissed beaches of SoCal now, Dark Descent also brings us San Diego death doomers (silly name alert) Ghoulgotha’s debut full length, The Deathmass Cloak, on most formats today. Recorded last March, The Deathmass Cloak is a long time in coming, but totally worth the wait, boasting sick album art, massive guitar tones, and an ADHD-approved glossary of awesome riffs in each and every track. No Clean Singing is already digging it (newsflash, they know their shit), and one listen to the album’s opening track, “Gazing Into Melted Night”, should have you on board as well. Make sure to keep an eye on these guys as the year moves along as well, because word is they are already working on a follow up EP.
Odds and ends this week include a new full length, Death is Not Dead, from Century Media’s OTHER Swedish death metal vets, The Crown, a new jam from German stoner kings Kadavar (off their upcoming Riley Hawk-curated Scion EP), and the debut track off Visigoth’s upcoming power metal opus, The Revenant King, due January 27 via Metal Blade. If you want to stretch the boundaries a little bit, shock jock Marilyn Manson is streaming his new pseudo self-titled LP, The Pale Emperor (Hell Etc.), over at Genius, while John Carpenter (yes that John Carpenter) has “Night”, the first single off his debut non-soundtrack release, Lost Themes, haunting the internet halls today. It’s not metal, but it’s definitely heavy in spirit, so make sure to check it out.
Finally make sure to check out Matt Lupo’s fourth offering as OPUL, Levels (Nefarious Industries). Stuffed to the gills with Mr.Clean vocal melodies and catchy, tower-toppling riffs, this three-song EP from the East of the Wall frontman (who also has a 7″ split with Cryptodira out today) is sure to keep Torche pyromaniacs happy until the drop of their Relapse debut, Restarter, next month.
WHAT TO SEE: Things are a little slower up at Vitus this week, with stoner legend’s Karma to Burn headlining the venue’s only metal show of note this week alongside Sierra and Shitkill. The Acheron, however, comes in hot with a trio of killer shows, starting on Friday with proggy Brooklyn post-metal outfit Thurn & Taxis, Jersey grind guys Vomit Fist, and a few other awesome local acts. Saturday brings a hardcore blue light special with killer clearance items from Haymaker, The Rival Mob, Sex Prisoner, and Brain Slug available for CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP!, before things wrap up Sunday with DC DM upstarts Genocide Pact (support courtesy of NARC and Grudges).
And since we are on the subject of The Acheron, I am incredibly excited to announce This One Goes To Eleven’s heaviest, nastiest, gnarliest showcase yet, featuring Horrendous, Artificial Brain, Throaat, and Kosmodemonic at the Anchored Inn outpost on Saturday 1/31. You can grab tickets here and get more details via our full-length show preview, but the cliff notes are simple: Together, Horrendous and Artificial Brain are A. Two of the best new bands in American death metal right now. B. In possession of two of the raddest death metal records of 2014 in Ecdysis and Labyrinth Constellation, and C. On the same Brooklyn bill for just $10. So yeah, we will see you in the pit.
Over in Manhattan, the world’s first and last Mariachi metal cover band, Metalachi, hit the Gramercy Theatre on Thursday. If you’re looking for laugh or a Gonzo-style sociological experiment, check it out. No snickering at American deathcore this week either, as the scene is sure to be out in full force for Veil of Maya and Upon a Burning Body at Webster Hall’s Marlin Room on Monday. No seriously guys, be nice.
Beyond that, the calendar dries up, but if we missed something, please let us know in the comments.
WHAT THE FUCK: In case you weren’t already convinced, Mastodon have officially entered the zeitgeist, with the Savannah metal megalodon’s frontman, Brent Hinds, purportedly playing the scripted roll of deceased Jackass star Ryan Dunn in Bam Margera’s upcoming documentary, I Needed Time To Stay Useless. Minus the Maori whaler face tats, there is a striking resemblance, but whether or not Hinds can act—and whether or not this propels him inadvertently into the footsteps of a post-84 David Lee Roth and Mastodon, therefore, into their Sammy Hagar dark age—remains to be seen.