Eight months ago, when I first started filling this space with the rantings and ravings of both myself and the metal underground at large, I strongly considered calling it “Tuesdays Have No Feel”, in tribute to one Seinfeld’s finest nothing-isms ever. Revisiting that today, however, l now see that would have been a misnomer of the highest order. We feel plenty of things here—elation and despair, concussion-like symptoms, and the overwhelming desire to melt faces and slam beers–and hopefully even the nihilists among us either dig that or (by definition) don’t care. If not, fuck it and welcome to another season of This One Goes To Eleven anyway.
WHAT TO BUY: Chicago post-metal outfit Minsk kick us off this week with their new leviathan-sized LP, The Crash & The Draw (Relapse), the band’s first output in over half a decade. The narrative here is one of comeback—of a band who latched to the post-metal comet trail just as it began to fizzle—but to subscribe exclusively to that also subverts the relevancy of post metal, especially in black and doom sub-genres, in the six years since Minsk last reared their head. Post metal didn’t die with Isis, it just became the color instead of the canvas. The same can therefore be said about Minsk, who, in The Crash & The Draw, have crafted not a retro-fitted piece of nostalgia, but a natural continuation of today’s hybridized metal scene. The tasting notes are similar to Nux Vomica’s 2014 crossover epic—metallic through the nose, body, and finish—making it the perfect tonic for whatever sort of shitty week you have ahead of you. If you’re in need of one of those, then make sure to get over to Decibel and check out the full stream.
Of course, with the hype machine gears gnashing and gnawing, you’re probably wondering why we didn’t lead with Royal Thunder’s Crooked Doors (Relapse), which is, by all indications, the week’s most-anticipated new release. The answer, as it turns out, is simple: Unlike the band’s debut CVI, Crooked Doors strays far enough from metal’s mirky, hazardous pathways to warrant an asterisk. Is it a great piece of 70s-indebted occult rock? Yes. Is frontwoman Mlny Parsonz a force of fucking nature? Unquestionably. Is it metal? Well, only sort of. Throughout Crooked Doors the band’s Orange-amplified “vest metal” riffage has been cast-off in lieu of twisting arpeggios and soaring, pop-indebted choruses. A bourbon-swilling Fleetwood Mac is not a bad comparison (especially considering the whole “ex writing breakup album with ex” plot arc), but extreme music this is not. Know that going in, and the experience will be that much better.
If you’re feeling that one, then also lend Marriages’ new LP, Salome (Sargent House), your earholes. Once a straight distillation of Kylesa’s post-rock passages, Marriages have matured into a truly singular musical entity, combining the prog-pop of TV On The Radio with the crackling fireside heat of Yellow & Green-era Baroness in order to craft intricate, chameleon-like micro-anthems that both demand and reward careful listening and close attention. If that’s your thing (a rarity these days, I know) then make sure to give it a spin via AV Club.
Here to knock you back into metal-verse with a brass-knuckled jab to the throat are NYC crossover legends Agnostic Front and their 11th fistful of unbridled malcontent, The American Dream Died (Nuclear Blast). Tackling issues of corporate greed, trickle-down economics, and police brutality (in other words, all the essentials), The American Dream Died is a disturbingly poignant piece of music in the 2K15, when we were supposed to be well and truly beyond all this shit, but nevertheless, the music holds up to almost three decades of tattoo gun-inflicted abuse. Crust kids and trust punks (can I patent that or am I stealing from Portlandia or something?) rejoice.
Too much spring cleaning (OK, fine, outdoor drinking) and not enough time for new full lengths this week? That’s cool too, with At the Gates and Voivod dropping a new split (Century Media) that needs absolutely no context for you understand how awesome it’s going to be and Baltimore cellar-dwellers Foehammer unchaining their self-titled EP (Grimoire/Australopithecus) from whatever pit they were keeping it in. If you’re into decaying subterranean doom that can snuff out a flicker of hope with little more than a sigh from its single gargantuan nostril, then that one is for you, dear and fellow masochist.
There’s plenty of rad stuff coming blowing in across the Atlantic as well, with Enforcer deploying their umpteenth speed metal battalion, From Beyond (Nuclear Blast), on Swedish soil while Morgoth and their new LP, Ungod (Century Media), unfurl classic death metal banners over Germany. The Deutschland also produces some occult goodness in the form of Velua (Napalm Records), the latest full-length from pagan metallers Heidevolk, but whatever you do, don’t miss death and doom merchants Malthusian’s punishing debut EP, Below the Hengiform, which, among many other forms of sonic anguish, features some stellar percussion work from their Irish countrymen in Altar of Plagues.
Finally, horror nerds will want to grab a copy of Acid Witch’s new covers EP, Midnight Movies (Hells Headbangers), which finds the Detroit doom squad breathing undead life into a series of 80s fear flick originals. This one will slot in nicely next to that plastic-sleeved, humidity-controlled safe full of vintage Fangoria issues that you still haven’t told your girlfriend about.
WHAT TO SEE: The show calendar is about to get even crazier the onslaught of summer, so take some time to see what you really want this week, starting tonight at Saint Vitus where Circle of Buzzards are set to permanently cripple a cab or two with their breed of 90s-influenced noise rock. The mayhem returns the following night with a powerviolence rager featuring Dawn of Humans (FULL MALE FRONTAL ALERT!), Perspex Flesh, Blank Spell, and more, while Thursday keeps the ball rolling with Rochester hardcore act Such Gold and support from of Koji, Brigade, and Tommy Boys.
Need weekend plans? Well, Ides of Gemini and our friends in Kosmodemonic, who both hit the Greenpoint sin bin on Friday, have just what you need, as do LA grinders Excruciating Terror and one of America’s best current metal bands, Inter Arma, who take the Vitus stage on Saturday and Sunday night respectively. (Sunday also features a not-so-secret late show from Vallenfyre. Tix will be available at the door for all you non-work week hellions). Finally, the legendary, all-devouring Weedeater wrap everything up with the show of the week on Monday, which also features Aussie thrashers King Parrot and local support from Godmaker and Moon Tooth.
Elsewhere, The Acheron gets involved tonight with a punk fracas headlined by UK stalwarts The Mob and Thursday with a good one from Ohio-based dark punks, Nervosas, who get backup from Flykills and Flippants. Sunday features their last show of the week, but with D-beat specialists Kromsom in town all the way from Australia—not to mention an opening set from Aspects of War—you might just have to trade that Game of Thrones premier for a totally different form of primal human combat.
Looking to go way off the beaten path? Union Pool hosts Blackout‘s record release bash on Saturday. If that’s not your cup of tar-like bile, then check out Nightwish, Delain, and Sabaton at the rarely seen Hammerstein Ballroom on Thursday, ambient metal project Torrential Downpour at Clash Bar in Clifton, New Jersey on Friday, or C-grade hair metallers Kix at the Bergen Performing Arts Center on Saturday, which just so happens to double as the jaguar-print spandex industry’s annual tradeshow/belated holiday party. Of course you could say fuck all that, and see At the Gates, Converge, Pallbearer, and Vallenfyre on the same damn bill at Webster Hall on Sunday…assuming you bought tickets like a decade ago, that is. Oh, and daps to Decibel for putting that one together. They rule.
WHAT THE FUCK: Bummer news out of Georgia, where members of Wormreich and Khaotika were involved in a gruesome van wreck while on tour yesterday, resulting in the death of three, including Khaotika drummer Nicholas R. Crisostomo. Our condolences obviously go out to all those effected, but considering metal’s long and checkered history with bus crashes, this should also serve as a sobering reminder to keep your head up and drive safe out there.