After a brief deviation from the script last week, This One Goes To Eleven returns to regularly scheduled programming today with yet another batch of soul-crushing, life-affirming heavy. Needless to say, don’t touch that dial.
WHAT TO BUY: We get back to the grind this week with one the year’s single most anticipated black metal LPs of 2015 in Vanum’s Realm of Sacrifice (Profound Lore). Comprised of Kyle Morgan of Ash Borer and M. Rekevics of Fell Voices, Vorde, and Vilkacis, Realm of Sacrifice merges two of the finest minds (and most fertile scenes) in USBM, specializing in the grey-on-grey brood and mountain peak-sharpening melodies their respective projects have often shirked in lieu of lo-fi terror. That’s not to say Vanum are an Agalloch clone, however. Far from it. With death-inflected growls and Rekevics’s icy second-wave blast beats tearing muscle from bone throughout, Realm of Sacrifice also represents the most unabashedly polished output from each, churning through each of its four lengthy epics without ever feeling unwieldy or cumbersome. If you’re into back metal—hell, even if you’re not—this one (now streaming on Profound Lore’s bandcamp) is absolutely essential listening.
If that’s whet your weekly Profound Lore appetite, then also make sure to stay tuned for mysterious UK avant death metal titans-to-be, Abyssal, and their new full length, Antikatataseis (Profound Lore). Though already the outfit’s third record, very little—names, ideologies, exact location—is known about Abyssal, who were discovered when PL legionnaire Chris Bruni stumbled across a burned CD of their previous digital-only self-release. Though conjurers of some obscenely technical noise, Abyssal, given their reticent nature, mire themselves in a film of blackened basement grime, earning comparisons to their countrymen in Grave Miasma, as well as other sonic torture legends like Portal and Impetuous Ritual. Like Realm of Sacrifice, this husk-choaked cobweb of horror is currently streaming via bandcamp so make sure to lend it your adventurous ears.
Moving on to the charred pastures of other non-Canadian labels, upstart Portugese black metal outfit Nevoa and their debut LP, The Absence of the Void (Altare Productions), is easily the next best thing out this week. Clawing relentlessly upward, starved of sun but not necessarily hope, The Absence of the Void is gorgeous without being saccharine, challenging but not impenetrable,and a masterclass in the genre’s oldest art form: Marathon tremolo picking. With the napalm-like proliferation of sub-genres and “blackened” everything across the underground of late, Nevoa are a truly refreshing, nihilistic baptism in the classic, cascading black stuff, so make sure to give them a listen.
Now, if you want to wash off all that pretty, then NYC metallic hardcore battalion All Out War‘s new EP, Dying Gods (Organized Crime Records), is the fistful of gutter run-off waiting to be shoved down your throat. Comprised of five original anthems of militarized malcontent, plus a pair of Amebix and Carnivore covers, Dying Gods and its meatgrinder riffs are sure to turn your living room into a one-(wo)man pit, so make sure to move all the furniture before you check out CVLT Nation’s full stream.
In EP news, Norwegian Grammy-winning noise rockers Årabrot drop a their new 6-song slab of bloody-nosed sludge n’ roll, You Bunch of Idiots (Eolian Empire), today. Check it out via Invisible Oranges and then grab tickets to the band’s upcoming North America tour, which includes a July 19th stop at The Studio at Webster Hall with arty TX black metallers, Pinkish Black. After you’ve done that, wind down with Jason W. Walton‘s (of Agalloch/Self Spiller infamy) new solo effort, Mara (Red Orchard), which documents his battle with sleep paralysis through a combination of ambient, drone, noise, and field recordings from up and down the West Coast.
Finally, make sure to spend some serious time with angsty/proggy/Philly post-metalheads Rosetta’s new LP, Quintessential Ephemera (War Crimes), which, although not out in physical form until next week, is now available for name-your-price download via their bandcamp. Grab that now and then snag tickets to their upcoming Vitus appearance so these guys can continue to justify that honor-system business strategy/keep the lights on.
WHAT TO SEE: The heavy stuff gets underway tomorrow with a 5-buck bluelight special featuring Eye of the Destroyer, Sicada, Gyre, and Haagenti at Saint Vitus and Darkest Hour performing Undoing Ruin in full at the Gramercy Theatre. Vitus is back with a retro vengeance on Thursday with Royal Thunder, Wild Throne, and The Golden Grass, but if you’re feeling a little power with your violence, then go check out Warthog at The Acheron, who get some help from a variety of other awesome punk (Tenement) and hardcore (Ivy) bands, should you be open to such things.
The weekend, meanwhile, is dominated by Stardust Fest V at Saint Vitus, which kicks off three-nights of ashen metal mayhem on Friday with Wolvserpent, Fell Voices, and Anicon, followed by Tombs, Black Anvil, Svart Crown, and Vorde on Saturday. If you can’t make those, never fear, as the whole thing wraps up on Sunday with a hybrid lineup starring Wolvserpent, Fell Voices, Svart Crown, and Mutilation Rites. These guys had some seriously bad booking luck with this one, with both Inter Arma and Taake (plus Taake’s tourmates, Young and in the Way and Wolvhammer) having to drop off at the last minute, so make sure to get out and show your support.
Of course if you’re seeing something else, that’s cool too, with Friday bringing Hivesmasher’s Brooklyn farewell show to Black Bear Bar with some help from Tiger Flowers, Meek is Murder, and White Widows Pact, and Saturday welcoming Uniform, Rectal Hygenics, and Unholy 2 to Trans Pecos; Whiplash, Blood Feast, and Psychoprism to NJ Metalfest; and Silence Equals Death, Nightcrawler, and Vomit Fist to ABC No Rio. If that’s somehow still not enough, then hopefully King’s X at Stage 48 or Anaka at The Gramercy Theater can provide the fix you’re looking for.
After all of that, crawl into the new week with a tri-state metalcore special featuring Burn it to the Ground, Descend into Grey, and more at Bushwick Public House; Crowbar, Battlecross, and Lord Dying at Saint Vitus; and Rush at MSG, where $1,500-plus floor tickets are (gasp) still available.
WHAT THE FUCK: Late last week the internet’s pop-psych headline machine kicked into high gear after discovering a recent University of Queensland study that concluded metal, as opposed to inciting feelings of rage and acts of violence (as it is often thought to do), instead helped listeners to regulate emotions, making them calmer in the process. Not much to say about this one besides “duh”.