Welcome to the very first Friday installment of This One Goes To Eleven, everyone. Semi-mandated by the new Global Release Day, proceedings have moved to an altogether badder and boozier time slot, so join me in saying TGI-motherfucking-F for the first and, mercifully, final time.
WHAT TO BUY: I know what you’re thinking: More doom? But such is the state of metal in 2015 (and, for that matter, 2014 before it), creaking and groaning its way toward enlightenment and the achievement of zen with all the agility of an elderly woman. If you’re not into that, you probably never will be, and that’s fine…as long as you don’t pass up the brand new split from Old Witch and Keeper (CVLT Nation/Grimoire), of course. An exercise in contrasting approaches—sorrow for the former, rage for the latter—this full-length dirge is easily the nastiest, grimiest, and grimmest offering since Thou and The Body joined forces this spring, further feeding the garbage fire of anticipation surrounding Keeper’s standalone debut. Until that comes to pass, however, grab your most horrible self and give this one a listen via bandcamp.
Following a similarly self-flagellating impulse, check out New Jersey grindcore lifers Organ Dealer and their face-melting new LP, Visceral Infection (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions). The project of School of Rock Montclair instructor James Stivaly, this one is obscenely technical, but not in your typical Steve Vai-worshipping guitar teacher sort-of-way, lacing meat-tenderizing blast beats and punishing breakdowns with an ear, nose, and throat-choking swarm of poisonous riffs. If you’re trying to keep things simultaneously local and ridiculously heavy this week, then Invisible Oranges’ interview with Stivaly—which includes the requisite stream—has everything you need.
Meanwhile, the raddest surprise this week comes howling out of the Midwest, where Chicago post-grind unit, Immortal Bird, are set to drop their debut full length, Empress/Abcess (Broken Limbs), on unsuspecting spines today. Invisible Oranges has the full stream which, at just over a half hour, is an absolute must hear, but this blackened, bottomless deep dish will definitely take more than a few sittings to digest. Huge melodies, a guest spot from Weekend Nachos’ John Hoffman, and some requisite Converge-isms will certainly help, but make sure to take your time and savor this monster.
Also on deck is Empathy For The Wicked (Golden Mantra), the new all-devouring doom void from UK amp apostles, Ommadon. The follow-up to last year’s acclaimed full-length, V, this two-headed monster (Side A and Side B in this case) lies patiently in wait, poking its fin up from beneath the depths just enough to keep the mythology thriving for another generation of terrified villagers. Specializing in droning climaxes and featuring no discernible vocals, Empathy is by no means an easy ask, but unsurprisingly massive production from Billy Anderson and some mammoth riffs certainly payoff, making it a must-hear for cellar-dwelling doom fans everywhere.
Finally, let’s wrap this week’s releases up with a trio of disparately crushing transmissions from around the globe. First up, UK crushers and crust punk pioneers (no seriously, they invented the term) Hellbastard have a new one, aptly titled Feral (PANTAC). Take that elbow to the face then brace yourself for an oncoming headbutt from The City of the Sun (Secret Records), the latest output from Wisconsin hardcore thrash heathens, Zebras. Last but not least, grab a physical copy of long-tenured USBMers Barghest‘s new charred-to-the-dental-records LP, Into Weeping Firmament (Independent), which, following digital dissemination earlier this month, gets a CD pressing this week.
WHAT TO SEE: One the best side effects to come out of this whole Friday thing is the fact our weekly show rundown now kicks off with all of NYC’s weekend-in, weekend-out insanity, beginning today with Unearhtly Trance, churchburn, and Belus at The Acheron. After that, head up to Saint Vitus on Saturday, where Cinci rocka rollas Electric Citizen headline an evening of big riffs and better vibes with Texas psych mystics Mondo Drag and Cali beach bums Slow Season, or pile in the ol’ family station wagon and head out to Lot 13 in Bayonne where NJ Death Fest is set to kick off with sets from Artificial Brain, Devour the Unborn, Dysentery, Goemagot, and a bunch of other bands with names that would make your mom queasy.
If none of those are up to your way-too-high standards, Aviv has a mysterious one featuring Trip Metal Inzane All-Starz (rumored to be local power electricians, Wolf Eyes), Dogleather, and the always-awesome Couch Slut while The Acheron get hardcore with Government Issue, Agitator, and more. Outside of a Planes Mistaken For Stars reunion at Vitus, the NYC skies lighten considerably on Sunday, but the final day of NJ Death Fest awaits intrepid heshers nonetheless, boasting gore-splattered goodness from the likes Digested Flesh, Organ Dealer, Kalopsia, and more.
Tuesday gets the work week warmed up in a hurry, with Slayer, King Diamond, Whitechapel, and Code Orange Kids hitting the PNC Bank Arts Center as a part of Rockstar Energy’s Mayhem Festival, while Human Bodies, One Master, and Syphilitic Lust offer a perfect underground alternative over at The Acheron. On Wednesday, your uncle is definitely going to Deep Purple at the Bergen Arts Performing Center, so check that out if he needs a DD or something, otherwise lay low until Thursday night when Denver doomers Primitive Man lurch into Vitus alongside Opium Lord, Opening Bell, The Communion, and Mountain God.
WHAT THE FUCK: Outside of some early death and black metal visionaries/villains, the metal world has always been more interested in co-opting Satanic imagery than subscribing to its beliefs, but with a sub-culture wallpapered from baseboards to ceiling in pentagrams, inverted crosses, and goat skulls, it has been easy to forget that, for some people, Satan actually does rule, he’s their fucking capital-L Lord. The recent Baphomet statue saga in Detroit—in addition to providing a good chuckle or two—has proven a useful reminder of that fact, subsequently opening some interesting avenues of discussion re: how we, as an extreme music community, revile entities that attempt to lease our scene’s aesthetic for financial/intrinsic gain while unconsciously doing the same each time we don our proverbial Deicide long-sleeve tees. Ultimately I’m floating this more out of pseudo-academic curiosity and the lack of any other suitable topic for this section than anything else, but still, its something to consider over beers at Vitus as we all scurry to one inevitable doom or another.