It’s a slower week here at the metal lake house, so grab your finest pair of black cut-offs, double bass kick back, and enjoy the late 3rd quarter calm before the 4th quarter storm. Oh, and if you’re thirsty, the beer is in the fridge, as always.
WHAT TO BUY: I won’t lie. Orthodox black metal is the grandfather of the modern metal world. You love him because he’s your grandpa and he fought for his country, but you’ve heard all his racially questionable stories at every holiday gathering since you were a fetus and now you’re just going through the motions, rolling your eyes and nodding along. Enter Ophidian Henosis (Blut & Eisen), the latest Thanksgiving table fable from Scottish traditionalists, Barshasketh. A heavy-as-fuck return to the days when corpse paint only cost a nickel and the rolling fields of ash stretched for as far as the eye could see, Barshasketh aren’t going shift the black metal paradigm, but they know what they want to do and they do it with precision.That’s more than most bands can claim these days, so make give it a listen below.
Changing the mood significantly now, we now turn Sauron’s burning eye to New England, where Noltem—the obscure and long-defunct pastoral black metal project of Max Johnson and John Kerr (Seidr, Vit, and Marsh Dweller)—unfurled their latest EP, Mannaz (independent release), earlier this week. Much like fellow New England black metal outfits like Vattnet Viskar and Falls of Rauros, Noltem’s sound is indebted to the region’s geographic make-up—a sonic trip from winding forest paths to rocky shores and the wind-stripped peaks beyond. Sure to have fans of Cascadian major leaguers like Agalloch and Wolves in the Throne perking up their ears as well, this one is streaming over at Noltem’s bandcamp and is well worth 20 minutes of your crowded listening schedule.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=87480796 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=e99708 tracklist=false artwork=small track=609342494]
After that, step down into the world of hideous sludge with Birmingham bruisers, Opium Lord, and their crushing new full length, Eye of the Earth (Candlelight). Throbbing with fuzz-bomb riffs and the subtle blues inflections of its native Alabama, this one is for fans of the heinous, unmerciful punch packed by outfits like Lord Mantis, Coffinworm, and Primitive Man, oozing out of each and every pore like a virus. If uncompromising heavy is your chief concern this week, consider it ameliorated/obliterated.
Candlelight Records is also home to a host of releases making their North American debuts this week, including a trio of Philly black thrashterpieces in Ninkharsag’s The Blood of the Celestial Kings, Saturnian Mist‘s Chaos Magik, and Zatokrev’s Silk Spiders Underwater. After you’re done sinking your teeth into those, check out Polish death contingent Ogotay’s latest, Dead God’s Prophet (Selfmadegod); Shroud of the Heretic’s new slab of Portland death doom, Unorthodox Equilibrium (Iron Bonehead); and Things Have Learnt To Walk That Ought To Crawl (independent release), the comeback LP from spaghetti western-tinged post-sludge heathens (and unabashed Dollars Trilogy apostles), Angel Eyes. If you’re looking for something seriously epic to clink into the saloon to this weekend, that buck stops here.
Finally, just as we were going to (word)press yesterday, Brooklyn metallic savants Krallice, in a move surely influenced by hip hop’s current whenever/whatever release strategy, spontaneously dropped their first full length in three years, Ygg Huur (Gilead), sans pomp, pageantry, and press releases. A meatier, fall-off-bone update of their technical black metal recipe, Ygg Huur is a must-hear for all NYC metal fans, if only for the work of Mick Barr, who continues to possess one of the most distinct visions and proficient skill sets in underground metal. I’m not really in the habit of making demands around here, but in this case I’ll make an exception: I don’t care you how hear it—via Krallice’s bandcamp, one of their upcoming live performances, or physical formats, which drop later this fall—but this one is downright required.
Footage courtesy of (((Unartig)))
WHAT TO SEE: Get your weekend started on the right foot tonight with an absolutely killer bill featuring Thou, False, Fórn, and Sunrot at Saint Vitus, and then make sure to get your ass up and over to ABC No Rio for a 3pm encore the following afternoon. After that, double down with Power Trip, Foreseen, Red Death, and The Pose over at Palisades; Total Control, Lust For Youth, Sannhet, and Flesh World at MHoW; or an IKILLYA/Driven Mad-headlined White Helmets (a group of volunteer rescue workers in war-torn Syria) benefit up at Vitus. If none of those are ringing any of the right bells, then perhaps a journey down to Jones Beach for Slipknot and Lamb of God, and more will do the trick (though honestly, if you’re a regular visitor to this space, probably not).
On Sunday, Baltimore folk metal mystics Sekengard play their first ever NYC show at Lucky 13 Saloon alongside Spectral Voices and Winter’s Wake before things pick back up on Monday with an already-sold-out Dillinger Escape Plan throwdown at Saint Vitus with White Widows Pact, Moon Tooth, and Lyken21. And while I can’t blame you for thinking it would be all downhill from there, Tuesday somehow manages to top that, with Thera Roya and SpaceWaster at The Meatlocker; KMFDM (hot off those killer Fury Road riffs) at Irving Plaza; and Scott Ian’s “Speaking Words” road show—which finds the iconic Anthrax guitarist discussing his crazy career and answering your every burning question—rolling into Vitus. If you’re looking for something a little different, make sure to check it out.
After that, Wednesday welcomes Death Vacation and Clean Girls to the Greenpoint haunted house, while Faith No More and Slipknot (yes, again) headline a pair of big ones at MSG and PNC Bank Arts Center, respectively. After your draining your 401K for those, head back up to Vitus for a second evening of Scott Ian insanity, which wraps up the show week in fitting fashion.
WHAT THE FUCK: Earlier this week Deafheaven finally announced their already controversial Sunbather follow-up, New Bermuda, due out in October via ANTI-. There’s really not much else to say about this one except that the cover isn’t pink and it was recorded live to tape, so hold the thinkpieces, check out the trailer, and continue on into the abyss.