WHAT TO BUY: Hot on the boot heels of recent releases from the likes of Pentagram, Motörhead, Iron Maiden, and Nile, second-only-to-Metallica-in-terms-mainstream-ubiquity thrash legends, Slayer, are now set for their very own comeback, Repentless (Nuclear Blast). The band’s first post-Hanneman release (and 12th LP overall), Repentless has been pinging around the hopper for awhile, leaving a string of questionable-to-not-as-questionable singles scattered across the summer altar. The record is not a risk-free proposition (and it’s fair to wonder if this band should rightly exist sans Lombardo and Hanneman), but Slayer is still Slayer and, on those grounds alone, warrant a speculative listen. Give up, give in, and check it out.
Next up are Cali avant death oddballs, Howls of Ebb, and their new, supersized EP, The Marrow Veil (I, Voidhanger). For a lack of a better definition, Howls of Ebb are sold as a “death metal” band, but the truth—especially in relation to preconceptions about that sub-genre—is far more complex, confounding, and compelling. A 35-minute swirl of spaced-out psych and cavern grind, The Marrow Veil, like Howls of Ebb’s entire catalog, is happy to keep listeners in the dark, veering from the predetermined path often and without notice on the way to some pretty thrilling (and at the very least, unexpected) conclusions. If that sounds like your sort of trip, give it a listen via their bandcamp.
Meanwhile, in new band news, Portland doom duo, Nightfell—featuring Tragedy’s Todd Burdette and Mournful Congregation’s Tim Call—will unleash their debut full-length, Darkness Evermore (20 Buck Spin), into the world today. A fire-and-brimstone synthesis of the pair’s previous projects, Darkness Evermore continues a killer 2015 for 20 Buck Spin (Abyss’s Heretical Anatomy, Obsequiae’s Aria of Vernal Tombs, etc.), so find some time to lend it your ears.
Like the mingled smoke of a bong hit and a graveyard cauldron, Sabbath Assembly have drifted up from Texas this week with their new self-titled LP (Svart) in tow. Pretty much what you’d expect from a band with a name like Sabbath Assembly (minus the inclusion of Gorguts/Dysrythmia instrumentalist and extreme music Swiss Army knife, Kevin Hufnagle) this one is classic retro doom with a seasonally spooky countenance, so, if you’re a sucker for that (I know I am), then make sure to check it out.
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Finally, if you’re looking to feed that need for classic speed, then check out Scorpions’ new, 50th anniversary-coronating LP, Return to Forever (Legacy), or over-the-top Finnish outfit Speedtrap, who are set to unchain their line-blowing, dive-bar anthem-loaded sophomore effort, Straight Shooter (Svart), today. Crack a beer, grab your leather pants, and head over to Noisey for the free stream.
WHAT TO SEE: Tonight is Friday, which means you’re probably itching to get out there and bludgeon the work week out of your system with a combination of brain-numbing noise and cheap booze. Thankfully Dingbatz—which hosts a pair of sets from Unearthly—and Saint Vitus—who have penciled in a local hardcore rager with Hank Wood & the Hammerheads and Anasazi—are happy to oblige. After a serious ibuprofen and Gatorade regimen, you should be ready to go for Saturday night, which hosts an even wider variety of insanity to choose from, including Hetroertzen at Saint Vitus; Sworn Enemy at the new Maxwell’s; Nuclear Assault at The Gramercy Theatre; Scorpions at Barclays; Unearthly at Blackthorn 51; and [gasp, wheeze] Acid Witch at The Acheron. If you can’t find something to like in that lineup, then the problem is probably you.
Sunday slows things down a bit, but if you absolutely must get out there, check out Argentinian metal stalwarts, Helker, who are set to hit Blackthorn 51 alongside Insteel, Arka, and more. After that, a much-anticipated Monday welcomes Chicago post-metal outfit Locrian (owner’s of one of the year’s best LPs in Infinite Dissolution) to Vitus for a rare, Insect Ark-backed appearance, so grab tickets to that one and then get out there on Tuesday for Godflesh and Prurient at The Warsaw; Iskra and Trenchgrinder at The Acheron; and Convenient Weapons back up where we started this sentence.
On Wednesday, with a little luck and the grace of Lemmy’s equine-level anti-biotics, Motörhead will hit Jones Beach Theater with Anthrax and Crobot, so cross your fingers and get out there. If you’re looking for a fall back, however, then it’s probably best to wait for Thursday, when a stacked show roster including Darkwing at Clash Bar; ACxDC at The Acheron; Fall of Troy at Webster Hall; and GWAR, Butcher Babies, and Battlecross at The Paramount rolls into the Tri-State with something to prove.
WHAT THE FUCK: Well, looks like Motörhead have officially licensed sex toys now. Insert Iron Fist joke here.