If you’re part of the bloodthirsty horde here for “The List”, take another lap around the block. It’s coming, but not until next week. Otherwise, kick off your shoes join us for yet another week of new metal and the live pilgrimages with which we are forever bound.
WHAT TO BUY: It has been an objectively, mesmerizingly good year for black metal. So good, in fact, that the concept of over-saturation doesn’t even apply. From Panopticon to Mgła to Bosse-de-Nage to THAT fucking band, the across-the-board quality has been so high that not even the relentless swell of blast beats and second-wave frost have managed to numb us to it, and thus enter then Brooklyn’s Yellow Eyes, who return today with their third LP (and first in two years), Sick With Bloom (Gilead), in tow. This, people, is why we don’t do best-of-the-year lists in the first week of December.
Recorded in a cabin in nowhere Connecticut, Sick With Bloom, takes the band’s claustrophobic, ulcer-inducing breed of black metal up 95 a few hours for a quiet weekend in the woods, and while that’s a familiar narrative these days, the results are far more that tertiary. Aided by atmospheric field recordings, M. Rekevecis’s expansive drumming, and an otherwise expanded sonic palate, this is as close to Cascadian as a bunch of East Williamsburg Industrial Parkers can feasibly get, so plug back in (2015 isn’t over quite yet, after all) and check it out via Terroizer.
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On more distant black metal horizons comes Spectral Lore‘s Gnosis (I, Voidhanger), the latest in a series of experimental EPs from Greek maestro, Ayloss, and his renowned metal moniker. Using Greek folk music as a basis of inspiration, before filtering it through the usual blackened catch-all, Gnosis sets out with the thematic intent to make sense of man’s “evolutionary, emerging (out of matter) spirituality” as it relates to the concept of knowledge and the cosmos as a whole, but let me be the first to say: Don’t worry about all of that. Will it enhance your listening experience? Perhaps. But just know that the strength of the actual compositions allow this one to stand plenty tall on its own.
Meanwhile, in the great Pacific Northwest, something is stirring, and that something is Triumvir Foul’s rank, rotting self-titled debut (Blood Harvest). The twisted science project of the dudes that brought you Ash Borer, Triumvir Foul are sure to appeal to those of you who dig Vastum and Pissgrave’s respective splatter paintings this year, rattling off one subterranean dirge after the next until either completion or the howl of the safe word, whichever arrives first. If you’re just looking for the most fucked up thing on offer this week, then congratulations, you found it. Sit down, put the combat boots up, and enjoy the ride.
After that three-punch combo, let’s catch our breath, and what better way to do that with some crushing doom courtesy of East Coast crushers, Fórn, and their new EP, Weltschmerz (Gilead Media), and Epsilon Aurigae (Debemur Morti), the latest full-length from French funeral doom congregation, Monolithe. Fórn, in particular, received a lot of hype this year, and Weltschmerz bookends that nicely, so make sure to keep one eye on them as we move into 2016 and beyond.
Finally, we wrap new releases this week with an exercise in duality, beginning underground with Ancient Atomic Warfare (I, Voidhanger) and With Hunger Undying (Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundemantum), the horrifying new full lengths from Chilean death cult, Nar Mattaru, and Aussie extremists, Ur Draugr, respectively. After that, we take turn toward the classic end of the spectrum with noisey Norwegian hardcore outfit Shaving the Werewolf and their new EP, The Pissing Link (Negative Vibe), and Cult of Bathory (Black Vodoo Records), the latest record from sludgey thrift shop doom metallers, Yidhra. If you don’t find something to latch on to in that lineup, there’s honestly nothing I can do for you (this week, at least).
WHAT TO SEE: Another weekend, another set of killer shows, starting tonight with Yellow Eyes’ record release show at The Acheron with Anicon and Vilkacis, Pink Mass at Clash Bar, and That of a Lion at The Meatlocker, and continuing into Saturday with appearances from IKILLYA at Santos Party House, Hellshot at Lucky 13 Saloon, Acacia Strain at Webster Hall, and Couch Slut/Insect Ark/Geryon at Saint Vitus. Man , NYC is awesome sometimes.
Sunday keeps the momentum going in Greenpoint with A Wilhem Scream at Vitus, while Yuppicide, Fin’amor, and Full Blown Chaos take their prodigious noise-making abilities to The Grand Victory, Black Bear Bar, and Lucky 13 Saloon, respectively. Meanwhile, Monday soothes those 9-5 workweek burns with shows from All That Remains at Gramercy Theatre and Binary Code at Saint Vitus, before rolling right into Tuesday, which boasts some good stuff from Saurom and Windfaerer at Blackthorn 51, Like a Storm in Webster Hall’s Studio, Fuel at the Starland Ballroom, and Between the Buried and Me, Enslaved, and Intronaut at Irving Plaza.
Finally, start the weekly wrap-up on Wednesday with The Black Dahlia Murder, Goatwhore, Iron Reagan, and Artificial Brain at the Gramercy Theatre and Kind/Godmaker at Saint Vitus, before getting your Krampus on at Lucky 13 Saloon’s “Anti-Christmas” Costume Party with No Survivors, Aquadora, and more on Thursday.
WHAT THE FUCK: Don’t know what to get you’re certain special metalhead this holiday season? Then Sleep have just the thing for you: $85 Dopesmoker figurines that are sure to keep your mantle, uhh, toasty all winter long. CONSUME.