WHAT TO HEAR: First on the roll call this week is dusty Idaho doom duo Wolvserpent and their new 40-min, single-song EP, Aporia:Kāla:Ananta (Relapse). A slow, campfire burn of road-weary strings, howling crescendos, and desolate atmosphere, this thoughtful-yet-demanding composition grabs the same format Relapse utilized on Inter Arma’s 2014 offering, The Cavern, and lumbers with it down one winding path after another. Brimming with massive melodies, Wovenhand-esque bombast, and just enough crumbling guitar moments to keep the metal set plugged in, this one is a masterful exercise in delayed gratification.
Arguably the most anticipated release of the week, however, has to be Distance | Collapsed (Relapse), the debut full length from Aussie death/doom collective, Inverloch. Comprised of former members of legendary death metallers Disembowelment and boasting a healthy love for Mournful Congregation’s processional plod, Inverloch pinball between crushing doom and crust-caked death metal—see “The Empyrean Torment”—at the clink of a quarter, putting together an unpredictable, yet mostly cohesive, listening experience in the process. It’s not going to be the most immediately ingratiating thing on offer today, but if you’re looking for a suffocating dirge with moments of fleeting transcendence, make sure to check it out via Noisey.
Speaking of suffocating listens, you’ll also want to make sure to check out the new split (Halo of Files) from Colorado doom squad Primitive Man and their sludge-oriented compatriots in Northless. In the nightmare fun house of brutal, hideous doom, Primitive Man are arguably the most brutal and hideous of the bunch, and this one—miles removed from those cushy Relapse production budgets—embraces that distinction with pride. Northless’s riffier half of the proceedings does little to relieve the tension either, so summon the darkest corner before giving this one a listen.
Speaking of Relapse, their final release this week comes by way of Sweden, where long-dormant grindcore specialists, Gadget, are set to drop their first LP in 10 years, The Great Destroyer (Relapse). Like just about everything these days, The Great Destroyer is a hybridized affair—blending the usual suspects into a righteous breed of unbridled fury—but for Gadget that’s just the way it’s always been, mutating from a mid-oughts metalcore outfit to one of the most brutal grind acts on earth almost overnight. In other words, get in the pit and check it out.
For something a little different, try Isolate+ Suffocate (Avantgarde), a vast, electronic-tinged black metal space odyssey from the esoteric Aussies in Mesarthim. Invisible Oranges is calling this one “Summoning in deep, colorful space”, and I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty fucking awesome indeed (disclaimer: This is a guy with an LoTR tattoo, however). If you want to mask the scent of the prog on you after that one, though, then give Eternal Downfall (Broken Limbs)—the latest black vile fire hose from Bay Area d-beat/death metal mutants, Atrament—a chance. In terms of pure angst fuel, nothing comes even remotely close to that Invisible Oranges free stream this week.
Finally, we end the week on a retro note with two throwback death metal releases of the highest order. First up is Begrime Exemious‘s The Enslavement Conquest (Dark Descent), which blends the basement buzz of early Morbid Angel with fist-pumping NWOBHM touches that are sure to kick your Friday off right. After that, check out the thrash-obsessed Chilean maniacs of Ripper, who channel some classic Bay Area acts (Possessed anyone?) on Experiment of Existence (Unspeakable Axe) to create a technical and, uh, ripping breed of modern death that is currently on display over at No Clean Singing. Get over there and give it a listen while you still can.
WHAT TO SEE: Friday, baby. See something crazy tonight, beginning and ending with NYC Metal Scene’s wild death metal showdown/throwdown—featuring Immortal Suffering, Dracaris, and plenty more—at Lucky 13 Saloon. On Saturday, get out there and catch Eternal Black at The Acheron, one of Taake’s two Vitus sets with Vattnet Viskar and Young and in the Way, or, if you’re truly desperate, Blessthefall at Webster Hall. Sunday subsequently wraps up the weekend with a free Full Blown Chaos show at The Hideout in Bay Ridge and the first of many Killswitch Engage sets to come at the Gramercy Theatre.
Monday doesn’t let up, with sets from Bloodiest and Serial Hawk at Saint Vitus—as well as Wake and Skullshitter at The Acheron and KSE plying their trade at Bowery Ballroom—leading the away, while Tuesday also comes in smoking, with shows like Cradle of Filth at Webster Hall and Conan at Vitus. On Wednesday, the Killswitch gents are back for another round, this time at our favorite Greenpoint safe haven, while Moon Tooth take to The Acheron with Netherlands and Irata, before Thursday rolls around with Krallice and Sabbath Assembly at the Waterbury outpost and the Killswitch Engage (yes, once again) in Webster Hall’s Marlin Room.
WHAT THE FUCK: Master of Puppets turned 30 this week. Take some time to process that. No seriously, let’s slow it wayyyyy down…