Since we were tackling other topics last week, I’d like to take this moment to wish Saint Vitus a belated, but very happy, 5th birthday. I was up there on Friday and to hear Pallbearer—a band born and bred a thousand miles away, both geographically and culturally—talk about Vitus as a sort of adopted home, only reinforced what should probably be obvious by now: Each time we go to Vitus, we are participating in a piece of metal history. It might not be the The Mermaid or The Rainbow quite yet, but let’s give it another 5 and see what happens.
WHAT TO HEAR: First up this week is the aptly titled Moloch (Halo of Flies), a full-length span of dystopian black metal and seething hardcore from anti-fascist Berlin outfit, Ancst. Assuming we never get another album from Nux Vomica and considering Enabler ethically blacklisted, Moloch establishes Ancst as the next best thing, unfurling a brooding, bruising, and crusty blend of world-weary metal that is simultaneously literate and pit ready. If you can cope with some lower-fi production than what this kind of stuff normally gets, then definitely make Ancst’s bandcamp your first stop this week.
After that, turn your attention to Norway, where the old-school death metal revival roars on with Reptilian and their debut LP, Perennial Void Traverse (Edged Circle). Frontman Cato Bakke has rightfully grabbed the headlines with his rabid Rottweiler rasp, but the rest of the quartet isn’t far behind, slithering through one cobwebby passage after the next like seasoned vets. If you’re burned out on the whole death metal grave robbery thing, Perennial Void Traverse probably won’t do much to change your mind. If you’re just looking to blast your brains out while adding some new patches to the ol’ battle vest, however, then you certainly won’t be disappointed.
Gluttons for punishment, meanwhile, should begin and end their new music hunt this week with Autokrator‘s pummeling new release, The Obedience to Authority (Godz of War Production). Equal parts subterranean doom and churning death metal, Obedience annihilates with machine like authority, sucking in inspiration from L. Ron Hubbard’s “Brainwashing Manual” and spitting it out the other side in pulverized fragments. This thing will test your wherewithal and endurance, but surviving its iron fist intact is as uniquely a rewarding music experience as one can hope to have. Check out the free stream via Invisible Oranges and see what you think.
If that’s not enough brutal for you, then perhaps Belgian death vets, Aborted, have what your looking for in their new (and 9th) LP, Retrogore (Century Media). Re-Animator-themed album art aside, this one isn’t fucking around, spitting up one twisted, twisting opus after the next, so make sure to give it a try. If you’re not feeling that major label sheen, however, then check out Final State of Existence (Unspeakable Axe Records), a new split from Mid-Atlantic death/crust upstarts, Putrisect and Scorched, which ticks all the underground boxes over the course of each band’s trio of contributions.
Finally we wrap the week with Finnish trad metallers, Tombstoned, and their sophomore LP, II, and Resiliency (Debemur Morti), the latest offering from Iberian-post-rockers-with-the-Russian-name, Syberia. Those should provide a fitting cool down from all the heavy lifting we just did, so make sure to check them out lest you pull something.
WHAT TO SEE: It’s another big, bad Friday night in NYC metal, beginning with Amon Amarth, Entombed A.D., and Exmortus at the Playstation Theater, and continuing with shows like Dissention Rising at Blackthorn 51 and Moon Tooth/Godmaker at The Grand Victory. Saturday keeps the wrecking ball rolling with Behemoth, who waltz into Webster Hall with a full Satanist set, costume exhibit, and Danish black metal lightning rod, Myrkur, in tow. If that’s not at the top of your must-see list (though it probably should be), then set your sights on Vitus, where the second installment of Legacy of the Witch—a micro-fest dedicated to feminism in extreme music—goes down with appearances from Wax Idols, Sabbath Assembly, and more.
Saturday isn’t done there, however, with shows like Dream Theater at Radio City Music Hall, Apocalyptica at Starland Ballroom, and Dantesco at Lucky 13 Saloon, before Sunday creeps up with Pink Mass at Lucky 13; Ozzy guitarist, Gus G, at Blackthorn 51; Black Pyramid at Saint Vitus (matinee); Japanese hardcore vets, Tetsu Arrey, at The Acheron; and finally Vitus’s evening entertainment—EYEHATEGOD, Fight Amp, and Deathcycle. Monday is made a little better with an EYEHATEGOD encore—this time with Tombs and Ache—while Wednesday welcomes Faster Pussycat to Blackthorn 51, Beefrot to The Acheron, True Widow to Vitus, and Haelstrom to Webster Hall. If that’s not enough for the ol’ eardrums, then also make sure to get out there on Thursday for Bloodgeon at Lucky 13, Tiger Flowers at The Acheron, and Absu/Bastard Sapling at Saint Vitus.
WHAT THE FUCK: Shout out time in what essentially amounts to our weekly miscellaneous section: Avant black metal beasts, Kosmodemonic—in addition to be some of the nicest dudes in Brooklyn metal—have been hard at work of late, dropping the digital edition of their debut record, The Inebriating Darkness, unleashing the video for its opening track, “Kali”, and announcing a record release bash at Saint Vitus on Saturday, May 14th. So consider this a friendly PSA: If you’re still sleeping on these guys, don’t. LP2 is already on the way, and with producer to the doom stars, Sanford Parker (YOB, Eyehategod, Indian), at the helm, the time to get in on the ground floor is now.