Apologies for the feature-related interruptions of this section of late, but time and words—as I’ve learned the hard way—are definitely finite resources. Moving forward you can expect about the same deviation as you’ve been getting, but rest assured, when I don’t have something more substantial already cooking, I will be here, churning these things out all the same.
WHAT TO HEAR: It’s a good time to be alive if you’re a death metal fan. Gorguts incredible new EP, Pleiades’ Dust, looms just ahead, but before we get there, we get to enjoy the other most-anticipated genre salvo of 2016—Grave Miasma‘s Endless Pilgrimage (Profound Lore)—right fucking now. Though a slightly more traditional take on the mysterious London outfit’s incense-burning breed of sonic horror, Endless Pilgrimage is still a more-than-worthy successor to 2014’s lauded Odori Sepulcrorum, disrobing over memorable 5 tracks, including a reprise of their 2002 song “Glorification of the Impure”, written under the band’s original Goat Molestör moniker. Stereogum has the full stream and there’s a now-confirmed Saint Vitus gig (5/30) in the offing, so check it out via the Decibel stream and keep your eyes on this space.
Up next is the third record from Voivod-worshipping prog thrashers, Vektor. Titled Terminal Redux (Earache), this one marks the band’s first foray into the concept album arena, splattering a tale not unlike Spanish conquerors’ mad quest for the Fountain of Youth against the canvas of space with a riff-forward—and mind-numbingly technical—barrage of inter-galactic thrash histrionics. High-concept deep-space explorations are not a new concept in underground metal right now—see the latest efforts from Slugdge and Wormed, if you don’t believe me—but this one is quality addition to the niche and a definite must-hear (check out Invisible Oranges for the insane stream) on the spring release check list.
The notable releases don’t end there, however, with the sole pioneers and practitioners of blues-tinged black metal, Glorior Belli, returning with their new album, Sundown (The Flock That Becomes) (Agonia Records). Despite that lineage, Sundown stands as perhaps their most prototypically “French black metal” moment, so know that going in and you will be fine. Once you’re done there, head a few hours south, where orthodox Italian black metallers, Near, are set to unfurl their latest full length, Own Sun (De Tenebraum Principio). Either way you cut it, one of these two is sure to scratch that icy itch this week, so take your pick and dig in.
Also on offer this week is No Cure, No Saviour (Prosthetic), the latest pit party from English hard/grindcore rippers, Polar. Compared to Q1 2015, it’s been kind of down year for this kind of stuff (Magrudergrind notwithstanding), so take it where you can. After that, get adventurous with Perturbator‘s The Uncanny Valley (Blood Music), a sin-soaked synth journey to heart of yet another dystopian Road Warrior-y yarn. It might not be “metal” in the traditional sonic sense, but it definitely dwells in some similar thematic territory, so give it a listen if you dare.
Finally, clawing it’s way up from the dirt today is Everything is Dead (Unholy Anarchy Records), the second full length from Philly grave dwellers, Coffin Dust. If you like your thrash crusty and your death metal decrepit, this one is definitely a must-hear.
WHAT TO SEE: Friday night is just a few hours away and kicking off in fittingly badass fashion with shows like Morbus 666 at Blackthorn 51, Westfield Massacre at Lucky 13 Saloon, Driven Mad at the Nihil Gallery, Mörpheme at The Acheron, and The Shrine at Saint Vitus. After you recover from the bludgeoning, get back out there on Saturday—for Malignancy at Lucky 13 Saloon, Spectral Voices at Lot 13 in Bayonne, Trap Them at Vitus, and Prong at Revolution in Amityville—and Sunday, featuring with Necrot and Skullshitter at The Acheron, BANE’s final NYC show ever in Webster Hall’s Marlin Room, and the US Air Guitar Qualifiers at Vitus.
Monday rolls in with a lot of REALLY shitty stuff on the menu I won’t even bother mentioning, but OTEP in the Studio at Webster Hall just about makes the cut. Tuesday and Wednesday continue in similar fashion, with Bullet for My Valentine at the Starland Ballroom and The Paramount unfortunately leading the way, before Thursday wraps things up (and brings us to the eve of This One Goes To Eleven’s upcoming Slaves BC bash at The Acheron) with a free show from IKILLYA and Oni at Santos Party House.
WHAT THE FUCK: A big congratulations to King Diamond, who after an, umm, revealing interview with Metal Hammer, makes his first appearance on this week’s Top-5-List-of-People-Whose-Sex-Lives-I’m-Not-Even-Morbidly-Curious-About. Here’s what he had to say:
I’ve also found that, since I made a real effort to have a healthy lifestyle, my voice has improved so much. I can now hit notes that were a struggle for me when I was younger. As for my sex life, that’s just great now. And I am not saying that because my wife is sitting next to me!
Hail to the King, baby.