Alright, time to level with you guys: With a week full of CMJ insanity in front of me and a month’s worth of half-listened to records sitting in my inbox, the feeling today’s bare-bones metal line-up has kindled deep in the pit of my being is one of relief, not disappointment. String my cred up by the lamp posts, hurl your disdain down from on high. Do your worst. Ill just be here catching my breath…
WHAT TO BUY: Of course, catching one’s breath is easier said than done once you’ve fired up Earth Suck (Thrill Jockey), the latest, staph-infected LP from Chicago’s premier self-professed “retrash” outfit, Oozing Wound. The crossover trio broke last year afterPitchfork glommed onto their sausage-grinder debut, hailing it, alongside Power Trip’s Manifest Decimation, as the new wave of thrash punk, and this effort, recorded in just three days, only reinforces that fact. While tracks like “Going Through The Motions Til I Die” find more mid-tempo groove than their predecessors, frontman Zack Weil’s spazzy, pop-culture-driven lyrics—including a glimpse into the mind of Rambo during Rambo 4 and a seven-minute odyssey about an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation—ensure that returning fans will still find plenty to sink their twisted little fangs into. The band play a two-night Halloween stand at (the soon-to-be defunct) Death By Audio with Liturgy and Kynfe Hyts respectively, so make sure to get out there and pick this one up from the merch table.
Next up is yet another collaboration from drone metal demigods, Sunn O))), this time with avant-garde noise auteur Scott Walker. The follow-up to Sunn O)))’s spring LP with Ulver, Soused (4AD) actually began back in 2009, when the band first approached Walker about appearing on their then-upcoming album, Monoliths & Dimensions. The chemistry clearly lingered, however, and four years later Walker was back with a host of new material written specifically for the band, and thus Soused, an ominous, unsettling work punctuated by Walker’s warbling, sepia-tinged vocals, was spawned. If you’re looking for something a little different this week, then this one has your name scratched all over it.
And as long we are talking about killer collabs, don’t forget the absolutely filthy split crawling out of the Providence underground today courtesy of extreme noiselegends The Body and Northeast black metalheads, Sandworm. Both bands hit The Acheron last month, leaving nothing but smoldering ruins in their wake, but if you happened to miss it, you can check out Sandworm’s B-side opener, “Desert Warfare”, below. A tenacious, punked-up blast of blackened goodness, this one is sure to make you want your slam your body off a freaking wall.
If you want the new Slipknot album, .5: The Gray Chapter, you can pick that up at your local Best Buy. Everyone else, I suggest getting prepped for next week’s new music piledriver with new songs from death metal legends At The Gates and Obituary, both of whom have much-anticipated new albums out next week. Freshly exhumed tracks from neo death dudes Abysmal Dawn and Billy Anderson-produced doomsters Atriarch, who both have new LPs out via Relapse next week, are also sick, but quite frankly pale in comparison to the pair of blood-and-guts shred collages extreme British black metallers Anaal Nathrakh debuted this week via Noisey. Go get your heads ripped off, kids.
WHAT TO SEE: As we touched on above, CMJ‘s annual music marathon hits NYC this week, bringing with it a few metal-related events worth checking out. Things kick off Tuesday night with Inter Arma—fresh off the release of their killer one-song EP, The Cavern—King Parrot, So Hideous, Lazer/Wulf, and Moon Tooth at The Acheron for a Metal Sucks/Metal Injection-backed showcase, while Wednesday night finds Incite, ’68, Black Crown Initiate, and Toothgrinder just down the street at The Wick, as part of Metal Insider’s annual offering of grief. If you’re looking for the perfect pre-game, Vitus will be hosting a free Metal Insider/CMJ-affiliated screening of Scott Ian’s Swearing Words in Glasgow—a live DVD from the Anthrax guitarist’s recent spoken-word tour—earlier in the afternoon.
Those of you going badgeless this week needn’t worry, however, as there is, once again, more than enough heavy to go around. Unsurprisingly, Vitus leads the way with a set from 80s thrashers Onslaught (fronted by another former Anthrax member in Neil Turbin) on Thursday night, followed by Virus’ first and second US shows ever, featuring opening sets from local mad scientists Krallice, Sannhet, and Couch Slut on Friday and all sorts of avant-death metal insanity from Ocrilim, Dysrhythmia, and Geryon on Saturday. If you thought you were getting a break, think again, as Satan’s summer home hosts
Jersey (Newark, Delaware, per Matt below) post-hardcore legends Boysetsfire on Sunday, before kicking off Pallbearer’s much-anticipated two-night stand with Tombs and Vattnet Viskar on Monday.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=3315122554 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 tracklist=false artwork=small]
Things are a little quieter at The Acheron post-CMJ this week, with Blazing Eye‘s late night pit-party the only notable metallic offering until next week (though there are a few solid punk shows, if you’re into the whole heresy thing, which I’m guessing you are). There’s been a little confusion about the rest of the bill—The Acheron’s website says Sadist and La Misma open, while the Facebook event alleges Warthog and Mommy—but either way you’re in for one hell of a physical catharsis. There’s no advance tickets, no Facebook event, and thus no hyperlink, so try not to panic.
Quick programming note: This is all happening post-Hank Wood & The Hammerheads, Blazing Eye, Savageheads, Pure Disgust, Tapehead, and L.O.T.I.O.N at Palisades, which, with six bands on the bill and doors at 7, should be over by 10. Even if you’re not into power violence, you have to admire the efficiency.
If you’re Manhattan or Jersey-based, Union Square has some solid and way more accessible options this week, featuring an eclectic, Baltic affair at Iriving Plaza headlined by folk metal titans Eluveitie and Viking shredders, Tyr, on Wednesday night followed by Byzantine, Thy Will Be Done, IKILLYA, and more in The Studio at Webster Hall on Thursday. That one is sure to be cramped, loud, and soaked in nerd sweat—in other words, an essential metal show—but if claustrophobia is an issue, Webster’s Grand Ballroom should offer significantly more elbow room on Monday, when prog-punks Fall of Troy roll into town.
Finally, to kick off the final month of DBA’s existence, the legendary DIY is hosting a 24-hour drone fest in The Ranch, also known to the masses as “the loft space behind the venue.” Featuring over 55 performances from the likes of Greg Fox (former and current Liturgy), Excepter, and more, each set will overlap with the one before, creating a true, 24-hour wall of sonic abuse. Dubbed Happy Jolloween, this must-see event begins Saturday night at 7 and ends exactly one day later, so make sure to stop by and check it out.
WHAT THE FUCK: There’s some radiation wafting out of Toxic Holocaust fallout zones this week, as the band announced the cancellation of the remainder of their South American tour over the weekend, allegedly due to the promoter leaving them mid-journey with no money, no logistical info, and no Spanish. The details, as they have come in, are oblique at best, however, and many have begun to cry foul, believing that Toxic Holocaust used this bump in the road as a means to cancel yet another tour, as they did in Australia earlier this year.
As someone who occasionally books shows, a promoter (reportedly a “Javi from Freak Productions”) that would ditch bands—who occasionally need more help with day-to-day minutiae than your average humans—in a foreign country without money and assistance, shouldn’t work in the business on account of laziness, let alone criminality. I also know, however, that money owed to future venues is absolutely non-refundable (I’d rather owe a loanshark), to say nothing of airline tickets and hotel rooms, thus raising questions about the reality of story where the evil booking agent simply packs up and disappears into the Andean mist (the incident took place in Chile). Who knows what really happened—there’s a full Facebook post with three-days worth of comments and hearsay if you’re looking to get your Hardy Boy on—but whatever the case may be, this doesn’t seem to be headed for a happy ending.