WHAT TO HEAR: We begin this week by turning our gaze northward, where genre-bending Boston maniacs, Astronoid, have their boundary-busting new full length, Air (Blood Music), counting down to detonation. Stereogum’s Michael Nelson has a full feature (and stream) that is sure to provide a thorough introduction, but what you’re getting here is the essentially the reactor meltdown of post black metal—the point at which all the disparate influences and cross-pollination finally go critical, leaking, bleeding, and fusing into one another, leaving only an alien crater and years of fallout in its wake. Sure Deafheaven is an easy touchstone, but so are The Mars Volta, Torche, Cave In/Mutoid Man and really the whole collected history of prog stretched tight over a tremolo-and-blast driven black metal framework. The ethereal clean vocals are gonna be a make or break for a lot of you—still not sure how I feel about them, to be honest—but be prepared, because something tells me you’re going to hear a lot about this one before the year is out.
Next up are post-sludge supergroup, Sumac, and their sophomore record, What One Becomes (Thrill Jockey). If you don’t remember Sumac from last year’s great debut, The Deal, they are comprised of Isis’s Aaron Turner, Baptists’ Nick Yacyshyn, and Russian Circles’ Brian Cook and they play metal that sounds approximately like the synthesis of those disparate acts. If you do remember them, however, then you already know what to expect—a sonically claustrophobic, philosophically sprawling blend of sludge and doom brimming with tangled time signatures, bewildering arrangements, and just enough molten metal riffs to go around. On the pedigree alone, this one is worth a listen, but even with a bunch of no names at the helm, I’d still be begging you to check out Exclaim!’s stream. Go ahead and indulge me, won’t you?
Dive deeper down into the avant-garde this week, and you’re sure to find Perdurance (independent), the latest output from prolific black metal experimentalist, Jute Gyte. Part of me is tempted to tell you to just go check it out, because hearing this thing sans context and/or classification could be a really wild ride, but here are the broadstrokes, should you need them: Jute Gyte is the recording alias of Adam Kalmbach, the pioneer (and virtual sole practitioner) of micro-tonal black metal. Perdurance is Kalmbach’s first album of 2016, though he typically averages three per year. The record is available on bandcamp today for free. In other words, as long as you’re in the right headspace, you have no excuse not to give it a listen.
Now that’s a lot of experimentation for one week, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention Starve the Cross (Dark Descent), the sophomore LP from San Diego death metallers, Ghoulgotha. Aesthetically these guys have all the hallmarks of your typical retro death metal outfit, but much like Horrendous—whose very own Damian Herring mixed and mastered this one—there’s a lot more than meets the eye going on here, so make sure to lend it your attention. Once you’re done there, go and obliterate all those remaining nerve endings with Wings of Chains (Hells Headbangers), the debut slab of dive bar d-beat from the D.R.I/Municipal Waste constructed not-so-supergroup, Bat. If that doesn’t go down like a shot of whatever was just wrung out of the bar back’s rag, then you probably didn’t turn it up loud enough.
Finally, let’s wrap up the new release portion of this week with a pair of offerings from Southern Lord, starting with Seattle black/death (ok, “war metal” if you must) outfit Hissing’s self-titled EP and Poisonous Legacy, the latest from Greek hardcore collective, Sarabante. Either way, you can’t really go wrong, so pick one and enjoy the ride.
WHAT TO SEE: An insanely busy summer show slate kicks off tonight with Malón and Ente at Blackthorn 51; UK punk legends, Subhumans, at Saint Vitus; Sworn Enemy in the Studio at Webster Hall; and a mind-blowing bill over at The Acheron, featuring Theories, False, Immortal Bird, and Anicon. Saturday follows suit with Nite Right at The Belfry in Staten Island, Sanhedrin at The Acheron, and Witchblood/Windfaerer at Lucky 13 Saloon, while Sunday boasts shows like Stryper (not feat. Ted Cruz) at Stage 48 and Act of Defiance at Blackthorn 51.
Chiefs and Beast Modulus pulverize the Monday malaise at Vitus, who also welcome post-metal titans, Minsk and Bloodiest, the following night, and stoner metal Baroness spin-off, Valkyrie, on Wednesday. Some band called V8Wankers are also playing Lucky 13 Saloon on Hump Day, so check it out if you dare, or just sit tight until Thursday, when crust vets, D.R.I, hit Gramercy Theatre, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus play The Studio at Webster Hall, and Netherlands take their heavy high-concept hybrid to the Vitus stage once more.
WHAT THE FUCK: Former (or current, I don’t care) Limp Bizkit guitarist has a new electro-pop solo track kicking around. That’s something I guess.