WHAT TO HEAR: Leading us out of the gates this week are Cleveland crossover vets, Ringworm, and their latest sonic sledgehammer, Snake Church (Relapse). At this point in the band’s 25-year run, they may not be the newest, shiniest thing on the block, but there’s something to be said for consistency in aggression, and this eight-song, 30-minute prison-fight shivs you in ribs from the start and doesn’t let up until you bleed out or give up. But enough of these stupid analogies. Loudwire has the full stream, so go give it a listen and then put some ice on those inevitable wounds.
Ravenously nipping at that one’s heels is predictably ridiculous Dungeon Bastards (Tankcrimes) from “Creepsylvanian” slasher-thrashers, Ghoul, and their merry band of bag-head monstrosities. If you’re just looking for a new Ghoul record—campy riff-and-bile choked thrash metal, for the uninitiated—then you are definitely in the right place. Lusting for something more? Then perhaps the gatefold “Dungeon Bastards” board game, which comes packaged with every physical copy of the record, will satisfy that bloodlust. You can check out the full scoop on that via Invisible Oranges (and the stream via MetalSucks), so get over there and give it a look.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking to get a little weird within the ever-broadening realm of “black metal”, then make a b-line for Shataan, USBM’s answer to Jethro Tull and the owners of the stellar new LP, Weigh of the Wolf (Iron Bonehead). Though tempting to catalog this one as simply another splinter cell of SoCal’s Black Twilight Circle, the reason I bother to make the Tull reference is because this one—inspired by its members shared indigenous roots—is punctuated by an iconic, but contextually unusual, instrument: Flute. Of course there’s a lot more to Shataan than just that, so you’re going to want to check out Invisible Orange’s full stream if this all sounds cool to you, but for now consider that the requisite cliff notes.
After that make sure to check out Hostis Universi Generis (Profound Lore), the latest blood sacrifice from satanic black metal kvlt, A.M.S.G (Ad Majoram Satanae Gloriam). If you’re looking for a less secular approach to death and demons, however, perhaps Eerie—a new occult/trad metal project featuring former members of Alaric and Draugar—and their self-titled debut (Tee Pee) is more your cup of ceremonial goat’s blood. Two completely different means to the same end, to be sure, but both are well worth taking should you find the time and the faith.
Last up on the docket this week is Old Salt (Napalm Records), the latest batch of swashbuckling retro-shred from Chapel Hill chapel stormers, Valient Thorr. These dudes’ 15 minutes have certainly long come and gone, but that doesn’t mean this one isn’t still a totally good time, so throw it on and slam some beers.
WHAT TO SEE: The week in shows starts strong tonight with Ne Obliviscaris and Black Crown Initiate at the Gramercy Theatre, Scissorfight at Lucky 13 Saloon, and Ruthless/Deaththrash at Saint Vitus. If you can’t get out there for one of those, don’t stress, however, as Saturday offers plenty of makeup options, including Morbid Cross at Lucky 13, Disturbed (yuck) at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Transitional Scream at Mr. Beery’s, and my pick of the litter—Whiplash at Blackthorn 51. After that, wrap the weekend up with the Grand Victory’s final shows (featuring the likes of Subzero, Antidote, Ultra Violence, Stalkers, and more), Lucid Terror at The Belfry, and Krallice at Saint Vitus.
Monday is more or less quiet, but the August show schedule kicks off in force on Tuesday with shows like Fórn and Yellow Eyes at Vitus leading the way. If you survive that one with your ear holes intact, make sure head back up that way on Wednesday for BELLS> before Thursday wraps everything up with Nomads and Panzerbastard (again at Vitus, by way of The Acheron), NY Taps at Don Pedro, and the almighty, (almost) unimpeachable Carcass at Gramercy Theatre, who arrive with Crowbar and Ghoul dragging along behind the van.
WHAT THE FUCK: Following the departure of The Acheron a few weeks back, another one is set to bite the dust as The Grand Victory prepares to host its final shows this weekend. Cross yourself (upside down, of course) and say a prayer for Vitus, people.
Also did Nails break up? That’s fucking stupid. I know a lot of you didn’t like them (suddenly) after they blew up (in relativity) but they were still one of the best bands going (no qualifier). Here’s hoping this is just some Death Grips-style backdoor PR shit…which it probably is.