WHAT TO HEAR: We kick things off with a blast from the past this week in The Obsessed’s Sacred (Relapse). The first offering of vintage stoner sludge from Wino and co. in over two decades, this one feels like it’s beamed straight from 1985, with big tube-amplified distortion and Lemmy-with-strep growls making up the bulk of the sonic palate. If you’re a “way things used to be” kind of guy, you’ll certainly enjoy this one. Everyone else? Well, it’s a new record from The Obsessed. How much more do you need to know?
Keeping things slow and low this week are Italian funeral doom conjurers Fuoco Fatuo and their new longplay, Backwater (Profound Lore). A cavernous, mournful lament draped in the gothic robes of death and its respective metal sub-genre, this one—like everything of this ilk—requires some serious patience. If you have some of that left to spare, however, Noisey’s stream will reward with some genuine moments of doom transcendence.
After that, grab the tie-dye, your sense of humor, and a tab or two for Raw Rock Fury (Relapse), the 2nd full length spiral of reality-dissolving heavy psych from Philly’s own Ecstatic Vision. Is it metal? Eh, maybe in 1971, but definitions like that shouldn’t stop you from throwing on Noisey’s full stream and spinning off into the ether. If the the jams don’t get ya, perhaps the production—one of the coolest treatments laid to tape this year—will. (Again, check the whole thing out via Noisey).
After that, keep the rock rolling with Demon Head’s Thunder on the Fields (Caligari Records)—a doomed-up slab of heavy fucking metal that is sure to give your Friday a good kick in the ass—before cooling things down with Valborg‘s Endstrand (Prophecy Productions), a grayscale snapshot of a metal band gone goth (stream via Decibel). If neither of those are heavy enough, perhaps the self-titled debut from The Doomsday Kingdom (Nuclear Blast)—the latest project from Candlemass’s Leif Edling—or Possession‘s new blackened death metal ripper, Exorkizein (Iron Bonehead), have the brutality you’re craving.
Finally, Ulver continue their unpredictable sonic journey to the center of whatever strikes them in that moment with The Assassination of Julius Caesar (House of Mythology). As you’ve probably guessed from the last 20 years of Ulver releases, Julius Caesar is not a metal record as much as it is a dark pop LP from a former metal band, so go in knowing that and you’ll be fine.
WHAT TO SEE: Kick your weekend off right with the opening night of Rage of Armageddon 4—featuring Attacker, Ruthless, and plenty more—at Saint Vitus. If that’s not your speed, then perhaps John 5 at Blackthorn 51 or Screamin’ Rebel Angels at Lucky 13 Saloon is. Sadly, Negura Bunget’s Gold Sounds gig has been cancelled following the passing of Negru.
After your done acquiring those inevitable hangovers, give Saturday the ol’ post-collegiate try with Anaka at The Hideout, Eye of the Destroyer at Mother Pug’s Saloon, Jynx at Gold Sounds, Wolf Down at Alphaville, V8Wankers at Blackthorn 51, Steel Panther at Starland Ballroom, another night of Rage of Armageddon 4 at The Paper Box, and finally Oathbreaker and Sannhet in The Studio at Webster Hall. Yeah, needless to say it’s a busy Saturday night in the tristate.
Sunday is no slouch either, however, with the third night of Rage Armageddon 4 wrapping up at Vitus with Atrophy and Morbid Saint and Silence Equals Death hitting Lucky 13 Saloon for a record release rager. Monday mops things up with ASEETHE and Replacire at Saint Vitus before Tuesday and Wednesday re-bloody the floor with shows like Trans Am at Saint Vitus on the former and Sick Shit at The Meatlocker/IYEZ at Saint Vitus on the latter. Finally, Thursday wraps things up with Chelsea Grin at Gramercy Theatre, if you’re into that sort of thing.
WHAT THE FUCK: This week’s sign of the apocalypse belongs to Metal Disney, an officially licensed collection of metal covers from worldwide leader in fucking up young kids’ minds. Featuring former members of Ozzy, Dokken, and more, Rolling Stone, the worldwide leader in nothing, says the collection is “performed with the energy and precision of a Metallica record,” including covers of face-melters like “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”, “It’s a Small World”, and unfortunately plenty more. Whether you see this as the biggest media conglomerate on earth promoting or exploiting metal probably depends on your worldview, but for now I’m going to err on the side “fuck this”.