With October lumbering in the rear view like Leatherface with a chainsaw, we now turn our metallic attentions somewhat ambivalently toward the holiday season, where list-mas lurks just a few weeks off. Before we get there, however, we have a ton of ground to cover, so let’s get to it.
WHAT TO HEAR: We kick things off in fittingly satanic fashion this week with Utter the Tongue of the Dead (Hell’s Headbangers), the first new music from grimy, Lucifer-loving black metallers Void Meditation Cult in quite some time. Though vets of the domestic underground scene, this one is in fact the band’s debut full-length, rewarding the wait with plenty of rabid, cage-rattling incantations that are sure to straight-up freak you out when they all come together. Go summon the demon over at Invisible Oranges and you’ll see what exactly what I mean.
Also out this week is Built to Last (Napalm Records), the latest salvo from long-running Swedish power metallers HammerFall. With the LPs from the likes of Eternal Champion and Sumerlands already making major waves this fall—not to mention the spawn of articles toasting the so-called “New Wave of American True Metal” across the kvlt-net—trad sounds have now officially achieved “thing” status. In the mania to run out and grab anything with a Hawkwind backpatch and a Flying V by the balls, however, let us not forget the elders, among which HammerFall are firmly entrenched. Check it out, pay your respects, and then go see if you can dig up some retro merch on EBay for like $500 so people talk to the next time you go to a show alone.
Meanwhile if you’re a fan of melodic death metal and you’re not afraid to admit it (cheers, brave souls), then you’re definitely going to want to check out Dark Tranquility‘s latest, Atoma (Century Media). The narrative here is that these Swedish game-changers have slipped precipitously in recent years, but on the off chance they recapture their former magic—on full display on their 2005 full length Character—Atoma at least warrants a speculative listen. Just don’t get your hopes up, (fellow) nerds
Also on the docket this week is EROS (Daymare Recordings) another challenging collaborative project from Japanese drone auteurs Boris and their grind-oriented countrymen in Endon that is seeing physical release today. Once you’re done exercising those contrasts, check out Jassa‘s Lights in the Howling Wilderness (Fallen Empire), a Slavic black metal blaster-piece that will set you down in the Caucasus wilds and leave you for the wolves.
Finally, if that’s not enough of the melodic charred stuff for your tastes, then check out Italian outfit Earth and Pillars and their monolithic new LP, Pillars I (Avantgarde Music), or Kyy‘s latest flash of Finnish fury, Beyond Flesh – Beyond Matter – Beyond Death (Saturnal Records). As always, there’s plenty more to discover this week beyond these curated selections, however, so grab those headphones and start digging.
WHAT TO SEE: Need some Friday night plans? Well, our beloved metal scene is happy to oblige with shows like Dark Tranquility at Gramercy Theatre and a hardcore curb stomper from Incendiary/Red Death/Manipulate at Brooklyn Night Bazaar. Saturday keeps the proverbial pedal to the, well, metal with a Mad Diesel 7″ release at Lucky 13 Saloon, Hellwitch at Gussy’s, Laceration at Fins Pub, and a The Proletariat-headlined matinee at Saint Vitus, which just so happens to be followed by a belated release bash for Dysrhythmia‘s Veil of Control at 8pm.
The Sabbath slows down a bit, but you can always catch Child Abuse at Saint Vitus if you need to get out there. If not, just hang tight until Monday, when Faster Pussycat hit the now-venerated Greenpoint establishment and Temple of the Dog—a supergroup featuring members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden—play the almighty MSG. On Tuesday, get up and go vote—nothing is guaranteed, not even your future—and then go check out either Cancerslug at Lucky 13 Saloon or the not coincidentally titled Hate Diplomacy at Saint Vitus.
Hopefully by the time those are over, we’ll be getting some good news and the world will still be spinning toward Wednesday, when Anagnorisis—fresh off their AOTY-contending new LP Peripeteia—hit The Well while Steve Vai and U.S. Bastards play the Town Hall and Saint Vitus respectively. After the dust settles on those, Thursday brings us back around again with The Undead at Don Pedro and a Dehumanized CD release rager at Blackthorn 51.
WHAT THE FUCK: In case you were living under the biggest rock in McCarren Park this week, you probably know that Metallica dropped some new (and actually listenable) music while Dave Mustaine tended bar at Saint Vitus. Yeah, 2016 has been a weird one.