Welcome to the apocalypse, America. Here’s your fucking soundtrack.
WHAT TO HEAR: Kicking off this week is The Synchrony of Molten Bones (Norma Evangelium Diaboli), the latest multi-tool torture device from rabidly drooled upon experimental French black metallers Deathspell Omega. To say that any record extreme metal record—and at 29 minutes, it just about qualifies—arrived with higher expectations this fall would be categorically wrong, but thankfully this one more than lives up to the hype with another patented blast of spasmodic black metal that sounds at once wholly new and totally Deathspell. Sure by this point the whole “no one has ever seen their faces” thing is a little bit tired, but as long as they continue to pump out destruction like this every few years, who’s complaining?
After that, a palate cleanse is most definitely in order, and to that end, Saor‘s grandiose brand of atmospheric black metal, in full decay on new LP Guardians (Northern Silence), should certainly suffice. The one-man project of Andy Marshall, Guardians captures all the drama and power of its native Scottish highlands with a woodland symphony of acoustic and electric instrumentation that holds melody, above all else, in the highest esteem. Needless to say, this one—currently streaming via bandcamp—makes for necessary November listening.
Walking a similar path is a new pseudo-concept split from symphonic black metal vets Selvans and Downfall of Nur. A celebration of both sun and moon, the split features an intro, an outro, and one stunning full composition from each (Selvans watching the dawn and Downfall of Nur picking up the torch at dusk). If you’re into composition, these pieces will humble you on those merits alone, but if not, there’s still plenty to cling to here, so make sure to give it a listen via Invisible Oranges.
In other split-related news, harsh noise pioneers Bastard Noise and Sickness are rolling out their latest sermon of sonic nihilism, Death’s Door (Relapse), just in time grind to the sad fucking state our society out of your head (if only for minute or two). After your done with Invisible Oranges spin of that cathartic drill bit, soothe those raw nerve endings with Departe (Independent), another in 2016’s growing queue of stately doom waltzes, this time courtesy of UK-based outfit Clouds.
After that check out the return of melo-death legends In Flames, who hit the comeback trail today with their new LP, Battles (Nuclear Blast). Expectations are not high for this one, but who knows, much stranger things have happened this week. When you’re done there wrap up the releases with a pair of Metal Blade offerings, including Downfall of Gaia‘s slick batch of blackened post-sludge Atrophy (streaming via Noisey), and Ravencult‘s latest black thrash face blast Force of Profanation (doing the same over at CVLT Nation).
WHAT TO SEE: If you’re looking for some actual pit catharsis this week, you’re also in luck, with a bunch of killer shows on the way, starting Friday with American Eagle at Lucky 13 Saloon, Bongzilla at Gold Sounds, Pure Disgust at Alphaville, and Anicon/Wayfarer/Skullshitter at Saint Vitus. Saturday, in typical NYC Saturday fashion, offers little respite, with Ghost at Kings Theatre, Helmet at the Highline Ballroom, and crossover vitriol kings Trap Them at Saint Vitus. After that, the weekend wraps on Sunday, when you can catch Helmet at Music Hall of Williamsburg and Soilwork/Unearth at Gramercy Theatre.
Monday meanwhile welcomes River Cult to Saint Vitus and Asking Alexandria to Webster Hall before Tuesday sees Ululatum Tollunt hit Lucky 13 Saloon, Nik Turner’s Hawkwind at Saint Vitus, and a wild one at Le Poisson Rouge, featuring Napalm Death, The Black Dahlia Murder, Pig Destroyer, Power Trip, and Abnormality. If you survive that, Wednesday rolls around with In Flames at the PlayStation Theater and Wretch (Gates of Slumber) at Vitus, before Thursday takes us home with It’s Not Night: It’s Space at Lucky 13 Saloon and Carcass/Deafheaven/Inter Arma at the Stone Pony (if you as like feel like making the hike to Asbury, that is).
WHAT THE FUCK: Out of respect for the truly fucked up condition of our country at the moment, I’m going to give this a breather this week. Good luck and Satan speed.