While the rest of the Northern hemisphere bemoans the coming of November, and with it thinning light, withering death, and the abandonment of all hope, it is time for our twisted little community to raise its goat skull cups and toast the arrival of winter. If this week’s albums, shows, and generalized insanity are indication, it’s bound to be a good one.
WHAT TO BUY: Assuming you picked up the Believe In No Coming Shore, the latest full length from (the East Coast) Portland black metal crew Falls of Rauros which quietly dropped on Saturday, then opener honors this week go to hesh-approved LA quartet, SAHHR, and their self-titled slab of blackened death (Domestic Genocide). The pseudo supergroup, featuring former and current members of Skull And Bullets, Dowager, Scarecrow, and Unwritten Law, are so far unproven as a collective unit, but if their debut EP—released digitally on Friday and physically today—is the indication it seems, then SAHHR is a name to file away for a rainy day. With one knee bent at the throne of Watain and the other scuffed in the grime of NYC hardcore, the EP’s opening thesis, thusly titled “Altar of Maggots”, is a rabid, frothing, heinous blast of big riffs and charred shriekage, that, if anything, makes big promises for the future. Check out another track, “Miscreant” below, if only so you can say “told you so” when these guys are dominating the metal hype machine in an album cycle’s time.
Since we have already been dragged through the gutter, we may as well turn our attention overseas, where another self-titled debut, this time by Copenhagen-based grind heathens Piss Vortex, is crushing punk ethos and a host of disparate metal influences into an ultra-compact brick of pure sonic waste. Clocking in under the 25-minute mark, this auditory embodiment of a beat-in gang initiation won’t take up too much of your time, so make sure to check out the full-stream via Invisible Oranges. If you like what you hear, the good people over at Earsplit have a super limited run of vinyl (350 total) available for purchase, so make sure to get over there and grab one before they’re gone.
If you’re looking to keep things classic this week, then check out, Pandemonium (Napalm Records), the latest transmission from the Cavalera Conspiracy, which features the legendary Brazilian brothers, Max and Igor Cavalera, best known for their work in Soulfly and Sepultura, alongside former collaborator Marc Rizzo and Converge bassist Nate Newton. If you’re looking to lock into the Cavalera’s signature groove, however, turn to the back catalog instead, as this one is a surprisingly punishing listen. In a recent interview Max called the record “almost grindcore” and “the most brutal of all the Cavalera albums,” and while you can take most of what a musician says in the pre-album build up with a raised eyebrow and a wry smile, Max actually called this one about right. If you’re looking to get your head caved in by some future metal HoFers, then this should be your pick of the week.
Still not done playing dress up? Well, Finland’s answer to Gwar, Lordi, have their latest LP, Scare Force One (AFM), throwing up the Dio horns today. A cross between the Richmond icon’s gorey pomp and Valient Thorr’s classic-rock ripp(off)age, this one—typified by the I’m-not-even-going-to-try-to-describe-it video for the album’s title track—is essentially all good times, which, let’s be honest, we could all use more of those these days. If you want a more challenging (and ultimately rewarding listen), New Jersey’s own Toothgrinder, who you might have caught opening for Incite at Metal Insider’s CMJ showcase last month, drop Schizophrenic Jubilee, their first EP for Spinefarm, to some pretty solid hype today. MetalSucks have described the band’s tech-first brand of post-hardcore as what the output of a modern Faith No More might sound like if there such thing as a modern Faith No More, which is high praise indeed. If that’s your kind of crazy, check out the band’s latest single, “The Hour Angle”, before you go anywhere.
And although decidedly more metallic than metal, we wrap up this week with Ladder Devils’ first official full length, Clean Hands (Brutal Panda). Featuring former members of The Minor Times and having collaborated with the likes of Helms Alee, Kowloon Walled City, and Fight Amp, the Philly noise rockers are certainly steeped in some pretty heavy tradition, so if you crossover to the land of the living every now and then (and yes, you should), make sure to check out the full free stream below.
WHAT TO SEE: Provided you’re at least mostly recovered from your Halloween revelry, this week has plenty of solid options for show addicts and weekend warriors alike, beginning, as always, at Saint Vitus where Radio Moscow kick things off on Tuesday night with some help from Black Wail, and New Riders of the Purple Haze. If you missed the Midwest psych outfit opening for Pentagram last weekend, this is your chance to make amends. Things get even wilder come Thursday night, when stoner sludgelords Weedeater hit Vitus via a truly killer bill featuring Profound Lore power violents Full of Hell, local metalcore vets Tiger Flowers, and Georgia instrumental tech-grinders Lazer/Wulf, whose spazzy live show impressed at CMJ a few weeks back. If this isn’t the best front-to-back lineup this week, then please, point me in the right direction.
Which, if anything, is going to be southeast, where The Acheron hosts an equally worthy pair of metal ragers. Italian dark rockers, Horror Enui, headline a good one on Saturday night with Bootblacks and Statiqbloom, but much like Vitus, the mid-week offering is the must, with the three-headed hydra of Wolvhammer, Mortals, and Mongrel ready to set the tiny East Williamsburg outpost ablaze. Bring your pit etiquette and earplugs, this one going to be brutal in the best possible way.
Back across the river, Webster Hall plays to host to Latin American metal supergroup De La Tierra, FireHaze, and Sunlord on Sunday, while the Gramercy Theatre welcomes Billboard-charting deathcore dudes Whitechapel with Upon a Burning Body and Glass Cloud. All in all, this adds to up to a surprisingly quiet week, but even if there weren’t another metal show for the rest of November, we really couldn’t complain, because, well, YOB ARE COMING. Needless to say, we are not even fucking remotely worthy.
WHAT THE FUCK: In what is just about the most badass vampiric tale I’ve heard since Stoker, bat researcher and post doctorate fellow for Smithsonian’s Tropical Research Insitute, Inga Geipel, has trained a quartet of bats to return to her from the wild based on a simple auditory cue: German metal (specifically the music of blackened doom outfit, Planks). Dracula, you mad bro?