Alright Lars, count us in [click, click, click, stumble, click].
WHAT TO HEAR: First up this week is Crossover Ministry (Relapse) the latest circle pit-prepped blast of thrash insanity from Richmond supergroup (Municipal Waste, Darkest Hour, etc.) Iron Reagan. With a simpleton despot currently lost somewhere between the Oval Office and the toilet and Power Trip’s killer new LP waiting in the wings, it’s safe to say political thrash is having a moment, but if you need concrete evidence (a seemingly trivial concern these days), just check out album opener “Dying Word” and you’ll hear exactly what I mean. Much like Iron Regan’s 2014 Relapse debut, The Tyranny of Will, this one blends grindcore concision, winking punk antics, and massive chug-a-long riffs into the perfect soundtrack for your Vitus pre-game. Noisey has the full stream, but if you really want to hear this thing as it’s meant to be heard, grab tickets to their upcoming NYC appearance with the aforementioned Power Trip.
After that, the week’s next must-hear release is the brand new split from Palace of Worms and Ecferus. Showcasing two of USBM’s finest one-man projects in their natural state (i.e. reinvention), the 6-song collection may not exactly be what you expect if you’re already familiar with Balan and Alp’s respective visions, but once you get over the sticker shock—namely Palace of Worm’s flirtations with brawny dungeon death metal—you’ll find one of the finest underground releases of 2017 waiting for you on the other side. Check it out via bandcamp and pick up the 12″ here.
Batting clean up this week is a bit of a surprise. You probably haven’t heard of Open City—a purebred hardcore supergroup featuring former members of Kid Dynamite, Paint it Black, and Ceremony—but they certainly made themselves known on Tuesday, dropping their debut (and self-titled) LP with little fanfare and even less notice. It admittedly skews a little more “punk” than we typically get around here–it’s hardcore in ethos more than attack–but in these divisive times, I think can all agree to get over it, get along, and get behind this one.
Dragging deeper waters now, former Euro black metallers Tome of the Unreplenished complete their mid-career pivot to clanging industrial noise act with Cosmoprism: The Theurgy – Act 1 (I, Voidhanger). Maybe that’s not your thing, but the first “single” off the record is called “Dead Body of God”, so that’s a good start. Once your done abusing yourself with that, check out Tulen Jumalat (Saturnal Records), the latest masterwork from Finnish black metal warrior, IC Rex. Translating to “Gods of Fire” in English, this one—like most quintessential Finnish black metal—is actually more indebted to frost, but if that’s your thing, give it a listen.
Finally, the most divisive record in the Judas Priest catalog, Turbo, sees a three-disc 30th anniversary reissue today as Turbo 30 (Columbia). Priest was THE band that got me into metal back in 8th grade, but I have to level with you: I’ve still never made it all the way through Turbo. With that said, I can’t think of a better excuse for a revisit, so let’s dump the proverbial clutch and get after it.
WHAT TO HEAR: Up first this weekend is the second night of the totally stacked Stardust IV, which goes down at Vitus with sets from Sanguine Eagle, Blood Incantation (owners of my favorite metal record of 2016), Dispirit, Aluk Todolo, and more. I’m not sure what more you could ask for out of a Friday night, but if you’re looking for options, Truckfighters and Kings Destroy play Gold Sounds while Chay & and the Hostages hit Lucky 13 Saloon. Stardust follows that with another insane lineup on Saturday, featuring Lluvia, Obliteration, Reptilian, and more. Check that out or grab tickets to Every Time I Die/Harm’s Way at Music Hall of Williamsburg or Sacred Oath at Lucky 13 Saloon. Either way, you can’t really go wrong. Finally Sunday wraps up the weekend with the final night of, you guessed it, Stardust IV featuring Slagmaur, Absu, Spectral Voice, Lycus, and more, while Lucky 13 Saloon welcomes Sacrocurse for a solid mid-Brooklyn alternative. So much for the Super Bowl, amirite?
A very hungover Monday gets a pick-me-up from A Deer A Horse, who play a free one at Vitus, before Tuesday rolls around with MantisMass and Beefrot at the haunted Manhattan Ave manor. Wednesday meanwhile features Starkill at Blackthorn 51, Netherlands at Saint Vitus, and the embattled Code Orange tour, which rolls into the Marlin Room dragging some heavy baggage behind it (see below). After all that, Thursday puts a bow on the show week with Creed cast-offs Alter Bridge at the PlayStation Theatre, GosT at Brooklyn Night Bazaar, and MetalSucks’ 10th Anniversary bash at Vitus, featuring So Hideous, Meek is Murder, and more.
WHAT THE FUCK: The story of the Code Orange fan who had her jaw disconnected and brain battered by some asshole in steel-toe boots while in the pit at the Salt Lake City stop of the band’s ongoing tour made the rounds earlier this week, so there’s really no need to dwell on it, but let me just say this: The pit is there for communal catharsis. It’s not an opportunity to anonymously unleash the worst possible version of yourself. Keep your elbows in, your feet down, and your head up. If you won’t suffer such social shackles, then just stay the fuck home.