Hello and welcome to This One Goes To Eleven loyal pawns, hooded torch-bearers, fallen apostles, and mildly curious passerby. It needn’t take a hot-air balloon diatribe on the recent explosion of extreme music into the indie-verse for you to quickly glean why we are here. The reason is simple and the purpose is clear: We are gathered today, and each Tuesday for the foreseeable future, to pay pilgrimage to the coming week in metal, and–with the world headed to hell in a hurry–assemble a soundtrack for the ensuing roadtrip. Eyes front and Dio horns up. Now someone, count me in.
What To Buy: In a totally fortuitous (and, OK, somewhat premeditated) ricochet of a fate, This One Goes To Eleven’s debut arrives this week in tandem with one of the most anticipated metal releases of year, Pallbearer’s stunning sophomore opus, Foundations of Burden (Profound Lore). Back in the spring, I sat down with the Arkansas doomsmiths to discuss the expectations levied on the album following the unmitigated, breakthrough success of Sorrow and Extinction (a fairly unanimous MAOTY pick in 2012) and now, after having the opportunity to spend some time with Foundations, I feel comfortable corroborating the band’s claims that the hype had nothing to do with it.
Each of the album’s six songs, aided by Billy Anderson’s layer-cake production, unfold like highly distorted concertos, ebbing and flowing, blasting off into the stratosphere and settling down in the deepest ocean trenches. I could offer a riff-by-riff review, blab further on vocalist Brett Campbell’s considerable comparisons to Ozzy, and argue that accessibility in metal can be just as affecting as extremity, but in the essence of momentum, I’ll just say that that this thing is an absolute essential. Go grab it if you haven’t already.
A far cry from Pallbearer’s slowed-down sprawl, this week also welcomes Punch’s spleen-lacerating debut, They Don’t Have To Believe (Deathwish Inc.), into the world. The self-professed “fastcore” quintet, hailing from California’s land of sun-splashed malcontent, are pushing 2014’s killer hardcore/power violence quotient (Enabler, UltraMantis Black, Trap Them and their AOTY contender, Blissfucker) to the redline, introducing the east coast to frontwoman Meghan O’Neil’s tortured rasp by way of a brick to the base of the skull. Go check it out via Noisey right fucking now; you’ll have heard the whole thing twice by the time you’re even out of the shower.
Before that sonic PCP wears off, make sure to take Extinction A.D.’s brand of crusted-shut politic speed thrash for a tire-smoking tear around the block. The band, hot off their opening set for Mutilation Rites at Saint Vitus last Thursday, drop a new EP, Plague Prophecy (Good Fight), today, featuring some killer artwork from Will Blood, production by Jay Maas (Ceremony, Bane), and a rad video for standout track, “Mummified.”
Arizona genre Frankensteins, Take Over and Destroy (formerly also known as TOAD), also have Vacant Face, the follow up to last year’s ripping full length debut, Endless Night, readied for the worldwide dissemination of melted faces. The album is self-released—which seems like a pretty sizable miscalculation on the part of labels A through Z—but that’s no reason not to check out the anything-goes second single, “Split Screen”, which recently graduated from Stereogum’s Black Market school of witchcraft and wizardry.
And finally, shape-shifting Virginia outfit Inter Arma announced the kinda/sorta follow-up to my favorite metal LP of 2013, Sky Burial, as we were going to (Word) press yesterday afternoon. It’s called The Cavern, it’s one 40-minute song long, and Relapse is already mentioning it in the same breath as Dopesmoker. Whether it lives up to that dam-toppling high-water mark remains to be seen, but the “album trailer” the band is currently streaming (including vocal contributions from Windhand’s Dorthia Cottrell), as well as the rad pre-order run of witch-brew green LPs being hocked over at the Relapse.com, lend more than a little credence to what is, so far, an unsubstantiated PR narrative.
What To See: While the live options are running a little thinner this week than in weeks past (dog days, am I right or am I right?), there’s still more than enough heavy to go around. Up at Saint Vitus, you have local prog noise weirdos Zevious with U Sco, Dama Libra, and more on Wednesday night and a heavy slab of Bay Area psych on Saturday, when Earthless (not to be confused with Earth, who hit the Greenpoint outpost next month) take the stage with the help of The Shrine’s classic riff alchemy.
Per usual, things trend a little crustier out in East Williamsburg, where The Acheron hosts a killer D-beat special on Thursday night with Impalers and Jersey’s own Razorheads (who you may remember opening for Power Trip a few weeks back). Go get your pit on, kids (and while you’re at it, get hyped for the Full of Hell/Merzbow throwdown Vitus announced yesterday, date TBA).
Meanwhile Bowery Presents hosts unquestionably the biggest (and slowest) metal show of the week, with Sleep set to headline their Hell’s Kitchen upstart, Stage 48, on Monday night. Going to metal shows in midtown always feels paradoxical, but as anyone who caught High on Fire’s free Converse Rubber Tracks show last week can tell you, Matt Pike is a man functioning at the peak of the powers he clearly sold his soul to Satan to acquire, so don’t miss out (Music Hall show was at 3/4 capacity on Friday, tisk, tisk).
Finally, in case you happened to miss the announcement last week, our “cover” boys, Pallbearer, announced a second night at Saint Vitus with Tombs and New Hampshire black metal heathens Vattnet Viskar on Tuesday, 10/28 . It’s a long way off, but this is not a wait-and-see situation. Buy them now and sell them later if you’re still somehow on the fence about what is surely one of the best bills of the year.
What The Fuck: In case you missed it, banished intergalatic space heathens turned Earth’s premier costume party crashers, Gwar, held a Viking funeral for their ringleader and the man behind the metal’s largest extra-terrestrial penis, Dave Brockie, at their Richmond, VA-based feeding frenzy, Gwar-B-Q, on Friday. And before you say “so?”, pull your dilated eyeball from the telescope and imagine, for a moment, what your mother might say if knew these were the things that you might, for lack of a better term, call your passions.