With the beginning of America’s potential end behind us and Thanksgiving looming ahead, we are in need of a prescription-grade coping mechanism today. Thankfully the metal-verse is dishing out exactly that, beginning with their biggest name…
WHAT TO HEAR:…Motherfucking Metallica, who after eight years—the longest LP gap in the band’s nearly three-decade run—are back today with their poignantly titled new album, Hardwired…to Self-Destruct (Blackened Music). Being your prototypical “first three” fan, I really can’t speak too much to Metallica’s post-ought output, but given the accepted narrative (they sucked), Hardwired seems like a solid return to form, which—considering the ravages of time and Budweiser—is about all we can really ask for from the Bay Area legends at this point. Sure, the production seems a little flat and a few of the riffs are transparent glory-day straw-grasps, but overall, given what we’ve heard from the YouTube video deluge, this one should go down as the first legitimately “good” Metallica record since 1991.
From one double LP to another now, we set our sights on Cultes Des Ghoules new 100-minute black metal rock opera, Coven, or Evil Ways Instead of Love (Hell’s Headbangers). While only available on CD today (the digital version drops February, with vinyl following soon after), the buzz from the journos/industry types who have the opportunity to dig into this one—a massive five-movement drama by Polish mad savant Mark of the Devil—is through the roof. If you’re looking for something to get lost in this week, then give it a listen below.
If that doesn’t satisfy your blackened cravings, then you likely have a problem, but hey, who am I to deprive you what you need to stay even. After that, I suggest checking out Drengskapr (Nordvis Productions), the latest full length from sweeping Swedish outfit Panphage, which should provide a fittingly icy soundtrack for the nuclear winter ahead. Not feeling it? Then perhaps Condemnation (Norma Evangelium Diabolical)—the first record from French collective Anateus in a decade—will provide the ruthless recompense.
Other odds and ends this week also include The Duke (Nuclear Blast), a new EP from NWOAHM vets Lamb of God; Miles to Take (Iron Bonehead), a fresh two-song salvo from German melo-doom squad Cross Vault; and A Requiem For Terra (Dark Essence), the latest blast of downcast black metal from Black Hole Generator (AKA Bjørnar Nilsen of Vulture Industries). If those aren’t quite scratching the itch, perhaps Furia‘s “nekrofolk”—as Invisible Oranges dubs their latest Księżyc milczy luty—will do.
WHAT TO SEE: While the holiday show schedule seems a little underwhelming compared to years past, there’s still plenty worth putting pants on for this weekend, starting tonight with Malignancy at Blackthorn 51, Sexual Suicide at Lucky 13 Saloon, and The Dillinger Escape Plan at the Paramount. Saturday follows those with Mantis Mass at Lucky 13, Mommy at Don Pedro, H20 in Webster Hall’s Marlin Room, Samiam at Saint Vitus, King’s X at Stage 48, and a chapter meeting of Tim “Ripper” Owens, Geoff Tate, and Blaze Bayley‘s NWOBHM castaway support group at Mulcahy’s Pub. After that, wrap up the weekend with Diamond Head at Webster Hall, Andrew W.K. at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Ex Eye at Saint Vitus, and Stryper in Webster Hall’s prayer room.
Monday is made a little better with Purple Pam & and the Flesh Eaters at Webster, Lynch Mob (probably should change that name btw) at B.B. King’s, and This Will Destroy You/Young Widows at Bowery Ballroom, while Tuesday welcomes Crown the Empire to Gramercy Theatre, Flotsam Jetsam/Helstar to Vitus, and Evanescence (why) to the Wellmont. Things slow down a bit after that for Turkey-related reasons, so go stuff your face and reset the batteries for the craziness to come.
WHAT THE FUCK: Still looking for something to ease the existential ache of a post-Donald dystopia? Perhaps Anal Trump’s That Makes Me Smart!—a new 30-track grindcore project from Pinback/Goblin Cock’s Rob Crow and Cattle Decapitation’s Travis Ryan that throws Anal Cunt lyrics and Donald J. Trump quotes into the same fucked up blender and flicks the switch—is the soothing tonic you’ve been searching for. God bless grind.