After last week’s brief improv, we are back on the (blast) beat today with all the metal records, shows, and hi-jinx you could ever hope to stomach. Grab that ipecac, make some room, and get ready to gorge.
WHAT TO HEAR: First out of the gates is Vigilance Perennial (Bindrune Recordings), the latest offering of frost from black metal Maine-iacs Falls of Rauros. A cascading push-pull of pastoral black metal grandeur and prog elasticity, Vigilance Perennial is equal parts Panopticon (who they shared a split with back in 2014) and Elder, surpassing its predecessor—the also-stellar Believe in No Coming Shore—in every measurable metric. The full journey is streaming over at Invisible Oranges, so go check it out. If you like what you hear, don’t forget to grab tickets to their upcoming Vitus appearance with the very rad Luminous Vault.
Also out this week is Emperor of Sand (Warner/Reprise Records), the latest record from Savannah sludge stalwarts, Mastodon. A sprawling LP penned in a time significant turmoil for the most ubiquitous metal band going, Emperor of Sand is, unsurprisingly, a little uneven–pinballing back and forth between the band’s more recent pop inclinations and the proggy aggression of their zenith. This dichotomy plays out in the first two tracks alone—starting heavy before taking a sharp, tire-screeching left turn to Red Fang town USA—so perhaps just try those and see if it’s going to work for you. If so, you’re probably going to enjoy this one. If not, that one millionth Leviathan listen should be on the docket instead.
In fringe territory this week is Pharmakon and her latest chamber of sonic tortures and curios, Contact (Sacred Bones). Like Prurient, Pharmakon is power electronics for the Vitus faithful, leaning on massive, crumbling waves of distortion and honest to goodness song structures that are sure to appeal to fans of more traditional, guitar-driven compositions. You’ll want your headphones for this one, but trust me, skeptical dude in the Venom cut off, it’s sick.
After that, check out Warbringer‘s Woe to the Vanquished (Napalm Records)—a modern thrasherterpiece for those of you who thought the new Power Trip was too slow—or Thill Smitts Terror (Osmose Productions, the latest plague of cacophonous, experimental black metal from Norway’s Slagmaur (who you may know from their recent stateside visit for Stardust VI). Wash those down with Mantar‘s new EP, The Spell (Nuclear Blast), and you’ll have yourself a meal.
Finally, let’s end the week on a reflective note with the debut full-length from Coldfells (Bindrune), a new project from members of Plaguewielder and Nechochwen (owners of one last year’s finest folk metal records in Heart of Akamon, in case you’re interested). A deep, slow exhale of doomed-drenched Appalachian black metal, Coldfells—in the immortal words of Wilco—are trying to break your heart, and damn if they don’t pull it off on the first try. Check it out via Invisible Oranges if you’re interested (and you should be).
WHAT TO SEE: Your first stop tonight should be Vitus for Bay-Area-hardcore-vet-turned-power-pop-savant Tony Molina; owners of my favorite record so far this year, Uniform; and free pizza from Graham Ave’s only metal-themed pizza haunt, Sizzle Pie. If that doesn’t fill up your Friday night, then feast on Sheer Terror at Amityville Music Hall, Panzer Bastard at Blackthorn 51, and Architects at Gramercy Theatre instead. After that, Saturday storms in with another Architects show at Gramercy, Powerglove at Vitus, Periphery at Starland Ballroom, Earthmouth at Lucky 13 Saloon, Suede Razors at Don Pedro, and a Terror Ave-headlined hardcore special at Brooklyn Night Bazaar.
After that Sunday closes out weekend up with Varsity at Gold Sounds and He is Legend at Saint Vitus before Monday rolls through with Dishonest Escape at Lucky 13 Saloon and a free Enemy of the State/Accelerator rager at Saint Vitus. Tuesday, welcomes Killswitch Engage/Anthrax to the Oakdale Theater and Glue/Exotica to Saint Vitus while Wednesday hosts Lighteater at Vitus once again. After all that, Thursday gets us ready to hop aboard the twisted carnival carousel once more with Gozu/IKILLYA at Drom, Saigon Kick in the Studio at Webster Hall, and Darkness spin-off Steel Panther at Irving Plaza. Squeeze into that leopard-print spandex and get out there.
WHAT THE FUCK: In case you missed it earlier this week, our lovely lawmakers in Washington passed legislature that will make your private browsing history accessible to corporations around the globe. Needless to say, if there’s ever been time to start streaming the Anal Cunt discography on loop, it’s now. Here, let me help get you started.