The intro tank is on empty this week and has been for awhile, so let’s just dive straight into the craziness.
WHAT TO HEAR: Leading off this week is a heavy hitter in the trvest sense: At the Gates and their sixth full-length slab of grandiose Gothenburg death metal, To Drink From the Night Itself (Century Media). The band’s second post-comeback LP following 2014’s At War With Reality, TDFTNI is definitively, unmistakably At The Gates, with brooding gothic textures underpinning chunky, melodic death gristle throughout. Inspired by Peter Weiss’s anti-fascist novel/manifesto, The Aesthetics of Resistance, TDFTNI, feels vital, immediate, and dynamic, even now, going on 30 years after the band first began their unlikely, incredible run. DO. NOT. MISS. IT.
If you need a little brutality to go with all that brood, get your tetanus booster and check out Fister’s No Spirit Within (Listenable Records). The St. Louis sludge trio are easily the most rotten, disgusting slow band this side of Primitive Man, and No Spirit Within—streaming via Invisible Oranges—embraces that misery with open arms and open wounds, oozing through one serrated, melody-agnostic dirge after the next. St. Louis isn’t technically a rust belt city, but it’s close enough, and Fister sound the part, corroding right before your very ears.
After that, smooth things out a bit with Grayceon’s IV (Translation Loss). Comprised of guitar, drum, cello, and one nice set of clean pipes, Grayceon have been peddling their singular breed of post-stoner for over a dozen years, and IV may be their most fully realized work yet. Brimming with head-bobbing grooves, unique instrumentation, and an unshowy approach to odd time signatures (and other “progressive” hallmarks), IV is a “metal” record for everyone—from the crustiest crusts to mom—and that’s a testament, first and foremost, to songcraft. Give it a listen via Noisey and see what I mean.
Finnish melo-metal vets Amorphis also return today with their latest collection of brooding, bombastic ballads, Queen of Time (Nuclear Blast). Is it cheesy? Hell yeah it is, and that’s kind of exactly the point. When you’re done there, get your street credit back with Hierurgy (I, Voidhanger), the full-length debut from spiritual USBM collective Panegyrist. If you’re looking for some new modal mantras for your cult’s next board meeting, then this serpentine beast is for you.
Meanwhile, a ancient primordial terror rises in Richmond this week where Burn the Priest (Lamb of God before Lamb of God changed their name for marketing purposes) have returned with Legion XX (Nuclear Blast), a 10-track treasure trove of punk, hardcore, and post-hardcore covers featuring everyone from the Cro-Mags and Ministry to Bad Brains and Quicksand. If you’ve ever wondered what Agnostic Front would sound like fronted by Randy Blythe, well, today’s your lucky day.
Finally, spend some time with Wilt’s Ruin (Vendetta)—a whirling, swirling slab of atmospheric Manitoban black metal inspired by Cormac McCarthy’s The Road—and Vitamin X’s Age of Paranoia (Southern Lord)—a quantum leap for the DIY Dutch crossover act, who after years of doing it themselves, are finally giving the whole American label thing a try. Good luck and god speed, gentlemen.
WHAT TO SEE: Show-wise, things get off to an OK start tonight with Elvana at Saint Vitus, Great White at Revolution Bar, Armed & Dangerous at the Village Pub, Sons of Apollo at Playstation Theater, and Danny Diablo/Brick By Brick at HiFi, and pick up speed on Saturday with NortherN at Lucky 13 Saloon, Madball at Brooklyn Bazaar, Show No Mercy (Slayer tribute) at Dingbatz, Slashers at Cobra Club, Iconicide at Gold Sounds, Dead to Me at The Kingsland, Porvenir Oscuro at HECK, The Giraffes/Ereptile Destruction at Saint Vitus, and that exorbitantly expensive Misfits reunion at the Prudential Center, followed by a QXT’s after-party.
Sunday doesn’t let up, with Agnostic Front at Brooklyn Bazaar, The God Bombs at Pyramid Club, Nonpoint at Starland Ballroom, Such Gold at Saint Vitus, and Pillorian/Yellow Eyes/Obsidian Tongue at Le Poisson Rouge leading the way. On Monday, check out Nunofyrbeeswax at El Cortez and Lazer/Wulf at Vitus, followed on Tuesday by Rawhead at the Meatlocker and Whip Angels at Saint Vitus (for free, because apparently something happened with that Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals show). After that, Wednesday gets you either Helmet and Prong at the Highline Ballroom or Defeated Sanity/Behold the…Arctopus at Saint Vitus, before Thursday wraps things up with Hammerfall at Gramercy Theatre, Tesseract at Irving Plaza, and Wormrot at Saint Vitus. If you survive all of that with your liver intact, you’re clearly a replicant.
WHAT THE FUCK: I was gonna write about two new not-metal-but-still-very-heavy local albums from Wax Idols and Big Ups here, but then someone sent me this. Anyway, good to see that Tumblr is still in a healthy place…