In the immortal words of Crocodile Dundee: That’s not a release week, this is a release week.
WHAT TO HEAR: Batting lead-off today is Idol (Season of Mist), the new mind-expanding, body-obliterating long play from Philly death metal merchants Horrendous. A logical continuation of the sound they carved on 2015’s Anareta, Idol finds the one-time anthem architects pushing deeper into the progressive metal mire, bolstering their crushing death metal foundations with ultra-saturated guitar leads while changing directions with the wind. All the while, however, Horrendous retain the organic, rock n’ roll spirit that makes them one of single best bands operating in American metal at the moment, helping listeners to navigate even their most abrupt sonic hairpins. If you’re a fan of Horrendous already, it’s a must hear. If not, it might even change your mind. Who knows, but Kerrang!’s full stream probably holds the answer.
Since we’re on the subject of progressive metal, it’s also definitely worth nothing that Revocation are back today with their latest full length The Outer Ones (Metal Blade). While Revocation originally began as a dexterity obsessed re-thrash act, the ensuing decade has seen the band evolve their sound release inch by inch, eventually arriving here with a throughly modern blackened death metal opus. Frontman Dave Davidson’s bark is newly guttural and the riffs freshly seared, but Revocation’s biggest strength has been always an ability to make even the most heinous diminished chords sound catchy, and that ear for a hook certainly remains. Check it out via Noisey if you’re wondering what these maniacs have been up to.
Meanwhile if all that Cultes des Ghoules talk last week got you in the mood for opulent, operatic black metal that plays out like a nightmare world Shakespeare in the Park, A Forest of Stars’ Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes (Prophecy Productions) is just what Dr. Jekyll ordered. Blending labyrinthine, pitch-black metal and maniacal spoken-world howls, Grave Mistakes paints a lurid midnight portrait of Victorian England, right down to its cover art, composed of hand-cut miniatures painstakingly arranged over the course of two years. Needless to say, this is the weirdest bit of metal on offer this week, and we mean that in the best possible way.
Likewise, if you’re into death, decay, and all things somber, sorrowful fall, then your feast your soul on UN’s devastating new monolith, Sentiment (Translation Loss Records). An aching quartet of gorgeous, funeral-tinged movements, Sentiment finds the Seattle doom outfit exploring the outer reaches of metal emotion, celebrating life in spite of hardship, instead of wallowing in it. To that we say fuck yeah. If you’re into slow stuff, this one—also streaming via Kerrang!—has to go straight to the top of your list.
The underground black metal scene is also stirring this week thanks to Helrunar’s latest Germanic black metal masterwork Vanitas Vanitatvm (Prophecy Productions), Gevurah’s scathing Sulphur Soul (Profound Lore), Vreid’s Lifehunger (Season of Mist), which plays out like some sort of Scandinavian Skeletonwitch. Needless to say, you’ll be sweating through that corpse paint in no time. Oh, and if you need some gristle to go with all that lovely char, definitely check out Scorched’s brutal death metal beast, Ecliptic Butchery (20 Buck Spin), now streaming via Decibel.
After that get your punk on with two essential new hardcore records in Gouge Away’s Burnt Sugar (Deathwish Inc.) and Sunflo’er’s No Hell (Noise Salvation). The former is emotive and in-your-face—a headlong sprint into psychological and socialogical warfare—while the latter is caustic and progressive, manically ricocheting between motifs and genres like a pinball machine on the fritz. I’d say take your pick, but the beauty is that you don’t have to choose.
Finally, let’s cool down with Marissa Nadler’s For My Crimes (Sacred Bones) and This Will Destroy You’s epic revival, New Other’s Part One (Dark Operative). Neither are metal in the traditional sense, but both carry some substantial sonic and emotional heft, so make sure to give them a listen.
WHAT TO HEAR: I’m at wedding in Princeton, of all hell holes, this weekend, so get out there and see something for me, starting with Grim Reaper at Gramercy Theatre, Aurelio Voltaire at Knitting Factory, Ratt at Wellmont Theater, Dead Men Dreaming at The Hideout, Scarboro at The Shillelagh Tavern, Metal Mike (of Halford) at Dingbatz, and night one of Metal Punk Death Fest III starring Relapse’s shiny new toy, Devil Master, and plenty more. On Saturday, meanwhile, check out Overtake at White Eagle Hall, On the Loose at El Sabor Norteno, Xosar at Elsewhere, Necropia at Revolution, Life of Agony at Bowery Ballroom, Midnite Hellion at Rock 2 Adopt 7, Elefantkiller at Gussy’s, Bad Cop/Bad Cop at El Cortez, (A) Truth at Brooklyn Bazaar, Witch Kiss at Arlene’s Grocery, VRSTY at Gold Sounds, Harley Flanagan at Blackthorn 51, and MPDF III day two at Vitus headlined by MassGrave and Come to Grief. If you survive all that, check out The Charlatans at Elsewhere, Kore Rozzik/Dokken at Mulcahy’s, and the final day of MPDF III featuring Saccage, Mutilation Rites, and more at Saint Vitus.
On Monday, check out Hed PE at Revolution and Slash at The Wellmont Theater, followed on Tuesday by Skyharbor at Saint Vitus and Simple Minds at Beacon Theatre. Wednesday brings you No Clouds at Saint Vitus and Paradise Lost/Solstafir/The Atlas Moth at Gramercy Theatre, before Thursday wraps things up with Slaves UK, A Pale Horse Named Death at The Kingsland, and The Vamps at PlayStation Theatre.
WHAT THE FUCK: Sounds like Dave Grohl—who is now 49 years old—may be taking his Lemmy worship a little too seriously these days. This week, Grohl chronicled his pre-show drinking ritual in a radio interview with 95.5 KLOS, revealing that he has drank four Coors Lights and seven shots of Jager BEFORE EVERY FOO FIGHTERS SHOW FOR THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF. I’ll let you do the math on that. Needless to say, we hope Dave has already put a deposit on a new liver, because those things don’t last forever.