It’s officially summer, fam. Grab your cut offs and Cro-Mags tank and let’s rot.
WHAT TO HEAR: First up this week is Of the Depths (Hells Headbangers), the crusty, cobwebby debut full length from French death metallers Skelethal. An Entombed-worshipping spore of buzzsaw riffs and grisly dungeon visages, this one boasts some of the catchiest moments in extreme music 2017, blending subtle elements of rock n’ roll and heavy metal into their otherwise mutilated sound. There’s a reason this one has been getting so much hype (in relativity) the past few months, and that reason is on full display over at their bandcamp.
Writhing right beside that one in the dark is Misantropologi (Dark Descent), the fourth LP from Danish death metal degenerates Undergang. Know for their sewer system sound and mid-tempo dirges—not unlike some contemporary European version of Autopsy—Misantropologi keeps that torch lit on sarcophagus fumes, providing one of filthiest listens of the year. Give it a spin, take a shower, and then grab tickets to their upcoming Vitus appearance with Necrot and Horrendous, easily one of the craziest bills of the summer.
Also, rising up from the depths this week is Vengeful Ascension (Metal Blade), the latest full length from Nawlins black metal heathens, Goatwhore. Now 20 years into their bayou blackened reign, you pretty much know what to expect from the quartet–orthodox black metal with a healthy dose of southern fried thrash—and this a perfect encapsulation of that no-frills sound. If you never dug Goatwhore’s stuff to begin with, you probably never will, but for everyone who has or does, this one is a must.
Today also marks the long-awaited—for sludge fans, at least—return of Bison (formerly Bison B.C.) with their new LP, You Are Not the Ocean, You Are the Patient (Pelagic Records). Reflecting guitarist James Farwell’s recent metropolitan exodus and featuring influences from Muddy Waters to the peaks of post-rock, You Are the Patient is at once contemplative and sprawling, all while remaining heavier than the anchor of an aircraft carrier. For those moments when you just need to slow everything down, Bison is here for you, ready to cave in your chest. They’ve been waiting five years after all. There’s bound to be some pent up frustrations. Stream it via CVLT Nation.
After that, continue the cool down with gloriously retro Finnish death rockers Circle and their groovy new Blue Oyster Cult/The Cult/actual cult-indebted LP, Terminal (Southern Lord). If that one isn’t packing enough gloom for you, then check Mavradoxa‘s Lethean Lament (Hypnotic Dirge), a wonderfully headspacey batch of USBM currently streaming over at Invisible Oranges.
Meanwhile re-thrash heathens Municipal Waste have their barrel full of electric green toxic waste, Slime and Punishment (Nuclear Blast), ready to overflow. If all the kids I see wearing that Trump suicide tee to pop punk shows buy this record, these guys will be the next Metallica, so look out. After your done digesting that cynicism, check Ashcloud‘s Kingdom of the Damned (Xtreem Music), the latest entry into the cosmic death metal space/time continuum, a trend, it should be said, that I can actually get behind. This record—sans pretty much any hype—absolutely rips, so definitely don’t miss it.
Relapse Records also come out firing this week with Ex Eye—the self-titled debut from the new reality-bending experimental project of Colin Stetson and Greg Fox—and Wrong One to Fuck With, a new one from gore metal vets, Dying Fetus. These couldn’t be more different, and thus is the beauty of the Relapse roster circa 2017. Check them out here and here, if you’re interested.
Finally end the week’s releases on cathartic not with some help Wildspeaker and their new studio offering, Spreading Adder (Prosthetic Records). Thanks to the addition of Cara Neir’s Garry Brent’s, Wildspeaker’s breed of doomy hardcore is leaner and crustier than ever before, so crack some beers and give yourself some whiplash.
WHAT TO SEE: It’s a solid Friday night in NYC metal, with Gorguts at Le Poisson Rouge, Planes Mistaken for Stars at Knitting Factory, KILL at Metal Kingdom Record Store, Sinaro at Blackthorn 51, and YOB/Yellow Eyes at Saint Vitus leading the way. Saturday, isn’t half bad either, with NJ Metal Fest 3 at Dingbatz, Cyberteon at Blackthorn 51, Dead Horse Trauma at Lucky 13, Demolition Hammer at Gramercy Theatre, Sevendust at the Westbury Theatre, Breakdown of Sanity in the Studio at Webster Hall, and YOB at Vitus headlining a crowded evening marquee.
Sunday keeps the suburbs-devouring blob rolling with Rammstein at Jones Beach Theater, Born of Osiris at Gramercy Theatre, All the Creations at Lucky 13 Saloon, and the final night of YOB‘s three-night Vitus stand (this time with Godmaker and Statiqbloom) before Monday puts its feet up. The action is back on Tuesday, though, with The By Gods at Gold Sounds and Spit at Vitus while Wednesday welcomes Big Business to the same stage, Doyle to Dingbatz, and Supervicious to Gold Sounds. Finally, Thursday puts the final nail in the weekly coffin with Enslaved/Today is the Day-supergroup Bardspec at Saint Vitus, SEVEN)SUNS at DROM, and Indighxst at Amityville Music Hall. Slay on.
WHAT THE FUCK: Rolling Stone released a list of the “100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time This Week“, and while I didn’t really read it (like, isn’t real life frustrating enough already?) I’m sure there’s some dumb shit in there to get froth-mouthed about. Oh look, Evanescence…