Welcome to October, folks. This is a 21+ maturity show, so if you call it spooky szn, please see yourself out.
WHAT TO HEAR: This week is owned by Arizona death metal unit Gatecreeper, who return after a three-year vision quest with their sophomore full length (and long-awaited follow-up to 2016’s Sonoran Deprivation), Deserted (Relapse). All the gritty HM-2 tones and larynx-lacerating growls are still present, but Deserted places a newfound emphasis on melody, filtering Nate Garrett’s (the creative force for Spirit Adrift) keen ear for a heavy metal hook through the lens of new-school, old-school death metal. Given that, plus the uptick in mid-tempo grooves, Deserted isn’t exactly “the most br0000tal death metal record ever, bro,” but it’s its own distinct beast, and that’s about the highest praise I can something around these parts.
Speaking of Gatecreeper, they wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for bands like Exhumed, who also return today with their new, simply titled LP, Horror (Relapse). Horror features some Exhumed’s tightest, grindiest compositions in years, splattering its gore over the course of 15 chaotic tracks, most clocking in under the hallowed three-minute mark. That Exhumed are 21 years into their career and still sound this vital and alive is a testament to their position as one of metal’s most underrated greats. Go pay your respects here.
That one was mixed and mastered by Joel Grind, who also has his own record out this week in the form of Toxic Holocaust’s Primal Future: 2019 (eOne). A throwback to Toxic Holocaust’s early days, Grind cut away all the fat, playing and recording all the instruments himself. The result is Toxic Holocaust’s punkest records in years, conjuring visions of Napalm Death, Discharge, and D.R.I. over the course of its 10 breakneck bruisers. “Thrash” has had kind of a weird year—the most namechecked record this year was from a garage rock band and honestly wasn’t even really thrash—but this should help to steer the ship back on course.
After that, turn up the sad with Heart Like a Grave, The 8th studio LP from very-melo death squad Insomnium (Century Media). It barely qualifies as death metal at this point, but fist-pumping melodies are sick and the mid-tempo riffs are all lead heavy, so give in to the cheese and check it out. Pair that one with Garden of Storms (Agonia Records), the new feast from Opeth-indebted Polish progressive death metallers In Mourning and you have one hell of a charcuterie board going.
If that’s not your speed, Philly post-metal vets Rosetta also dropped a surprise three-song EP, Terra Sola (self released), on Tuesday. Rosetta are one of the most underrated bands in the I-95 metal scene and Terra Sola is more of the same delay-drenched, screamo-tinged goodness they’re known for, so make sure to get over to their bandcamp and throw them a couple bucks because, in the true DIY spirit, everything they do is name your price. Thanks dudes.
Finally, wrap it all up with Boris’ Love & Evol (Third Man) and Dysrhythmia’s Terminal Threshold (Translation Loss). The former is two independent releases designed to gradually dissolve into the other until they’re indistinguishable from the next. Boris’ typically atypical swirl of doom, drone, post-rock, and general “experimental” is still in fine form, so make sure to check it out. The latter, meanwhile, is more time-signature tangling progressive instrumetal from Kevin Hufnagel and Colin Marston, names you might recognize from recent Gorguts output. You know what to do.
WHAT TO SEE: The weekend fire is lit tonight with Enforcer at The Kingsland, Moxie at Blackthorn 51, Ryder at Lucky 13 Saloon, Mudhoney at White Eagle Hall, ZOSO at Starland Ballroom, and Visigoth, Crypt Sermon, Magic Circle, and Sanhedrin at Saint Vitus as part of the book release bash for Peter Beste’s visual history of the backpatch, Defenders of the Faith. On Saturday, sink your fangs into Cult of Belial at Lucky 13, Enforcer/Warbringer at Blackthorn 51, Black Label Society at The Wellmont Theater, Skullshitter at The Broadway, and Ceremony (plus special guests, my guess would be Uniform) at Saint Vitus. On Sunday, wrap another weekend here on earth with Prong at Brooklyn Bazaar, Perpetuated at The Meatlocker, Party Time at The Footlight, and a tribute to Glenn Branca by the Glenn Branca Ensemble at Saint Vitus.
Monday welcomes Perpetuated at Vitus and Pig’s Blood at The Meatlocker into its sinister coven, before Tuesday hosts Au Revoir at Saint Vitus, Wage War at Gramercy Theatre, and Deep Purple at the Beacon Theatre. Wednesday is a beast, with Inoculation at Lucky 13, Despised Icon at Gramercy Theatre, Sheer Mag at Elsewhere, SRSQ/Street Sects at Union Pool, and Captured! By Robots!, Dysrhythmia, and Behold…the Arctopus! all going down before Thursday drops the gavel on proceedings with Cell in the Brooklyn Bazaar basement, O’Brother at Saint Vitus, and the mighty Melvins at the Warsaw.
WHAT THE FUCK: Megadeth is OPENING for Five Finger Death Punch. Dave & Dave, whoever your manager is, fire them.