I want to begin this week by saying goodbye to Death By Audio, which, after many years serving as Kent Ave’s BEST venue, has now entered its final days of existence. Although a punk haven by trade, DBA hosted its share of metal weirdos in the past, so please, when you’re cracking a PBR at Vitus or The Acheron this week, make sure to pour a little out for the DIY icon. As the condo plague continues to spread north and east over the coming months, you’re going to want all the karma you cant get.
WHAT TO BUY: If there’s one band to soundtrack this temporary cease fire, it has to be Brooklyn’s very own Raspberry Bulbs, who drop their latest chunk of blackened punk metal, Privacy (Blackest Ever Black), today. Originally the solo project of former Bone Awl founder Marco del Rio, Raspberry Bulbs have since bloomed into a full five piece war machine, tearing through one hook-choked anthem after the next, stopping only for a series of electronic minuets that add some much needed dynamism to the otherwise unfettered proceedings. Mostly shelving his black metal roots for this one, del Rio and his sashimi raw four-track production still embrace the ever-vital basement-tape aesthetic, concocting one of the most immediate, engaging, and, surely, controversial metal LPs of 2014 in the process. So check out “Light Surrounds Me” below, and if you still feel like dismissing Privacy out some inflated sense of self and core, go right ahead. We are all entitled to our own idiocy, after all.
Turning our attention back toward the metal middle now, Century Media continue their solid year with a pair of new releases from death metal traditionalists, Soulburn, and Dutch demons, Thanatos. If you like your death frosted over and rusted shut, Soulburn’s The Suffocating Darkness should be at the top of your list, while Thanatos’ Global Purification offers a more technical listen, chock full of thrash shred fests, punishing blast beats, and all the requisite riffage. Wrap your skulls around tracks from the both the former and the latter, and get over to the metal megalodon’s web store for some retail therapy. If that’s still not quite cutting it, then check out Bloodbath, whose new LP, Grand Morbid Funeral (Peaceville Records) grinds the whole of death metal history into one thoroughly disturbing sausage and serves it with a side of vocals from Paradise Lost’s Nick Holmes. Devour at your own risk.
If you’re looking for some pastoral black metal to usher in the coming of winter, then perhaps give London outfit Fen, and their latest LP, Carrion Skies (Code666 Records), which reeks of pine and the smoke of late night fire, a spin. Akin to Winterfylleth in many respects including but not limited to the fact they both hail from the UK, this one is grandiose, unflinchingly committed to atmosphere, and wears its second wave riffs a little prouder/louder than that other post-black metal band by which all other post-black metal bands will be hitherto judged. Invisible Oranges digs it, and that probably means you will too, but whether that’s enough to pop for the wood-boxed “Maniac Collector edition”–limited to just five copies and featuring, among many other things, the band’s entire discography in individual wax-sealed parchment envelopes, a black pillar candle featuring custom Fen branding, and a Carrion Skies card signed by the band–remains to be seen.
And since I now have your slack-jawed attention, beloved black metal nerds, please note that Bereft’s latest, Lost Ages (Silent Pendulum), while available in digital and CD formats today, has seen its vinyl incarnate delayed until the end of December due to a foul up at the pressing plant. Patience is a virtue, however, and if epic howlers like “Loss” are any indication, the Midwest heshers are ready, willing, and able to reward it. In the meantime, drown your sorrows in Ellende’s new EP, Welltenacht (Talheim Records), which pours down from the Austrian mountain tops today with enough big riffs and brooding to keep most even Vitamin D-deprived cellar dwellers happily unhappy.
Finally, it’s just not the holidays without a little thrash, so pull the pin on Entrench and their new LP, Violent Procreation (War Anthem Records), and watch Mom’s best laid plans go up in flames.
WHAT TO SEE: Heavy stuff gets underway at Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow night with another marquee rager from Converse Rubber Tracks. Last time out, the sneaker czar’s brought High on Fire through town, and this week they offer up another Bay Area outfit in Deafheaven. Say what you want about last year’s nouveau black metal breakouts, but this one is totally free so get out there and show your face.
The weekend brings more good shit, with Saint Vitus hosting overlooked NWOBHM legends, Raven, on a bill featuring a couple of new bands—Night Demon, Midnite Hellion—that sound like old ones. If you’re into the classics, then this one is for you. If not, then skip the rest of the weekend, when middle America’s answer to Iron Maiden, Manilla Road, spearheads a two night stand with Weed Is Weed and Polygamyst on Saturday and Natur and Python on Sunday. If you’re looking for something a little crustier, then turn to The Acheron, where Noisey and Hardcore Gig Volume sponsor a killer lineup featuring Cold War, King Nine, Life Of Reilly, and more.
Of course if you’re fan/casual observer/random passerby of This One Goes To Eleven, you’ll want to make sure you’re in Bushwick on Friday night for our killer showcase co-hosted by the good people over at Ad Hoc and Palisades. Headlined by Profound Lore’s preeminent dark rockers, Occultation (who also feature EMM of Fell Voices on guitar), and a trio of killer Brooklyn bands in Kosmodemonic, Mountain God, and Think Tank. If you haven’t heard Occultation’s latest LP, Silence In The Ancestral House, which dropped back in October, then make sure to check it out. In the meantime, however, grab tickets for this one, which, at only $10, will help TOGTE to keep doing, well, whatever it is we do here.
WHAT THE FUCK: Rocket scientist Matt Taylor and his shirts, man.