I want to begin this week by offering a titanic thank you to everyone who turned out to The Acheron on Saturday night for our latest rager featuring Horrendous, Artificial Brain, Throaat, and Kosmodemonic. That was one of raddest Brooklyn metal turnouts I’ve seen in quite some time and a perfect welcome party for the best Philly death metal unit going, so cheers. Now, if nobody has any objections, let’s loose these fucking hounds and get at it.
WHAT TO BUY: When it comes to so-called supergroups, the marketing copy all but writes itself: Featuring members of blank, blank, and blank, blank combines the group’s disparate array of styles into a bubbling cauldron of blank. Dead in the Manger have adopted a different approach, however, letting their brooding breed of blackened death/doom do the promotional heavy lifting while keeping their collective (but no doubt impressive) backgrounds secret. The Olympia, Washington-based outfit’s debut, Cessation (20 Buck Spin), benefits from the approach as well, crunching preconception, expectation, and hype under its purgatory-bound axels with each of its misanthropic tracks. Will the constituent identities of Dead in the Manger eventually be revealed? Of course, and possibly in close enough accordance with the release of Cessation (which you can and should be streaming over at Steel for Brains) to render everything written above entirely moot. But thus far even the press photos have been blurred to protect the innocent, so let’s take that as a welcome sign these dudes are perfectly content to let their music do the talking.
If you’re looking to keep the gloom going then, then California doom outfit Keeper (whose debut EP generated some gushing feedback last year) and their new split with Sea Bastard (Medusa Crush) are just what you need. A charred, seething soundtrack to a toxic waste spill, the split finds each band offering up their own distinct brand of slow and low, with Keeper’s screech (like Satan’s fingernails on a chalkboard in hell) and Sea Bastard’s Mack-truck rumble contrasting in the most gloriously grotesque manner imaginable. If you’re look to abandon all hope (six more weeks of winter, after all) then this one should be your pick of the disfigured litter.
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Additional punishment comes in the form of Fulgora, who put the grind-inclined rhythm section of Pig Destroyer to good use on should their first full-length record, Stratagem (Housecore Records). Full of heinous riffs, crushing breakdowns, and no-frills attitude, Stratagem fuses death metal and hardcore into a fury-hybrid that should sound sick at Maryland Deathfest in just a few months’ time. On the opposite end of the spectrum, in the realm of the blissfully clean, power metal vets Blind Guardian drop their 10th LP, Beyond the Red Mirror (Nuclear Blast), today. Slug down some tea, run those scales, and try singing along to their new single, “Twilight of the Gods”, if you dare.
If that’s not enough to keep your entertained until next Tuesday, then pick up a copy of Scottish folk metal outfit Saor‘s 2014 LP, Aura (Northern Silence), which lands stateside in physical formats today. Those of you who like what you hear there, will also probably dig Callisto and the meaning-of-life mulling post metal that inhabits their latest full length, Secret Youth (Svart). Finally, Danish black industrial freaks Gnaw Their Tongues issue their so-called Collected Atrocities: 2005-2008 (Crucial Blast) today, which, provided your ability to stomach the album art, is a must-own slab of brutality.
WHAT TO SEE: As always, we start with Saint Vitus this week and, as always, the show lineup is almost unreal, beginning Thursday with stoner rock legends Danava (including a supporting set from local next-big-things, Natur) and continuing through the weekend with a pair of EYEHATEGOD-headlined seethers featuring the likes of Mortals, Blackout, and Scowl on Friday and Full of Hell, cleanteeth, and Clamfight on Saturday. In case you got sold out of that Friday nighter (yes, tickets are long gone), The Acheron backs up their partner in heavy metal malice with a solid psych rock bill featuring local boogie boys KDH, in addition to a few others.
We don’t get to give Queens shout-outs very often in This One Goes To Eleven, but this week Blackthorn 51 in Elmhurst has a good one, featuring local thrashers Whiplash with Ikillya, Black Dawn, Metalfier, and more, so charge up that Metrocard and get out there. Meanwhile, the Mercury Lounge hosts a rap-metal special featuring Xombie and Black Angel Down, which should be just about as polarizing as longtime Scorpions axe-man Uli John Roth, who hits B.B. King’s house for a shred-fest with Vinnie Moore and Black Nights Rising. Remember, everybody: To each their own.
Finally, back in Brooklyn, The Shop is cooking up a good one, hosting the one and only Anvil alongside Relapse-backed sludgers, Lord Dying, Sun Lord, and more. The promo for this one has been shockingly quiet and I can’t speak for the venue (they aren’t what you could call a regular booking entity), but the lineup alone should put all those concerns to bed. Grab tickets if you haven’t already.
WHAT THE FUCK: Like them or loathe them, I think we can all agree that Limp Bizkit haven’t really been worth debating in a very long time. That fact, however, doesn’t make Wes Borland‘s recent and revealing interview with Stereogum—in which the on-again/off-again Bizkit guitarist speaks about his ambivalence toward the scene and band he helped to make famous—any less interesting. Borland was seemingly the lone theater major in the nü metal frat house, but this one helps to reconcile that somewhat (without seeming embittered or ungrateful) so make sure to check it out.