A slow(er) release week and some post-birthday malaise have conspired to streamline proceedings today, but with a legitimate metal AOTY contender waiting in the wings, trust that you won’t be left wanting.
WHAT TO BUY: At the risk of sounding like a broken Dio record, trad metal sounds are hotter than Hansel right now, and while we could thinkpiece the origins and proliferation of music trends until both camp chicken and camp egg went blue in the face, let’s instead turn our attention to the release of one of the movement’s finest examples yet: Obsequiae‘s Aria of Vernal Tombs (20 Buck Spin). A lush blend of renaissance doom (a la Crypt Sermon) and battle-ready black metal, the Minneapolis-based outfit have crafted a record that is once fresh and familiar, staking out some real estate at the AOTY committee’s knight-wrung round table in the process. By far one of the most compelling LPs to turn up this spring, Aria of Vernal Tombs is a must hear so stop what you’re doing (skimming this while watching Spongebob) and go do exactly that.
Two weeks ago we spent some time discussing Profound Lore’s crushing, and consequently daunting, 2015 release slate, and today their demonic fireworks display climaxes with the unveiling of Prurient‘s titanic new double LP, Frozen Niagara Falls. From the shockingly club-ready synth moves of “Every Relationship Earthrise” to the cascading gray noise of its two-part title track, Dominick Fernow’s magnum opus is one the most impenetrable releases from any label–in any genre–so far this year. It may not be “metal” in the traditional sonic sense (according to Fernow, the project began with nothing more than a 12-string guitar and a bucket of rocks) but you’ll be hard pressed to find something heavier in this space no matter how long you look (which is hopefully for awhile). Show No Mercy has the stream should you need to try before you buy.
If you’re looking for some pre-Sabbath psych instead, then turn your Sauron’s great flaming eye to Finland where Domovoyd and Seremonia both drop new, Svart-backed full lengths. While differing slightly in approach, the former’s doomy self-titled salvo and the latter’s third slab of easy riding 70s psych, Kristalliarkki, both aspire to the same kaleidoscopic swirl of shag-rug riffs and technicolor grooves, so grab your headband and get ready for one hell of a trip.
Elsewhere, Polish flesh grinders Antigama are unfurling their seventh furious full-length, The Insolent (Selfmadegod), on domestic shores with a couple of rad local shows (see below) and a bandcamp stream that should also double as a bonesaw in a pinch. After you’re done checking that out, cool down with former Neurosis frontman Steve Von Till’s newest, non-Harvestman solo album, A Life Unto Itself (Neurot Recordings), which pushes his particular breed of dark country to the fringes of Tom Waits territory with spare acoustic work, ample aching pedal steel, and gravel-gargled vocal delivery. This is NOT metal, but it’s music that will still crush you if given the chance, so make sure to check it out the next time you need a soundtrack for some hungover soul-searching.
WHAT TO SEE: If you want blood, you’ve got it this week, starting with Saxon and Armored Saint at B.B. King’s joint tonight and continuing into Wednesday with Faith No More at Webster Hall (plus an encore the following night), Amaranthe at The Gramercy Theatre, Antigama at the Nihil Gallery, and Pianos Become Teeth at Saint Vitus. If you’re still kicking after all of that, then get up to Gussy’s on Friday for Corpuscide or stick around Brooklyn for a Lightning Bolt-headlined throwdown at The Wick.
Saturday gets really gnarly, with Full of Hell and The Body hitting Saint Vitus for an eardrum-and-chin-splitting noise orgy while the awesome people over at The Acheron host their 5-year birthday bash across the street at The Wick with some help from The Spits, Pampers, CCR Headcleaner, and Tournament (you guys are growing up so fast!) If you’re looking to keep it on the island, then head to Webster Hall instead, where the first night of the Black N’ Blue Bowl kicks off with sets from The Regulators (Darryl Jenifer, Dr. Know, John Joseph, Mackie Jayson, and members of Bad Brains and Cro-Mags performing Bad Brains), Candiria, and more.
Night two goes off on Sunday with Burn, Crumbsuckers, Sick Of It All, and The Rival Mob. After that grab the 6 and go catch Septicflesh, Moonspell, and Deathstars at The Gramercy Theatre or go home and get some rest for a rad Monday, highlighted by the homies in Thera Roya and Think Tank ripping The Acheron a new one with some help from Houston heshers Omotai, who prove that things really are heavier in Texas (or whatever).
WHAT THE FUCK: Bored this weekend? No work on Monday? Finally ready to put your REO Speedwagon tryst on display for all to see? Well, you’re in luck, with the US Air Guitar Qualifiers rolling into Brooklyn for a Sunday-night shredaganza at Saint Vitus. To be totally honest, I’m not quite why anyone would choose to pour their time and/or creative energies into spectator miming, but here’s a video of last year’s World Championship runner-up Rob “Windhammer” Weychert getting heavy should you be interested.