Alright, TOGTE is officially back from last week’s brief commercial interruption, and given the 5 straight days of CMJ jangle-core I just siphoned into my ear hole, it’s back with vengeance. Needless to say, don’t touch that dial.
WHAT TO BUY: I’m usually pretty skeptical of the whole “supergroup” thing, but every now and then one comes along that actually achieves something more than the sum of its composite parts. One such *real and actual* band are cosmic thrash oddities, VHÖL, who, through the filter of YOB’s Mike Scheidt, Agalloch’s Aesop Dekker, and Hammer of Misfortune’s John Cobbett and Sigrid Sheie, drop their second ripping full length, Deeper Than Sky (Profound Lore), today. A frothing, shred-splattered examination of realms beyond understanding recorded on an old 2″ tape deck that once belonged to Jerry Garcia, this one is strange before you even pop it in. Once you do, things get even weirder, with piano-driven instrumental cuts (“Paino”) and crusty crossover behemoths (“Red Chaos”) battling for time/space/continuum throughout. If you’re just looking for a fun, retro, and riff-packed time, this one—despite how it’s been talked about in the build up—is probably going to leave you wanting. But if your primary objective is to hear Scheidt’s piercing tenor howling ceaselessly into the void, then this thing is totally a must-hear.
Next up are a band that need no introduction. Norway’s preeminent black n’ roll rabble rousers, Shining, have been churning out the black stuff in various forms and shades for well over 30 years now, earning a dedicated cult following and, thanks to frontman Niklas Kvarforth’s occasionally tone-deaf “sense of humor”, the ire of more than a few. The band’s latest LP, International Black Jazz (Spinefarm), should do little to change the minds of either, rolling out under some elaborate pretenses and using its red herring title to obscure some of their catchiest material to date. If you’re a fan of Shining, just go ahead and grab a copy. If not, maybe take a wait and see approach.
In other supergroup news, Corrections House—the industrial-blasting sidearm of Sanford Parker (Minsk), Scott Kelly (Neurosis), and Mike IX Williams (Eyehategod)—return today with a skull-splitting new full length, Know How To Carry a Whip (Neurot). Like Godflesh reared on another two decades of fear, hate, and hardcore, Carry a Whip’s 9 seething tracks are built on beats and loops that steadily decompose as their intensity ratchets up, building to hypnotic walls of sound that would make Phil Spector wretch up bile. Strangely enough, this one was recorded by Parker in Vietnam, which adds an exotic subtext, but rest assured, when it comes down to the listening experience, it’s still like licking a streetcleaner.
Fulfilling our all important underground black metal quota this week are Portuguese tremolo tyrants Onirik and their new album, Casket Dream Veneration (Altare/Iron Bonehead). A ripping mix of classic technique and more contemporary embellishments, Onirik are one of the few bands to come out of today’s Iberian scene with the potential to make some noise outside of the orthodox black metal cvlt, so make sure to lend it an inquisitive ear. If you’re into twisted, dream-haunting cacophony (and, like, who isn’t?), then something tells me you’re going to dig this one.
Also scheduled for arrival today is Pylon (Spinefarm), the 16th full-length from UK proto-industrial rockers, Killing Joke. With the release of Faith No More’s latest LP, Sol Invictus, still hovering in the rear view, I think it’s safe to say 2015 been a good year for fans of turn of turn-of-90s underground thus far, and Pylon is certainly testament to that fact. If that’s your thing, definitely don’t sleep on this one. If not, well, I’m sure Jaz Coleman will have something to say about that.
Finally, wrapping up notable releases this week is an American deathcore showdown between Born of Osiris’s Soul Sphere (Sumerian) and Suicide Silence’s new EP, Sacred Words (Nuclear Blast). Approach at your own risk. After that also make sure to check out avant Baltimore black metallers, Genevieve, and their merciless new full length, Escapism (Grimoire). If that doesn’t properly cleanse the palette, nothing will.
WHAT TO SEE: It’s Friday and we’re all crawling to finish line, but there’s no rest for the wicked tonight with the likes of Cult Leader, The Amity Affliction, Adrenalin O.D., and Day 1 of Mortifera hitting The Acheron, Irving Plaza, Bowery Electric, and Lucky 13 Saloon, respectively. Saturday arrives in equally spectacular fashion, with the second night of Mortifera at Lucky 13 Saloon (featuring sets from Vorde, Heron, and more) leading the way. After that, take your pick of truly deformed litter that includes Artificial Brain at Gussy’s, Black Dawn at Blacktorn 51, Dehumanized at Hartleys, Evoken at Trans-Pecos, Anaka at Santos Part House, Negura Bunget at Nihil Gallery, and Night Beats at The Wick.
Sunday offers a little respite, with a killer show from Acid Witch and Kings Destroy at Saint Vitus bleeding right into Monday, when Suicide Girls hit Music Hall of Williamsburg for a sultry evening of so-called “Blackheart Burlesque”. Behave yourselves, gentlemen. After that, Tuesday welcomes a Danzig-less Misfits to the same Playstation Theater stage Danzig played last week, while Wednesday rolls out the black carpet for the Decade of Despair tour, which hits The Studio at Webster Hall with Carnifex, Black Tongue, and more in tow.
Finally, buckle up for a bumpy Thursday, which kicks off with a death metal rager featuring Hate Eternal and Misery Index at The Studio at Webster Hall, before landing some additional body blows in the form of Combichrist just upstairs in the Marlin Room and Beyond/Nuclear Age at Saint Vitus. If that isn’t enough to have you sufficiently inspired for Halloween weekend, then we hear at TOGTE corporate headquarters duly note your complaint and sincerely apologize for any and all dissatisfaction.
WHAT THE FUCK: Speaking of Danzig, this was the authorized notice that greeted attendees for his Playstation Theater appearance on Wednesday night. Although my disdain for watching a show through someone else’s phone clocks in above the usual average, it probably goes without saying that Glenn here could sure learn a thing or two about hospitality.