Apologies once again for the inconsistency of this section over the past few weeks. Life has been almost exclusively throwing sliders in the dirt of late, which—when combined with non-metal endeavors like Northside Festival—have conspired to keep your weekly updates semi-weekly. Here’s hoping we can get back in our d-beat groove…
WHAT TO HEAR: First up this week is the latest battle cry from the fathers of “metal noir Québécois”, Forteresse. Dubbed Thèmes Pour La Rébellion(Sepulchural Productions), this one celebrates Québécois separatism both past—via the 1837 Patriot’s War—and present (the band themselves prescribe to this political philosophy) with a propulsive, melody-forward brand of black metal that cuts like a Western European version of Mgla. If you’re looking for hybridization and experimentation, you’re better off elsewhere, as this one is as straightforward as black metal sub-genres come these days. If, however, you’re just yearning for some fire-kissed anthems of revolution to howl into the French-Canadian starlight, Noisey’s stream is most definitely for you. Viva la resistance, indeed.
Next on the docket is Plastic House on Base of Sky (The Flesner), the latest offering from avant-garde masters, Kayo Dot. Toby Driver and co. have always been more metal adjacent than actual “metal”, but Plastic House finally makes good on those intimations, doubling down on the electronic instrumentation while pushing the mood and melodies into the realm of post-punk. The obscene quality standards and progressive arrangements are still omnipresent of course, but if you’re going into Noisey’s stream hoping for anything explicitly metallic, you’d do well to recalibrate those expectations now.
Next we head to the tranquil, all-loving, high-rent bastions of San Francisco for the self-titled debut from underground rippers, Black Fucking Cancer (Graceless Recordings/Osmose Productions). A good band name can go a long way, but a bad one doesn’t matter as long as the music speaks for itself, and so goes Black Fucking Cancer, who, led by Necrite’s Tony Bursese, are pumping out some filthy, hellfire-forged black metal. Check it out and then hop a Pacific steamer headed west for Vessels (Napalm Records), the new LP from Australian melo-death quintet, Be’lakor. Though toiling in a thankless and stigmatized niche, Be’lakor still have plenty worthwhile insanity on offer for the trve skeptic, so make sure to give it a listen even if (and it probably isn’t) your “thing”.
After that the week bookends nicely with a second artisan blast of Québécois black metal, Les Tenebres Modernes (Sepulchural Productions), this time from Zifond’s one-man masterclass, Neige et Noiceur. Once you’re done drinking that one in, turn your attention to Russia, where another one-man black metal project, Sivyj Yar, wraps up its stellar “Peasant Trilogy”, with a new two-track EP, The Unmourned Past (Avant Garde Music). Sivyj Yar—i.e. the man known simply as Vladimir—is one of the finest, and most prolific, songwriters in the entire genre right now, so whatever you do, don’t sleep on that one.
WHAT TO SEE: The shows come in thick and fast this week, starting tonight with Killen and Python at Saint Vitus Bar, Murphy’s Law at the soon-to-be-closed Grand Victory, and Night Rite up at Gussy’s. Saturday rumbles on with Year of the Cobra at the Nihil Gallery, Eat at Lucky 13 Saloon, Disassociate at The Grand Victory, Lynch Mob at Blackthorn 51, and NJ Metalfest 2 at Dingbatz, featuring IKILLYA, Generation Kill, and many more. If that not enough for you, then The Acheron—which we will get to in greater depth below—has political grind icons, Dropdead, in-house for what is sure to be one front-to-back pit. Tickets for that are only available at the door, so get there early.
If you’re still standing after that haymaker, Sunday has plenty going on as well, with the second day of NJ Metalfest 2 at Dingbatz, Kix at B.B. King’s joint, the Dead Kennedys at Webster Hall, and Short Leash at The Grand Victory If none of those are tickling you, hold out for a strong Monday lineup, spearheaded by NOLA hardcore supergroup, Classhole, at The Acheron and Ohio DMers, Dismemberment, at Saint Vitus. Meanwhile, if you’re ready to grace Black Bear Bar with your patronage again, they host Psycroptic and Beyond Creation on Tuesday, while The Gramercy Theatre has everybody’s favorite Black Flag spin-off, Flag, ready to rock.
Wednesday features another trip to Black Bear for Brick By Brick/Apparition, while while Aussie thrash hoons, King Parrot, hit Saint Vitus bar for a fun one. After that, check Backslider at The Acheron, who wrap up Thursday in fitting fashion alongside Radiation Blackbody and The Wayward. Things are bound to be slowing down for ol’ Independence by then, so make sure to get out there and see something while you still have some choices.
WHAT THE FUCK: For the past half decade Brooklyn has been home to one of America’s highest-functioning, most-relevant, and best-behaved metal scenes, but that (our) community was struck a serious blow this week, with the left jab to Saint Vitus Bar’s right hook, The Acheron, taking to Facebook to announce their unexpected—and imminent—end on July 9th. The reasons for the sudden departure are still unclear—though seemingly related to the code-related sanctions that forced Palisades to shutter just last week—but while we await further clarification, check out the venue’s heartfelt farewell right here.
Now, before the corpse paint starts running in full, I just want to offer a personal thanks to Bill Dozer and the whole team over at The Acheron, who were kind enough to give a little-known pet project by the name of This One Goes to Eleven the opportunity to book a few shows over the years, while never asking for much in return (except that the bands please, for Anti-Christ’s sake, share a drum kit). So cheers to the entire Waterbury Street crew. Let’s turn this up so fucking loud we can’t even hear the goodbyes.