And so the countdown to Halloween begins. Next week we will bring you all the corresponding insanity—both GWAR and Skeletonwitch will be in Brooklyn, for one—but for now here’s a little something to whet that everlasting bloodthirst.
WHAT TO HEAR: This week arrives with two legitimate AOTY candidates dragging along behind it, beginning with my preferred dosage—Anagnorisis‘s confessional black metal opus, Perpeteia (Vendetta Records). A sonic autobiography of frontman Zachary Kerr’s life, Perpeteia conveys its intimate narrative via a combination of sweeping Appalachian black metal melody, burly axe-swinging riffs, and spoken-word vignettes that toe metal’s well-trodden line between gut-wrenching and absurd. If you’re reading between the lines, you’ve probably picked up that there’s a lot going on with this one. And you’re right. Anchoring everything, however, is a commitment to songcraft that keeps everything from shearing off into a shrapnel heap while simultaneously subverting the whole we-wrote-four-songs-and-a-bunch-of-interludes-and-called-it-an-LP thing. If you’re even mildly interested in this sort of stuff—and since you’re here, I’m once again comfortable with that assumption—then this one, streaming at Noisey, is a must-hear.
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Next up are 2016 doom darlings, Khemmis, who can be found sharpening the blades of their second LP, Hunted (20 Buck Spin), ahead of its release today. A crushing update of the template they set forth on 2014’s Absolution, Hunted finds the band adopting a stately, Pallbearer-esque swagger, which fits their cauldron-bubble guitar tones like a red velvet glove. Of a slightly baggier tailoring, however, are Khemmis’s newly minted mid-tempo grooves, which turn to mush under the weight of slack-tuned guitars and the band’s usual lumbering pace. Nonetheless, if the siren song of classic doom is calling your name this week, you won’t do better than Noisey’s stream.
After that, turn your attention to the north, where Auroch‘s Canadian death metal battalion have amassed along the border in anticipation of their new LP, Mute Books (Profound Lore). These guys have had a busy 2016, releasing a split with Mitochondrion (with whom they share some bodies) and making several appearances at Migration Fest, but one listen to Mute Books and it becomes clear that their schedule hasn’t slowed them down one bit. Produced by Arthur Rizk—fresh off Sumerlands duty—this one is a riff-rife catacomb-crumbling rager that needs a shitty mood and some serious volume to be truly appreciated. If you have both of those lined up, get over to Noisey for the full stream.
In case Anagnorisis only your piqued your frothing black metal hunger, however, I also highly suggest checking out fellow Appalachian outfit Maugrim and their new one, Primordial Venom (independent). In addition to being an depressive, unsettling masterpiece, Primordial Venom is also self-released, and we support that kind of stuff around here, so check it out via Invisible Oranges. Once you’re done there, take the sonic trek to the Land of Fire and Ice, where Endalok just dropped their new frost-choked EP, Englaryk (Signal Rex). Between that and Toska earlier this year, Iceland have produced some exceptional black metal this year, so make sure to give it a listen.
Finally, for dessert indulge in Wardruna‘s latest whisper on the wind, Runaljod – Ragnarok (ByNorse), a dark, ambient reimagining of Norwegian folk for the post-modern world. Take your pick and dig in.
WHAT TO SEE: On the show front, Friday starts strong with Satan at Webster Hall, The Brass at Aviv, and the second sold-out Daughters show in as many nights at Saint Vitus. After that Saturday welcomes Thy Antichrist to the Paper Box, Dehumanized to Shakers Pub, Attila to the Starland Ballroom, Red Hare to Vitus, Dream Theater to the Capitol Theatre, and finally Department of Corrections/Die Choking/Pyrrhon, who carry ABC No Rio’s Hardcore Matinee torch to the Silent Barn. Still with me? Great, then check out big-name Ridgewood transplants Gojira at T5, hair metal bullet boys L.A. Guns at Dingbatz, Goes Cube at Saint Vitus, and Grim Reaper in Webster’s mid-sized Marlin Room, all of which go down Sunday night.
Monday, meanwhile, rears its ugly head with shows like Failure Anthem at Webster Hall, before Tuesday rolls around with a Car Bomb record release bash at Vitus, another spoken-word Henry Rollins thing at Gramercy Theatre, and Trenchgrinder‘s Brooklyn goodbye at Aviv. If you’re not feeling any of those, then perhaps Antibodies at Silent Barn or Culture Abuse/Neaux‘s heavy-gaze-wave-core scene-and-be-scene at Vitus will do the trick.
Finally Thursday sends us off right with Embrace Agony at Leftfield, Art of Anarchy at the Gramercy Theatre, and a seriously tough either/or from Helmet-indebted Baltimore HC unit Turnstile—who hit Sunnyvale with Angel Du$t—and Skeletonwitch, who enter the bonezone over at Vitus alongside Iron Reagan and Oathbreaker, whose recent LP, Rheia, is getting all sorts of major media gush at the moment. As always, no matter what you see, it sure beats staying in and staring at the walls.
WHAT THE FUCK: Forgive me for sleeping on this one last week, but if you’ve yet to check out Encirclement, the punishing debut record from Brooklyn’s own Hollow Senses, rectify that and promptly. The lab spawn of Mountains God’s Nikhil Kamineni (featuring vocal contributions from former members of Serpentine Path and Archon), Encirclement offers not only an analysis of what he calls our “nightmarish technological dystopia”, but also the sonic equivalent of an MK Ultra experiment—a slow-building, subtlety abrasive marriage of doom, drone, and noise that stands as one of Brooklyn’s most uncompromising “extreme” records in recent memory. Thrown on the straight jacket, swallow the tab, and check it out over at Noisey.
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