Sunday, November 23, 2014

Deafheaven & Lesbian West Coast Tour: Dec 2 - 4 | Pallbearer & Sólstafir West Coast Tour: Dec 2 - 19

The heavy rock end of the post-Black Metal spectrum continues to grow as a genre, encompassing melodicism and atmospheres lifted from Shoegaze and Spacerock punctuated by blistering eruptions of Metal drumming, riffs and noise. A sound reflected in the wallop of Oathbreaker, the fuzzed-out blast of Nothing and their fusion of metal drumming and Spacerock blur as heard on the "Guilty of Everything" album of last year, and in the more Mathrock angularity of their related offshoot, Whirr. On the fringe of the genre, taking the sound down more melancholy paths, there's the crushing Shoegaze blues of True Widow. With labels like Hydrahead, Ipecac, Deathwish, Sargent House, Profound Lore and Relapse playing host as purveyors of all things heavy. What may be the epitome of this sound and where it's currently headed can be heard in the dynamic solar magma of guitar riffs and rhythm-play of Deafheaven. Their excellent "Sunbather" album even garnering attention on NPR, where Lars Gotrich spoke of it's blistering sound, "Viking's Choice: Enter Deafheaven's Exhilarating 'Dream House'". Their live shows theatrical in extremis, and made affordable to all as Redbull Sound Select will be hosting Seattle's performance at Chop Suey on the west coast leg or their tour with Gloom-metalers Lesbian. Along with Krallice and Agalloch, Pallbearer represent the darker, heavier school of Blackness issuing from the Profound Lore label, a branch of a growing sound and scene that Brad Sanders detailed in his piece for The Quietus, "Untrue And International: Living in a Post-Black Metal World". The article acting as an excellent opening unto the dark passageways of this genre's multitude of representations. Pallbearer and their Icelandic tour-mates Sólstafir only a fringe of this global subgenre, theirs a sound as "Blessed By The Sabbath: Pallbearer Interviewed" and inclusive of everything from Neurosis to (as you'd expect) Black Sabbath in their approach to psych-leaning Metal. These two December shows representative of the fertile territory opening in the wake of Scandinavian Metal this past decade.