Conor Oberst’s Mr. Hyde.
Local honky-tonk pop duo.
At SXSW in March, the Waterboys duo of Mike Scott and Steve Wickham electrified St. David’s Church like no one before or since. Now touring with a full band, they’re likely to cause untold damages with songs that meld classic Celtic stirrings with rock attitude that verges on punk. It’s their first North American tour in six years, so expect lots of classics with a dash of tunes from the new An Appointment with Mr. Yeats, not nearly as stuffy as it sounds.– Jim Caligiuri
Halloween withers in the face of this Swedish metal trifecta.
After all, silver screen icepick Let the Right One In got right down to the staked heart of the matter: Sweden’s winters are vampire weather. North of the capital, Stockholm – inland, but still off the coast of the Baltic Sea – Uppsala recently begat the unholiest of unions. Black metal blood bath Watain and Mercyful Fate spawn In Solitude summoned Satan from the same rehearsal space.
For the latter youth, two previous platters of Iron Maiden-like possession – 2008’s In Solitude and 2011’s The World. The Flesh. The Devil. – yielded a hair-raising new Sister. Package designed, in part, by Erik Danielsson and guesting fellow Watain six-stringer Pelle Forsberg, In Solitude’s third disc spins 180 degrees from both bands’ raw past. Anointing a demon bride best glimpsed in The Exorcist outro to “Lavender,” Sister hisses gothic folk more so than any conventional metallurgy.
Their mentors, meanwhile, unleashed The Wild Hunt, the height of controversy for a band bathing its live desecrations in genuine goat’s blood. Nordic dulcimer routinely etches pagan madness into Scandinavian thrash, but thatching nearly nine-minute “ballad” “They Rode On” with accordion and fiddle all but hemorrhaged Watain disciples despite this fifth full-length branding the group as black metal’s most ambitious prophets. What The Wild Hunt misses in 2010 predecessor Lawless Darkness’ rabid, unhinged rototill it usurps in black mass dread.
Due west of Uppsala, death metal undercard Tribulation – from Arvika, near Norway – might just be the usurpers of this bill. New millennial thrash known as Hazard, the feral foursome rose again as Tribulation for 2009 debut LP, The Horror, a slice of Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness straight out of Apocalypse Now. Eyes-white torque, it’s somehow bested by The Formulas of Death, an epic art-metal death disc for all eternity.
Welcome to ... Fright Night!– Raoul Hernandez