Arts Desk

Tonight: Cacophonous Doom and Corpse Stink at St. Stephen’s

What better way to kick off a summer weekend than with a heady mix of post-rock, ephemeral doom, brutal crust metal, and, um, a 14-woman vocal choir?

Tonight's show at St. Stephen's Church is far from sweetness and light. Headlining the affair is Ilsa, a local metal-laced crust punk act (or, conversely, crust-punk infused metal band). The five-piece recently dropped a 12-inch EP on Contagion, a split with Finland doom-slayers Hooded Menace. Their lone song on the release is titled "Titan Arum," the name of a massive flower that emits a smell akin to a rotting animal. It's an apt choice for a band that delivers swaths of brutal, blood-curdling noise, and happens to be named after a '70s Nazi sexploitation film called Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS.

A couple Providence acts hit the stage before Ilsa: The Body is an epic doom duo and Assembly of Light Choir is a loose ensemble of female vocalists with a headcount in the 20s (but only 14 singers have been on tap for their current trek). The Body got some assistance from the choir on its critically acclaimed 2010 album, All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood, and the two musical, um, bodies are in the middle of a joint tour that's often collaborative.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmPglj-5i5w

Also on the bill is an introspective post-rock band from North Carolina called Braveyoung. There's been a flood of post-rock bands on the scene lately, making it hard to distinguish one band's fragile riffs from the next. But perhaps the best introduction to Braveyoung's music is a New York Times video about a young couple dealing with the painful reality of living with an terminal illness, "Love Endures Even Cancer." Braveyoung's classically imbued music soundtracks the heartbreaking story with moving grace.

Ilsa, The Body, Assembly of Light Choir, and Braveyoung perform at 7 p.m. at St. Stephen's Church, 1525 Newton St. NW. $10. All ages.

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