To mark the occasion of this most blasphemous of holidays, B+B spoke with David Castillo, the ordained organizer of diabolical sacraments at Greenpoint’s darkest metal dungeon. He’s also simply known as the Event Director of Saint Vitus.
Castillo shared with us his unholy esoteric wisdom, bestowing upon us his list of New York City’s “darkest, bleakest bands.” As the witching hour draws nigh, B+B beckons you to call forth the heinous powers of YouTube and BandCamp to blast some of the vile rhapsodies found below.
“If you want to listen to some truly fucking harrowing, nasty, noisy music, there’s this band Gnaw.”
Released October 15, the newest album from the gnarly five-piece noise metal outfit, Horrible Chamber, “mixes power electronic, noise, and metal.” The result, says Castillo, is “cinematic” and “absolutely crushing.”
The granular feedback on “Water Rite” overlays haunting, doom-riddled guitar loops backed by the wails of some seriously tortured soul trapped in a digitized tunnel of horrors.
Industrial doom metal band Batillus are purveyors of what Castillo calls “bone crushing” and “almost martial” music that feels like the soundtrack to the aftermath of “some major catastrophic event.”
“Concrete,” a track from their album Concrete Sustain, released in April, invokes militaristic drumming that marches a curious dude right into some depraved Satanic ritual below the city streets in the band’s debut video.
These guys are more along the lines of what Castillo called a “nasty black metal band.” Mutilation Rites puts out “some of the most brutal” music of this genre that Brooklyn has to offer, according to Castillo. This band adeptly channels both the “fast and abrasive” elements of punk and hardcore, and “more contemplative, down moments.”
Indeed, only a truly filthy individual could beget the Burzum-like shrieks found on their track “Realms of Dementia.” According to the band, their influences include depression, suicide, and vice.
Another gnarly black metal outfit from NYC, Black Anvil shreds supreme — though they’re evolving to be more of a heavy metal affair, according to Castillo. The vocals of Paul Delaney are the driving force of this band, which Castillo described as “screams that are pulling you down into the fucking abyss.”
This summer, the band entered the studio to record their follow-up to Triumvarate, released in 2010 by Relapse Records. Their latest effort promises to be darker than the last, an expression of the band’s “personal voyage towards demise.”
In the words of Castillo — “fuckin’ awesome.”
Last up is the wildcard noise project, Theologian. “Lee makes amazing noisy compositions that are just brutal,” said Castillo. He described Theologian’s sound as incorporating “a wall of noise, melody, shouts, and a little bit of live drums.”
Their live drone set looks and sounds to be one of the headier experiences offered up by this list.
Of course this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the vast number of talented and truly evil bands lurking around New York. “Narrowing it down is a little bit daunting,” admitted Castillo. If you’re into this sort of thing, though, be sure to check out Saint Vitus tonight for their Halloween show with guests from Portland the Body and a double-feature at midnight with locally produced horror music videos.
feature photo: Black Anvil, Relapse Records.