Unholy Rites – NYC Underground. Show Review, 10.8.10.

Welcome to Unholy Rites, your descent into the deepest strata of the New York City underground. From the fury of Suffocation and Immolation to the sheer grind (de)compositions of Brutal Truth and Malignancy, New York upholds a legacy of crucial metal outputs; so, it was after getting appalled at the lack of support that exists for bands involved with the scene (I’m talking bands playing to empty venues; criminally underrated acts going home with subzero morales and zero dollars in their pockets), I decided it was time to help ‘em out. Here, in weekly installments of show reviews, band interviews, show updates, and album reviews, I’ll embark my metal duties via conducting you into the cradle of blisteringly fierce, unabashed metal circuit that is the New York underground. In short, you’ll get a one-stop guide on local goods – shows, bands – while proliferating the metal cause.

If you are in a local band, looking to get showcased, or would like to contribute to Unholy Rites (through photography, music, or the written word), do contact me via email (navjotks@gmail.com), or approach me at a local gig!

As the Sleepy Hollow-based four piece NO REMISSION opened their Rocker Room-gig with the anti-consumerist “Carbon Copy” (through to the voraciously contra-organized religion calls of “This Plague Will Kill Us All”), it became increasingly clear that this group packs a pair to make music that (god forbid) carries a bit of that old thing that’s been battered, buried, and long since nearly tabooed: melody. Between the catchy riffs, bass hooks of “The Hunter” and the odd-time driven “Nine,” there is a presence that NO REMISSION brought to the venue – keeping all eyes glued to a stage now turbulently shoved out of its disco-décor status quo into a politically charged hell-zone of fury and release. Well-received as they were, new listeners teemed into the venue from the cigarette, ash, and isolation-laden streets of downtown NewRoc; and it was something incredible to see a band that could induce a starry-eyed captivation in a local crowd of headbangers, so too the ESPN-style, riff-adoring bromancers lining the bar stools as guitarists duo’ed a classic thrash meets Schuldiner solo in “Carbon Copy.” That, and the encore affectionately demanded and humbly observed added to a sinking feeling that this is a band headed for bigger things, destined to get there with the fueling fire of their fiercely loyal fanbase, and a stage presence that commands you to drop your “Prada shoes,” desire to classify, and get in the pit.

There’s something oddly poetic about a band that switches off, during their set, between obscene exchanges of pirate-deep swears and metal love with their fans in espanol, and such innocently delivered intros as, “this song is about crystaaaal meth!” Amidst the 2-3 minute long pockets of energetic, gory tunes of Yonkers-based TRES MUERTOZ’s set, we got a taste of what it’s like to be in the company of one big, thrashin’ family (quite literally, with vocalist Matthew’s affectionate shot-out to his Mama for her presence at the show). On the topic of love, to all ladies and boys in the crowd in need of their poetry fix, the band made sure to dish out a “love song,” which lasted for a short but “sweet” sub-10 second song that consisted of three words (which I’d say most dudes in attendance could appreciate). Though the tunes are simply written, hilarious in their subject matter and delivery (you could find me chuckling in the corner: camera in right hand, invisible orange in the left), Tres Muertoz demonstrated metal spirit that’s tangibly fierce and damn refreshing –having drawn in a generous crowd (no small feat when metalheads, at local gigs, do congregate to the bar as moths do to light), all whom kept their horns up and headbanging throes in motion from the very first song till the last. With the brevity and fervor of early thrash bands that woke up easy listeners with their in-your-face, fast-paced charm, Tres Muertoz is bringing it back to the forefront and firing through the outfields.

Last but certainly not the least in surprises (sound, sick ‘fros, and sweet riffage considered) of the night was Bronx-based LOST LEGACY, setting a different tone with tunes that dabbled in dissection between the melodic heights of power metal and fast-paced thrash style. Though I more than not find myself deterred by power metal tunes, I found myself pleasantly sweeped into the energy of the band’s palpably Maiden-influenced vocals, pounding drum beats, and synths flooding in the solo-heavy, satisfyingly epic riffage of “For the Children.” Though the riffs did, at times, feel repetitive (and the synths, providing that spark for a cheesy grin on your face), they were counteracted by impressive solo-work, which made it hard not to take note of a particularly intense aura surrounding lead guitarist Scotty (for whom I later found out, was his last Lost Legacy gig). Despite the riveted-tight focus of this visibly proficient pack o’metal dudes, their attachment to their fans was clear; turning, frequently, to the audience to make eye contact, give the affectionate nod of unholy approval, and signal ‘em to keep those horns high. Perhaps the most energetic and commanding song performed – “Towers” – showcased a mutual love between the headbanging crowd, of which many drunkenly sang proudly the lyrics back to vocalist David Franco. Upon first glance, Lost Legacy appeared a strange assemblage of personalities, who nonetheless succeeded in drawing in listeners of all musical tastes, for a short taste of all things symphonic and thrashin.’

UPCOMING NO REMISSION SHOW-DATES
November 13, 2010: Pickwick Pub – Poughkeepsie, New York
December 4, 2010: Webster Hall – Manhattan, New York

UPCOMING TRES MUERTOZ SHOW-DATES
November 13, 2010: Allentown, PA

-Navjot Kaur






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