Unearthing the Metal Underground: The New York City Thrash Scene
Each week in Unearthing the Metal Underground we provide a new batch of bands that are unsigned and are making some noise in the underground. This week I’ll be digging into three New York thrash/traditional metal bands.
The first is Castrofate. This is probably one of the most impressive unsigned bands I’ve come across, in terms of their accomplishments as an unsigned band. They have toured the US, South America, Europe, and opened for a large number of major label acts in the process. Songwriter/singer/guitarist Dan Castro, provides vocals comparable to Chuck Schuldiner. The music is a fast paced melodic thrash attack. The band has released two albums is currently preparing a new album consisting of ten new songs. Songs from their latest album can be heard on their MySpace page. you can also watch various videos of Castrofate on youtube, but I found that the following video is a good example of their sound.
The second band I’d like to mention is Combat, who are simply slayer on steroids, or maybe crack, not quite sure. Having formed in 1984 they’ve been through a lot. They changed their name to Napalm when they got signed to Combat Records eventually signing to SPV. That was back in the 80s though. Now the band reformed under their original name and released their debut album, “Ruination,” on their own label, That’s Heavy Records. The best descriptors for this band is fast and loud. Their CD distorts like “Death Magnetic,” but in Combat’s case, it actually works for them. They are currently recording a new CD. Check out their music at their MySpace page.
Lastly, I’d like to feature the Queens based band Martyrd. This young band continues to impress me. I originally saw this band open for Sonata Arctica and most recently for Cage. They’ve improved significantly. Their studio recordings needs some work, but holy hell they can put on a good show. The singer, Aaron Pollard, has developed some impressive vocal technique. He’s got the James Hetfield rasp down, the occasional Rob Halford screams, and a unique tone for clean singing. The guitarists, Dan Agapitos and Mike Stylianou, write interesting and driving riffs, but they lack complexity. Their solos aren’t much better as there is nothing too impressive there, but then again, their debut was only released about a year ago. I can assure you that what this band lacks in musicianship they make up two fold in their live show. The band has great potential and their next release will hopefully show this. Check out some of their songs on their MySpace page.
Feel free to comment on these bands and if you’d like to see any band in this column.
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