In the past few years, black metal has popped in a number of curious places, The Believer, as the undercurrent for folk singer Mt Eerie's newest LP, in movie theaters. With the help of critical proponents, the internet and a really nice photo book of dudes in face paint breathing fire, what was once a gruesome outpost in heavy music has become largely absorbed into the underground canon. Many of the best projects (Leviathan) have been one-man bands, but here in New York, a sort of mini-scene has cropped up. At the helm is Krallice, a group featuring guitar hero Mick Barr, formerly of Orthrelm, and Colin Marston of Behold...the Arctopus, who had a strange moment of infamy when a performance of their band's was sarcastically named (by some guy on YouTube) "the greatest band in the world." The video currently has 880,000 views (and another 100k for the more straight ahead "worst song in the world" with the same video). It's Marston and his polarizing shredding skills who produced the new album by Castevet, a Brooklyn trio who skirt between black metal and hardcore. Marston's influence, and a shared fondness operatic guitar soloing buried in the mix, is often present on Castevet's "Grey Matter." It's the tracks blend of influence that makes it so strong, though, the vocals more reminiscent of late ’90s hardcore than the throat-scrape of black metal. Castevet's hybrid, a more technical cousin of groups like Converge and Neurosis, is present throughout their entire album, Mounds of Ash. It's maybe more of a step forward for hardcore than a sidestep for black metal, but it's worth hearing to know the influence is seeping and the genres are blending. The album out next week on Profound Lore.
Download: Castevet, "Grey Matter"