Musings on metal and its evolving demography


Behemoth, Goatwhore, 1349, Inquisition & Black Crown Initiate @ Irving Plaza on 4/19/14

Just got in from seeing Behemoth @ Irving Plaza with the wife. Incredible set by them – they were stronger than all of the other acts that played tonight. Their sense of dynamics and compositional skill are really evident in their live songs. This was our first time seeing everyone on the bill.

I’m not the biggest black metal fan. I can tolerate some of it, but in general, I’m more drawn to death metal. Behemoth’s set really appealed to me though, as did parts of everyone else’s. Goatwhore and Inquisition were actually quite thrashy (although definitely blackened), and 1349 were primarily black metal. I think we missed Black Crown Initiate‘s set. We arrived a bit late to the show – it might have been during Inquisition’s set. Since I’m only familiar with Behemoth and Goatwhore, I can’t speak to who played what, or what order the other bands were in.

My camera didn’t do a great job of capturing images of the show. The lightshow really messed with the pictures, so I’ll check them out in the daylight hours and see if any are passable enough to add to this post. In the meantime, here are two recent videos from Behemoth – from the last two albums. They opened their set with Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel and later played Ov Fire and the Void:



Godflesh, Cut Hands & Pharmakon @ Irving Plaza on 4/10/14

Last night, wifey took me out for a night of industrial/noise lovin’ at Irving Plaza. She had gotten us tickets for Godflesh last year, but the tour got cancelled due to visa problems. That all got straightened out and we were able to see them live for the 2nd time – our first was at the 2013 Maryland Deathfest. They honored the tickets that were purchased last year too!

The show was great. Irving isn’t huge, so its just personal enough – and we were right up at the stage, so everything was about 5 feet away – which is really helpful when you get to my age.

The opener was an artist called Pharmakon. Its a solo project from a chick named Margaret Chardiet, from NYC. We both loved her sound. She surrounded herself with a bunch of electronic devices that I’m not familiar with and did a bunch of screaming and beating out rhythms with her hands and later with drumsticks into what looked like an electronic washboard. She looped the sounds, tinkered with gadgets and erupted with agonized, screamed vocals that strongly remind me of Michael Gira from Swans (which is a good thing). She’s someone to follow. It was so much like early Godflesh crossed with early Swans. Her set was around 20-25 minutes.



Cut Hands

Cut Hands

Next up came Cut Hands – another solo-act from an older British guy named William Bennett. The sound was electronic/noise coupled with African beats. The visual show going on behind was mesmerizing. I really dug his percussive pieces a lot – repetitive tribal rhythm built with layered percussive sounds. If he’s back in NY again, I’m definitely going to try to see him. I think his set was around an hour.

I’ll probably write a little more about these two acts later, when I’ve investigated them more. But, on to Godflesh.



I was born in Manhattan in 1975. My family moved to Yonkers, just north of the Bronx, in 1978. Growing up, we were the only non-whites in our neighborhood. The majority of the residents here were Italian and Polish.

I never thought much about race until I was almost a teenager. I’d always heard things said about us – being Indian – and other minorities in general, but it really didn’t bother me. We kept to ourselves, had few friends and lived generally quiet lives.

Sometimes, people would threaten me or my siblings in public. They didn’t tend to do that when my parents were around. One Halloween, when I was around 11, someone used shaving cream to write “Go Home Gandhi” on our van in giant letters that took up a whole side.