An NYC metal sampler

Take an aural tour of NYC metal, past and present.

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“Numina” by Oneirogen (2013)

Emblematic of today’s breed of NYC composer, Mario Diaz de Leon maintains equally strong ties to the noise, metal and contemporary-classical spheres. Like the work of Sunn O))) and other groundbreaking acts, the shimmering, epic soundscapes De Leon issues under the Oneirogen moniker capture the sensation of metal while jettisoning many of its conventional strategies.

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“River Runs Red” by Life of Agony (1993)

On their classic 1993 debut, River Runs Red, these hometown heroes bridged the gap between tough-guy New York hardcore and brooding, MTV-friendly alt rock. (The band has petered out in recent years, but vocalist Keith Mina Caputo—who announced his male-to-female transition in 2011—and drummer Sal Abruscato remain active, with a solo project and the grungy A Pale Horse Named Death, respectively.)

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“Brainwashed” by Nuclear Assault (1988)

After cofounding Anthrax and before cofounding Brutal Truth (see above for both), Queens-born underground lifer Dan Lilker did time in this maniacally intense thrash act, whose paranoid, nonconformist anthems perfectly encapsulated the malaise of their era.

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“Shades of Grey” by Biohazard (1992)

Biohazard was the band that translated the streetwise rumble of ’80s New York hardcore into a polished, catchy format fit for mass consumption. Bassist Evan Seinfeld (a former Oz actor and current porn mogul) and guitarist Billy Graziadei made up one of NYC’s all-time-great vocal tag teams.

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“Iiiiiiii” by Krallice (2012)

We close our mixtape with Krallice, the band that best represents state-of-the-art NYC metal, circa right this minute. Originally a collaboration between forward-thinking virtuosos Colin Marston (also of Behold… the Arctopus, Dysrhythmia and Gorguts) and Mick Barr (the turbo-speed picker from Orthrelm and, more recently, various cutting-edge improv units), the band has grown into one of the tightest and most progressive outfits on the local scene, as this typically breathtaking epic attests.

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