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Live Report: Necrot, Skullshitter, Syndromes & Pyrolatrous @ Saint Vitus

Bay Area dark punkers Necrot arrive at extreme metal like some VHS dream. There’s much chroma to their old school death metal attack. Live, it’s spinning and pure, culling from resources like hardcore, Venom, and the ever-perpetual 1980s. Necrot are sneakily arty in their approach, showing appreciation for tradition and powering through compositions with honesty. The trio was in its shadowy-triangle form Sunday night, starting their East Coast tour off with support from some of NYC’s grimiest underground acts.

Syndromes opened up, connecting with knuckle punk-metal, stretching things out via heaves of pain and riffs. The band sounds fast but is actually not, making strides with more of a sludge and extended layers of feedback approach. Their speed gives the impression of something really whizzing, but their game is swampy, and it’s a nice take. There’s noise rock elements and some death metal too, a nice opener for a chilly Sunday night in the Big Apple.

Then, a NYC blackened death metal band that sounds very much like a NYC blackened death metal band: Pyrolatrous. Lev Weinstein of Krallice, Woe, Geryon, Anicon, and every other experimental metal band in NYC is the drummer, and the quartet takes cues from all those bands. There’s progression, second wave black metal, technical virtuosity, and other fine modes that make their songs buck and hum. The challenge is always to keep the listener engaged to make sure those sweet hooks come across. Pyrolatrous have a lot of them, making some excellent twists and turns while in route. Weinstein was a robotic monster behind the set, and lead singer and guitarist Nicholas Palmirotto a whirlwind of order and structure, balancing a fluxing sound birthed in the hellish lands of Greenpoint.

Skullshitter is always stellar. The trio has the unique ability to laugh and love while grinding out doom and psychedelic extreme metal that sounds amazingly like it’s made of said emotions. An evil made of pure heart. The band raged through a set grounded in punk and grindcore, showcasing extreme metal through an anarchic lens: the effect is moving, literally; Skullshitter is a band that gets you turning and stomping, if even just a little. For old guys like me, the mini-caveman dance is nice way to groove. If a hint of a pit should brew forth, just make for the far corners in the back. Save yourself for christ’s sake. Luckily, no pit spawned, but the whole place was in head banging mode, loving each Skullshitter jaunt very much.

Necrot closed things out David Lynch style. The band chiseled together a throwback set that actually cared about being natural and dark, while all the while, pulsing with a completely futuristic hue. Life’s a shit storm lately, and a band like Necrot takes that shit and spins in up in shadowy punk rock and wings it. Really, that’s a pretty awesome way to go. The band played a set that would have been perfect for some post-urban nightmare Lynch film. Actually, I hope the two forces can meet up at some point. Imagine Necrot closing out one of those new Twin Peaks episodes. I can. Sunday night turned out alright actually.

photos by Christopher Harrington

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