IN THE FILTH Nachzehrer are a part of an Allston-based collective that are leading a new charge of black and death metal in Boston.
The physical 212: an Allston room where two drum kits sit opposite each other in malign aspect, occult graffiti covers the walls, empties of every variety of shit beer cover the floor, and a stench of rot permeates everything. Deathgod Messiah vocalist Slarcus is on drums for Blessed Offal, a death-metal act that also features Ross S. formerly of Hirudinea, ex-Subjugator and Blood for Blood bassist Greg D., and Nachzehrer guitarist Amorok. Slarcus announces, "I like my lines like I like my women, thick and white!" The metaphysical 212: an incestuous degenerate Boston collective that is putting out some of the purest black and death metal, unfettered by trends, completely under the radar.
Black thrashers Nachzehrer garnered the most attention over the past year, and with good reason; formed out of the ashes of Unholy Goatfucker, they play no-frills black thrash in the vein of Impiety and Aura Noir. Out of all of 212's bands, they're the road warriors, regularly playing out, with an East Coast tour coming in September with New Hampshire's Martyrvore and a slot on NYC's Torture Fest as soon as the new full length's done. There's an uncompromising approach to their music. Singer Hräsvelg takes aim at prevailing trends in slapping a "post-" tag onto extreme music. "We don't care to fall into the bullshit trends of play-it-safe ambient excuses for black metal that have become all the rage," he says.
Blessed Offal's Ross S. echoes Hräsvelg: "Look at black metal, it was just some raw drunk assholes, it wasn't fashion, shoegaze, or sentences for song titles." And based on what Blessed Offal have released already and the Dreaming Dark Dementia EP, due in September, they're already far ahead of last year's excellent homonymous EP. The tracks (which include a Uriah Heep cover) are still filthy, but it's a darker more sinister hue.
For straight dirt, meanwhile, Deathgod Messiah are happy to oblige. Slarcus cites Sarcófago and other South American proto-black metal bands as the chief inspiration behind DGM, as well as Finnish legends Beherit. The philosophy behind DGM is equally nihilistic, driven by the classic death-worshiping axiom, "Only death is real." Explains Slarcus, "We were just at the Sunset [Grill & Tap, in Allston]; look at those people, do we want that in metal? Fuck no. . . . We're the polar opposite."
The bands of 212 show impressive solidarity, placing integrity over trendhopping to a record deal. More impressive is how distinct each project sounds as they draw from a circle of a dozen musicians. There's none of the sameness that made some Les Légions Noires and Black Twilight Circle releases indistinguishable from one another. Chalk it up to continuity and collaboration. Follow the strands back through drummer Ninkaszi of Deathgod Messiah and you end at USBM pioneers December Wolves. Wolves' Completely Dehumanized (1998, Wicked World Records) was a snarling piece of black/death and industrial that prophesied guitarist Brian Izzi's hybridism in Trap Them.