Countdown to MDF X: (52) Castevet

Friday, May 25 at the Maryland Deathfest begins with Castevet, a post-harcore, black metal outfit from New York City. Like several of their Big Apple black metal peers, Castevet relies on shrill vocals against a backdop of wall-of-distorted-guitars sound propelled by a crashing backbeat and nearly inaudible bass. Their two recordings, Mound of Ash (2010) and Stones/Salts (2009) both feature those black-and-white Instagrammy looking bleak landscapes on their covers.

Does it sound like I hate Castevet? No, not at all. But I had to set my personal prejudices aside to wade past the hipster trappings to listen to what I think is a far superior alternative to much of what is being foisted upon the late-comer black metal crowd. Aside from the vocals, Castevet reminds me of EVERYTHING I love about some of the most recent Enslaved recordings. Complex rhythms, atonal melodies, musical surprises — Castevet has a lot to offer. I hope lots of people are there early enough on Friday to see them play.

Launched in 2006, Castevet includes founding members Ian Jacyszyn on drums, Andrew Hock on vocals and guitars and Nicholas McMaster, formerly of Krallice, on bass and who joined this year. You can hear studio recordings of Castevet on their BandCamp page.  I have listened to the offerings there many times since finding this band. (There is an indie-punk band with this same name so beware; often plays the wrong band on the MDFX radio station.)

A band’s live performance is important, so that is what you will find in the video below, recorded in 2010. “Grey Matter” is especially good for people who like Enslaved’s later stuff.

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