Mutilation Rites Keep to the DIY Side of the New York Underground
New York City and Brooklyn in particular have rapidly developed into a metal mecca of a certain kind — ‘hipster metal’ dominates, while the underground is left to its own diabolical devices. The N.Y.C. black metal scene is full of bands that embrace technicality, progression and more often than not, pretension. Mutilation Rites are the polar opposite of all that. Their raw, primitive slabs of blackened fury are buried by grime and crust punk, serving as a perfect soundtrack to life in an ugly, heartless town like Gotham.
“We all live here in N.Y.C. but are from different places, and those origins bring different inspirations and influences. Justin is from Boston, Fran Miami via Costa Rica and Jose is from Peru. I am from the Kansas City area originally. I think our style is a product of that combination,” Michael Dimmitt said.
Lyrically, Jose does get inspiration from living in the city. New York is the mouth of the beast, where so much suffering has happened. It’s a powerful city, axis of new world orders. “We are in the eye of Evil and bright forces. Mutilation Rites is a portrait of these forces put it into a metal context of horror and despair and we do not have an agenda that other so-called pretentious bands may have, nor are we trying to be the antithesis of anything. We just write music to create an atmosphere that mirrors how we feel about the ugly world around us,” Dimmitt states firmly.
As is the case in many major cities, the metal scene seems to be split in a way, between the dirty, DIY underground and the above-ground, Pitchfork-approved hipster contingent. So how does it look from the inside?
Dimmitt explains, “I’m not really familiar with the hipster metal side of the N.Y.C. metal scene. We are definitely on the DIY side of things. I have yet to really see too much solidarity in the metal scene in New York. You do have weekly and monthly metal nights happening. Curran Reynolds from Wetnurse does his Precious Metal Mondays at Lit Lounge and Luis Alvarenga from Tones of Death does monthly events at Fontana’s, which definitely helps to keep it alive, but I don’t really see bands going out of their way to help each other out.
“Building a following in New York and playing the same venues over and over again isn’t our focus. We have a larger goal in mind. After one local show, we ventured down to Richmond to Heart of Winter Fest. Now, after four shows under our belts, we are doing a 12-day DIY tour with our friends Mortals later this month. Some metal bands I will mention that do kick ass from around here are Concussion, Mutant Supremacy, Krallice, Tournament, Dysrhythmia, Death Mold and Black Anvil. Of course there are old school bands like Demolition Hammer, Caligula and Attila that we can be proud of.”