Excerpted from the book Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, published by It Books and available May 14
|Biohazard's Evan Seinfeld|
New York is a music mecca—the Brill Building, Broadway, street performers, subway buskers, the Metropolitan opera—but it's not known for its abundance of successful metal bands.
Sure, the city has produced some heralded heavy luminaries, including KISS, Anthrax, and Helmet. But for a volatile period from the mid-'80s to the early '90s, a batch of passionate, aggressive, and sometimes violent bands terrorized the Lower East Side, even turning legendary new wave/punk club CBGB into a metal mainstay on weekend afternoons in the '80s. The phenom was all the more surprising because back in the day, if a New York punk fan lined up for a Slayer show, or a headbanger dared enter the moshpit at a GBH gig, fists were likely to fly. Never mind the sonic similarities between the Sex Pistols and Anthrax—the cultural divide between metal and punk was too great for any band to breach at the time. Then a few bands brave enough to merge the two styles finally surfaced. In keeping with the city's gritty rep, they often featured thuggish musicians who were equally adept at swinging a beer bottle as slinging a guitar.More »