This 2 disc set is an anthology of one of New York's most misunderstood underground bands of the the mid 80's. If Hellhammer and D.R.I. had a bastard son, that demon spawn would have been none other than N.Y.C Mayhem.
These tracks are as rough as they come, no nice production value here folks; sometimes sounding like a bootleg recording from an ancient tape deck stuffed in the sock of a drunken mosher!
There isn't much we know about these guys, only what has been passed down through the generations to become underground mythos. What we do know, is that these guys weren't much like anything at the time, you sometimes hear people familiar with the New York City underground say they were what inspired S.O.D.; with tracks like "Wardogs" and "Taken By Storm" we hear a trio who are playing their instruments at lightning speed with a metal style that was, and still is, about as brutal as they come.
As, I listen to this, I can't but help to wonder what the pit was like, were they one of those rare instances at that time, where headbangers and punx came together to create, if you excuse the pun, mayhem without intentional, all out bloodshed?
Of interesting note, one of the members Craig Setari, went on to become a member of the legendary HC outfit the Cro-mags as well as Sick Of It All.
You have a strange blend of metal and punk here that goes far beyond the genres of crossover or crust..."Necropolis, has the riffing, and feel of extreme death metal, with crunchy guitars and blast beats leading to a punk style rampage of shouted words.
The guitar intro to "Deathwish" is pure metal, crunchy and hard...but again, here comes the vocals which testify to an undeniable punk influence...yet, there is a tinge of the Cookie Monster growls to them and, at times, the guitar breaks into some sick, twangy leads...which makes one speculate whether or not some metal historians should rewrite their history books to include N.Y.C Mayhem as one of the pioneers of death metal!
The fury of this offering, sounds like it could have been recorded in the sweat soaked underground clubs of today, music which was born from the thrash and hardcore influences of yesteryear; yet, it isn't, most of these tracks were recorded around 28 years ago! It really testifies to how ground breaking N.Y.C Mayhem was.
If you're into the underground, the fabled demo sharing of the early thrash years, and finding the rarest of metal and HC then this two disc set is the one you have to add to your collection.
Aggressive with a sense of the impromptu, raw and visceral, each of these tracks are a time machine, into a world where the outer edges of musical expression came crashing into the void to produce a thunderous clap of gritty noise which could, and still does, only appeal to the truly hardcore...you certainly have to have a deep understanding of what metal and punk is about in order to fully appreciate where N.Y.C Mayhem was going with their explosive bursts of thrash insanity so long ago. I couldn't even imagine what these songs would be like if they had been professionally recorded...
To put it simply, it is a kick ass album, you should really check out the complete track listing and have a listen to some epic tracks at Hells Headbangers.