(Horror Pain Gore Death Productions)
Castrator is an all female death metal “supergroup”; I put the claim in parentheses because the members’ identities are somewhat secret, so we’re left to let the music speak for itself. I think it’s pretty damn clear from the beginning of “Honor Killing” that Castrator’s music speaks quite loudly. This is grade-A old school dirty death metal with some brutal and grind elements. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this is some of the best pure death metal you’re likely to hear in 2015, as each of these four tracks features fantastic riff patterns and passionate displays of male genital mutilation. Was that not obvious from the band’s name? Castrator flips the misogynistic script, swapping in tales of violence against females (a very unfortunate extreme metal staple) for the ultimate in feminist revenge fantasies. Old people cover your ears and gentlemen cover your balls because Castrator doesn’t ask questions; it merely mutilates every dangling thing in sight.
Maybe it’s because I was raised to be a decent human being, but I find this script quite refreshing, since the punk, rock, and metal scenes are ripe with unsafe environments for women; casual sexual abuse is rampant, and calling it out is an apparent “no no”. Castrator serves as a big, giant middle finger to the establishment, raising Hell to the status quo with gargantuan riffs and gloriously brutal vocals. That’s arguably the most accomplished aspect of Castrator. While many are decrying a sort of affirmative action for more females in music just to fill “quotas”, it takes quality women writing great music to shut up everyone. It’s always welcome when a band is this fantastic; it’s even more rewarding when it’s a female band that can prove that talent isn’t limited to those with Y chromosomes. (Nicholas Senior)