Metal From My ‘Hood: Notas Fantasmas

Notas Fantasmas

So, I was in the post office the other day to overnight some documents. I live in New Jersey, and my post office is in Union City. The place is always fucking packed and it usually takes 25 years to just get stamps. I think this post office must employ the dimwitted. Like, if you’re a dimwit at some other post office, they send you to this one, so they know where all the dimwits are at any given time.

I walked in and the first thing I see is a kid with a Mayhem shirt. Tall kid. I motioned to him, and said “Nice shirt.” Whenever I see someone in a metal shirt, I say what’s up. That’s the thing I love about metal — the camaraderie. That feeling that we all belong to an elite club. We get it. He nodded at me, and I got in line. I guess the person he was with was in line before me. My buddy The Goat (that’s two stories in a row I’ve mentioned him) called me and my Watain ringtone went off.

Not sure if he heard it, but if he did, clearly, he now knew that I wasn’t just being a dick. I meant it when I said “Nice shirt.” I am one of the dude’s that gets it. I made my way up to the counter, and I honestly forgot about dude. I sent my package off and as I was walking out, there he was. He stopped me to give me a copy of his band Notas Fantasmas’ CD Sacrifice to Lucifer with the simple instructions “Check it out.” I wrote down my Web site for him, and gave similar instructions and we went on our merry way.

I guess the band’s name means Ghost Notes. I looked over the CD and its actually well-made. I was impressed. Then I read some of the song titles. “Eternal Blasphemy?” Sounds right. “Becoming the Sinner?” Yep, black metal. “Fuck Your Christian Blessings?” Bingo!!!

The cover of Sacrifice to Lucifer

I listened to the thing today and — I gotta say — I wasn’t expecting much because people give me CDs all the time and tell me to listen up. And most of its shit. And while Notas Fantasmas could benefit from the guidance of a producer and losing the robotic voice employed on what would have otherwise been a fucking insane track — “The Last Judgment” — I’d say these dudes could actually create something Metal Blade would put out, or Southern Lord. Because as it is, the nine-song disc is pretty impressive. And downright evil.

Who knew? Union City, New Jersey’s home to a black metal band. Small fucking world, people.

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About Chris Harris

Chris Harris is an internationally-published music journalist and writer whose work has appeared on the pages of Rolling Stone, IFC, Revolver, Alternative Press, and Radar. The former news editor for Noisecreep, Harris also served as co-host for the site’s weekly podcast, “Creep Show." Before that, he spent four years writing for MTV News.