Japanese hardcore legends Systematic Death -- still with original vocalist Shigeru Okano -- celebrated their 35th anniversary with two Saint Vitus shows, their first time playing NYC since 2010. We caught night one, Friday (10/5), which was opened by local punks Subversive Rite and Swedish hardcore band Paranoid. Then lights dimmed, fog filled the room, and the crowd gathered the altar of Bastard Noise for a séance of otherworldly frequencies from Eric Wood paired with chants of rage and animalistic ferocity from vocalist Saira Huff. Finally, Systematic Death unleashed destruction with a brutal set of Japanese punk to close the night. Shiguru’s piercing vocals shot across the stage while Ryu Ando’s manic lead guitar and the furious rhythms of drummer Masaaki Koba and bassist Yuzuka Arai fueled a vicious cyclone in the pit. Amplifiers still reverberating, the crowd begged for one, two, three more songs from the Yokohama-based legends. Shiguru lept back onto the front monitor, the cyclic chaos began again and Systematic Death reigned once more.

Pictures are in the gallery above.

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words & photos by Joe Soriero