Best Synthesizer Geek/One-Man Black-Metal Band

Surachai

Critics' Picks

The stereotype of black-metal musicians as murderous, church-burning, white-­supremacist pagans in corpsepaint was out of date ten years ago—by now the style has worked its way into almost every corner of the underground, and you can find just about as many kinds of black metallers as you can metal­heads in general. However, it's still unusual to encounter one who spends just as much time obsessing over arcane modular synthesizers and ancient analog drum machines as he does practicing tremolo picking and blastbeats. Local artist Surachai has released more than a dozen albums in the past six years, including full-band ensemble pieces that stick fairly close to the black-­metal playbook (such as this spring's Embraced) and total avant-garde synth freak-outs. In his spare time he's part of the Trash Audio collective, a coalition of gearheads that delights in making esoteric sounds with alarmingly complicated synthesizer setups.