(As described in yesterday’s last post (here), we’re beginning a new series conceived by Grant Skelton in which we’ve invited guest writers (and maybe some of the regulars around here) to put the spotlight on bands from their own local and regional communities who don’t get the kind of media recognition they deserve. In this post, Grant kicks off the series with a local focus on bands from his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee — and a couple from elsewhere in Tennessee.)
When people think of my hometown of Memphis, they don’t think about metal. Memphis is definitely known for its musical history, most recently exemplified by “Uptown Funk,” thanks to Bruno Mars. If you asked someone to name a metal band from Memphis, then they might fire back with, “Uhhh…Saliva?” Or perhaps they would call attention to Skillet. I can’t knock Skillet, but they’re not the focus of this article. They sell records, and definitely don’t need my meandering and frivolous opinions to sell any more.
Metal prides itself on being “underground.” In that regard, metal is often like panning for gold. Every now and then, you find a real gem that nobody seems to have discovered except for you. That’s the purpose of websites like this one. Below are a few gems I recently found. The first four are local metal bands from Memphis, Tennessee. The final two are an exception to that rule, but are still from my state. I hope the readers enjoy this installment of a local metal showcase.
Shards of Humanity
A shrill and lacerating bedlam that eradicates the ears. They run like a well-lubricated industrial bandsaw. If you like death-thrash that will motivate you to headbang yourself unconscious, then look into them. Their album Fractured Frequencies is available for $6 on Bandcamp courtesy of Unspeakable Axe Records.
Shards of Humanity on Facebook:
Symphonic black metal with a vitriolic attitude. I would call this black metal for people who think they don’t like black metal. Throne’s album Perdition was released in 2013. Its opening track “Blacken The Throne,” is one of the catchiest black metal songs I have ever heard. The band are working on a follow-up that will possibly be released this year.
Throne on Facebook:
O’meed Entezari is the sole member of this band. Mournful and morbid, this atmospheric funeral doom project makes you understand why these bands always take promo photos in graveyards. After listening to Erethe’s 2014 The Sun Is Leaving EP, you’ll feel like you live in a graveyard.
Erethe’s official website:
Blackened death metal so raw it’s still bleeding and breathing. RD’s 2013 The Conquering Darkness demo has generated some regional buzz on Internet metal radio stations. The band recently played shows in both Houston and Atlanta. The demo is available at the price of “free” on Bandcamp.
Ritual Decay on Facebook:
Mucky, dirty, swampy death metal from Johnson City, Tennessee. It’s got anything you’d want from a dose of classic old school DM. Blasting and thrashing, quality solos, torpid riffs, banshee vocals. Stream Screams From The Catacombs, the band’s debut EP (only $4) on Bandcamp.
Cemetery Filth on Facebook:
Lethargic death-doom with an extra serving of nihilism and a side of doldrums. Loss hail from Nashville, and are clearly not inspired by rebel flags, pickup trucks, or cowboy hats. In 2014, they shared the A View From The Rope split with the mighty Hooded Menace. If you like manic depression with two doses of depression and zero mania, then Loss have you covered. The band are working on a new album for Profound Lore, which hopefully will be released this year.
Stream “Depression’s Hammer” from the Hooded Menace split here:
Loss’ 2011 album, Despond, on Bandcamp:
Loss on Facebook: