"some music was meant to stay underground..."


Unearthing the Metal Underground In Montana Part 3

Each week with Unearthing the Metal Underground we highlight a new group of bands that aren’t signed to a major label and are making a name for themselves in the underground. This week I’ll be delving into three Montana bands on opposite ends of the spectrum, ranging from death metal to thrash to groove.

Blackened death metal act Martriden is easily one of the most successful Montana metal bands of all time, although they still remain firmly in the underground. The Havre based band combines the full force brutality, and rapid-fire drumming, of death metal with a heavy symphonic black metal atmosphere. They achieved a level of recognition most local bands can only dream of when they managed to sign to Candlelight for the release of their 2008 debut full-length album “The Unsettling Dark.” Martriden has since left the Candlelight fold to return to an independent state. The band is working on finishing up their follow-up album “Encounter The Monolith,” which has the following track listing:

1. The Three Metamorphoses
2. Heywood R. Floyd
3. Discovery
4. Human Error?
5. Encounter The Monolith
6. Death and Transfiguration

Samples of Martriden’s music can be found here. A video clip of the band performing “Processional for the Hellfire Chariot" at Rock City Ice House in Austin, Texas can be seen below.

While many of the metal bands in Montana have strictly gone the route of the most extreme forms of the genre, there are still some who carry the torch of traditional thrash. Judgment Hammer, formerly known as The Four Horseman, is one such band. To say there is a Metallica influence in their music would be a serious understatement, as these guys exude the sound and style of that legendary band. Their heavy, yet catchy, brand of thrash should be checked out by anyone who enjoys the ‘80s and ‘90s era thrash veterans. Judgment Hammer just released their debut full-length album “Arbiter of Fate” on November 24th, 2009. Two sample tracks from the album can be heard at their MySpace page.

As the largest city in the state, Billings has spawned a wide variety metal outfits over the years. Endever is a Billings based band that utilizes some melodic clean vocals along with the more aggressive screams, yells, and shouts, although they generally stay shy of the outright growls. Their various influences range from hardcore to groove metal and they even throw in the occasional thrash riff for good measure. Endever are currently playing various shows in Billings in support of their latest album “Fruition of the Maggot.” Several different Endever tracks can be heard at this location.

Certainly there are more quality metal bands in Montana. If you'd like to recommend some other good underground Montana metal bands, please feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.

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