Unearthing The Metal Underground: Music City - Nashville, TN
Each week in "Unearthing the Metal Underground," we shine a light on promising bands coming out of the darkness of the underground. Nashville TN is the music business center of the United States, and isn’t without its fair share of shadows where bands outside of the mainstream get their start.
Nashville is home to top-charting hit-makers like Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Ke$ha, and others, but has a dark underside where metal bands thrive. Psychedelic doom metal act Clorange, progressive metal act Invicta, and symphonic black metal band Cernunnos! are the subjects of this Unearthing.
The Nashville scene revolves around several known venues – The End, The Muse, Rocketown, and Exit/In – with nightly local shows. A fair share of bands that have become national touring acts have gotten their start here in Nashville and the surrounding towns of Murfreesboro and Knoxville, such as Whitechapel, Enfold Darkness and Destroy Destroy Destroy. Nashville is also home to the music studio of famed Soilwork guitarist/producer Peter Wichers. With no shortage of studios and talent in this town, bands are able to find each other, play lots of shows, and record very easily, releasing albums just the way they want.
Described as psychedelic doom metal, Clorange are one of Nashville’s loudest and most recent developments. The band is fronted by Elliot Gordon on vocals and guitar, Alex Avedissian on backing and lead guitar, Colin Poulton on drums, and Alec Newnam on bass. The band cites as its main influences Black Sabbath, Om, Electric Wizard, Colour Haze, Sleep, Death, The Sword, and Ravi Shankar. All band members currently attend college at the famed Belmont University in Nashville – Elliot for Philosophy, Alex for Music Business/Production, Colin for Commercial Music, and Alec for Commercial Music/Music Business. Alex also hand-builds custom guitar pickups in the Nashville area under the business name Avedissian Pickups.
Currently, Clorange are writing material and recording for an EP that they expect to have completed by the end of 2010 and are booking shows while recording songs periodically. "Enlightened Ignorance" is currently streaming on their MySpace player, with a new song, "Lunar Shock Delirium," expected to surface soon.
Melodies and harmonies reminiscent of Alice in Chains, Opeth, and Alter Bridge fuse with guitar riffs in the styles of Mudvayne and Between the Buried and Me to make up Invicta’s sound. Further, breakdowns in the vein of August Burns Red mesh with softer passages similar to Incubus and Switchfoot, making for a real ride of a listen. Guitarist DJ and vocalist Schii met up in 2008 to form the band, taking on Morgan on bass and D-Low on drums. Invicta are recording their first EP, "Split by the Sun" with producer Tony Gammalo (Chimaira, Misery Signals, Drowning Pool) in the fall and currently auditioning drummers due to the exit of drummer D-Low. Vocalist Schii recently was featured in Brett Manning’s "Singing Success Online," and the band has been featured in Twisted Hillbilly Magazine. Several tracks are featured online at their MySpace page, along with Schii’s section in the Singing Success Online video.
Few metal bands have an exclamation mark in their name. When you hear their music, you’ll know why. Cernunnos! is triumphant symphonic black metal of the Enthrone-era Dimmu Borgir type, with some folky themes and a very melodic approach. Since their first demo release in 2001, Cernunnos! have played around town constantly and shared the stage with acts such as Absu, Sothis, Blackguard, Decrepit Birth, and Enfold Darkness. With a surprisingly big sound for a threesome, Cernunnos! is fronted by Adina Blaise on vocals/keys, backed by Jeremy Wilcox on guitar and Eric Gordon on drums. Cernunnos! has several recordings up on their MySpace player.
Of course, there are more quality underground metal bands in Nashville than one person can write up. If you'd like to recommend some other Nashville underground acts, please feel free to discuss them in the comments below.
Check back every Monday as we delve into a different scene or genre to unearth some new underground metal bands.
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