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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.

Clorange

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.

Invicta

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.

Cernunnos!

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.

Progressivity_In_All's avatar

Frank Serafine is an avid writer, music producer, and musician, with five albums to his name. While completely enamored with metal, he appreciates a wide range of music. He also works full-time at the American-based performing rights organization, SESAC.

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11 Comments on "Unearthing the Metal Underground in Nashville, TN"

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KREDD's avatar

Member

1. KREDD writes:

Thanks for the article! I live in Nashville and have played metal for years. Played with a lot of good bands but always seems like metal is struggling...but love it just the same!! Lots of folks think we're just country and cowboys, and that's ok, but there's a ton of talented musicians who live/play outside that genre.

I'd be interested in knowing who else is on here from Nashville.

# Jun 28, 2010 @ 9:39 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

2. deathbringer writes:

While Cynic is nowhere near Nashville, he covered 3 Nashville doom bands a while back. So check that one out.

# Jun 28, 2010 @ 10:33 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Southern_Bastard's avatar

Member

3. Southern_Bastard writes:

This is a really good article. Thanks. I'm from Memphis, but I love the Nashville scene. I just saw Cernunnos! recently with Enfold Darkness. Great Show.

But my personal favorite band from Nashville = Inferi

# Jun 28, 2010 @ 12:41 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
4. Blewghum writes:

Zopticon is a kickass Nashville band. Check em..

# Jun 28, 2010 @ 1:12 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
KREDD's avatar

Member

5. KREDD writes:

@southern_bastard: just saw BTBM and Mastodon @ Minglewood last month and was pretty impressed with the venue. First show I've seen in Memphis that wasn't at New Daisy.

# Jun 28, 2010 @ 2:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

6. hellrat writes:

everyone knows that the grand master of the 'blended chords' is Carl from Slingblade....

mmmmm-hhmmm :)

# Jun 28, 2010 @ 2:42 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
7. jimmy j. writes:

Hey Kreed have you ever checked out Jackson Tenn. band Full Devil Jacket? Awesome Band.

# Jun 28, 2010 @ 5:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
KREDD's avatar

Member

8. KREDD writes:

@jimmy j: wow, man i haven't thought about them in forever. i used to live in henderson, believe it or not, and played in jackson a couple times - a place called the Collective, i think??

Heard FDJ were working on their second album and the singer just up and quit...but that was a good 10 yrs ago. There were a couple other metal bands around but can't remember any names

# Jun 28, 2010 @ 11:30 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
9. Jimmy j. writes:

After ten years they did a reunion show in Jackson 2 weeks ago. Where talking about getting back together.

# Jun 29, 2010 @ 3:54 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Southern_Bastard's avatar

Member

10. Southern_Bastard writes:

@ KREDD

Yea Minglewood is the newest midtown venue that is stealing a lot of the Daisy's thunder.

That was an awesome show. I ran into BTBAM outside, and spent most of my time talking with them. Those are some great guys.

Never paid to get into the show, but it sounded great from outside.

# Jun 29, 2010 @ 6:28 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
11. Clorange_Drums writes:

Hey guys, Clorange is playing a show at the Muse in Nashville July 22nd. It's 7 or 8 bucks at the door, come check it out if the article had intrigued you on doom in Nashville. The other bands playing are Dark Hound, Montezuma Fire Machine, and Frank the f*** out

# Jul 12, 2010 @ 2:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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