Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Nashville Scene, Part II
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.
This week we feature the best classic speed/thrash metal band you’ve never heard of – Nashville’s “Intruder,” whose roots date back to 1984. We also have a classic metal band by the name of “Oblivion Myth,” and a female-fronted modern band known as, “Love’s Tragedy.”
Because Nashville is such a draw, most of the metal scenes from around the state of Tennessee tend to spill over into Nashville in order to gain exposure. Nashville also boasts more music venues than the surrounding areas. The Exit/In, The Muse, The End, and The Rutledge are popular venues for Nashville’s heavier side.
Formerly known as “Avatar” and “Transgressor,” Intruder made their bones during the heyday of the 1980s, at the same time the “big four” were making theirs. The band released three albums in total and made a brief run with Metal Blade Records before formally splitting up in 1992. Without much support from Metal Blade, the band still enjoyed moderate success with a legion of fans and reunited in 2002. Since then, they have headlined the Headbangers Open Air in Germany and have played the Classic Metal Festival in Ohio and Keep It True Festival in Germany. Their albums feature artwork designed by comic artists Fastner & Larson.
Currently lying in wait in the Nashville underground, Intruder are looking at recording updated versions of their classic songs for a future release, alongside a few new songs. Vocalist Jimmy Hamilton’s style is a classic blend of metal styles, backed up by gang vocals from the rest of the band. Drummer John Pieroni pens most of the lyrics and boasts a distinctly thrash drumming style with fast footwork and progressive leanings. Guitarists Arthur Vinnett and Greg Messick have a highly technical coordinated assault and bassist Chris Veach rounds out the band. Songs from their albums, “Live to Die,” “A Higher Form of Killing,” and “Psycho Savant” can be heard at their MySpace page
Self-proclaimed band of the “New Wave of Traditional Metal,” Oblivion Myth believes in making old things new. The band released their first album, “Between Light and Shadow,” in July of 2008. They name as some of their influences Dream Theater, Symphony X, Kamelot, Rage, Evergrey, Rush, Kiss, Nevermore, Iron Maiden, Blind Guardian, Megadeth, Queensryche, and Judas Priest. Their sound reflects these influences well, and the album was completed with powerful vocals by Andy Freeman, formerly of the band Fatal Opera. His style is similar to that of Edguy/Avantasia frontman Tobias Sammet, only with less emphasis on vibrato. Andy Freeman has since left the band, and has been replaced by vocalist Ray LeGrand, with Keith Smith and Chris Selby on guitars and Patrick Nickell on drums.
The band is currently recording tracks for its sophomore album. You can hear tracks from their first album and find more info about them on their website, as well as links to purchase their first album.
Love’s Tragedy is one of the very few bands in Nashville to feature a frontwoman. Love’s Tragedy favors a more modern style of metal than the other two and is a sharp foursome. With their live debut in 2009 and their 2010 short firestorm of a five-song album entitled ‘Divide and Conquer,’ Love’s Tragedy are currently making waves in Nashville and the surrounding areas. With a sound that would fit in well with the likes of Alter Bridge, guitarist Keith White has some equally impressive guitar-work. Video footage from the October 29th, 2010 CD release party can be seen below.
The band is currently in the running to be the featured band on local radio station 102.9 The Buzz’s website. Fans can vote for the band on the station's website, where another Nashville metal band, “Cut Slingload,” is currently featured. Love’s Tragedy has a MySpace page with songs posted for your listening pleasure, as well as a home page.
Of course, there are more quality underground metal bands in Nashville than one person can write up (this is my second Nashville edition - see my previous column here - and Metalunderground.com’s third in total) 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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