Unearthing the Metal Underground: The Dominican Republic Metal Scene
Located out in the Caribbean between Cuba and Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic has long been an island nation melting pot for a variety of cultures and styles brought over by the millions of tourists and influences that converge upon it. Dominicans are known in America for the crop of professional baseball players they produce and in our large Hispanic community for the stream of bachata/merengue music along with the superstar reggaeton production duo Luny Tunes.
The times are changing though, and the rich history that the Dominicans have had with folkloric rock music has gradually come to include all genres of popular rock/metal throughout the last couple of decades. Bands such as Toque Profundo and M-16 have opened up the floodgates to more extreme categories of rock music, producing the likes of Ad Bestia's hardcore, Santuario's punk rock, the thrash of Necro, good traditional thrash from Overhated and the power metal of Altus Mortem. For a comprehensive look into the Dominican Republic's rich rock history, check out the two-part video Dominican Rock Pt 1 and 2 to gain a greater insight into the scene.
Nowadays, with home studio computer equipment and social networking, hundreds of young bands are cropping up all over the Dominican landscape. In fact, a few homegrown independent labels now showcase the talents of the more extreme Caribbean bands - Dark Canvas and Goecia records. Today we will take a look at three of the most deserving and hard working bands paying their dues in the trenches of Santo Domingo.
Conceived in 1994, Archaios are the premier melodic techno-thrash band from Santo Domingo. Fusing intricate leads with an abundance of bridges and time changes, this is one band that deserve a further listen. Their new one, "The Distant," drops in November and is an exponentially good progression from their debut, 2006's "Out of the Shadows." You can check out their songs in full at their Myspace page and listen to the promotional sampler clip below, plus a few other tracks from their debut. Also, you can read a full interview with the band here.
Formed in 2005 by vocalist Shub Niggurat and guitarist Abraxas Satanas, this Dominican blackened death metal group added drummer Asmodeo and recently bassist Gletus to round out their line-up. In 2008 they released "Lord of the Dark Throne" on the label that they also manage - Goecia Records - and toured South America the year later. Look for their first full-length this year, "At the Inside of the Darkness," and get a sneak peek of their diabolical music on their Myspace page.
Santo Domingo's Merodac have eleven years of history under their belt and are influenced by Isahn, Arcturus, Satyricon and many other dark denizens. They play a classy style of symphonic black metal and plan to re-release their 2004 album "The Zaroth Revelations" with an updated and polished sound to it. Their earlier release was 2002's "Mas Alla de las Puertas de Sheol." Their Myspace page has more studio versions of their songs as well. Not only are they updating their sound, but they have also made the jump from La Viuda Negra records to the Dark Canvas label as they aim to reach more listeners in the international theatre.
The Dominican musicians have taken their influences in metal and completely made them their own with their interesting and quirky stylings, bringing a whole new culture of metal to the underground. Join us next week when we unearth some more new bands in yet another corner of the globe.
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Interview With Eric Cruz of Archaios
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