Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Las Vegas Metal Scene
I have a special place in my heart for Las Vegas, probably because I lived in Nevada for almost twenty years. You hear all kinds of cliched phrases about Las Vegas being the "entertainment capital" of the U.S., but that depends on what kind of entertainment you're looking for. If you're just some tourist, you'll go hog wild for the latest flamboyant guy taming a white tiger or some pop star appearing at Caesar's Palace. Or you could be the weekend partier from LA, descending on the city for a night of debauchery at one of the dozens of night clubs and ultra lounges. But the kind of entertainment a metal listener wants is going to be markedly different, and a scene does exist in Las Vegas once again.
See, the Las Vegas valley had a great underground scene back in the late eighties and throughout the nineties. Besides Mark Slaughter putting it on the map in terms of commercial metal, Mitch Harris released two LP's with his LV band The Righteous Pigs before leaving to join Napalm Death. Clubs such as Calamity Jayne's brought in weekly shows before they were busted for coke, and the Huntridge was legendary in terms of hardcore and extreme metal shows. All the local bands played at the local college bars around UNLV and at the Elks Lodge in Henderson, and had their music promoted on the radio station before the general manager switched the format to all jazz back in 1998. Local bands such as Goatlord, Requiem and Hemlock (still active and billing themselves "the hardest working band in metal") had no more exposure after this happened, and the local scene died off for a number of years after this.
Technology intervened and created a renaissance for the Las Vegas scene. College radio isn't imperative any more when you can hear everything on satellite radio and the internet now. Besides the House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and the Hard Rock Casino bringing in the bigger names, there are tons of local venues hosting concerts now. Every weekend there are shows at the Cheyenne Saloon with local bands on the roster supporting the big name acts that come in from L.A. and elsewhere. That five-hour drive from California has brought in bands ranging from Asesino to Enthraller at this venue, which was the site for the Las Vegas Death Fest 3 and the Doom In June shows. Local favorites like Avenger In Blood and Soiled Carnage can be found there with a whole host of other garage metal bands opening for the big gigs.
In the past five years, the scene has exploded with bands such as metalcore heavy hitters Molotov Solution putting Las Vegas on the map. Another big surprise has been the immense popularity of Guttural Secrete in the national death metal scene. Granted, they've been around almost a decade, but it is literally unheard of for a band this extreme to have almost a quarter of a million hits on Youtube - especially an independent one. In many ways, Las Vegas does have the ideal climate for a scene if any city has. It's 24 hours of non-stop drinking, gambling and every vice imaginable. What it lacks in historic culture it exceeds in bacchanalian virtues. It is the setting for the glitterati and the plastic too, and for every serious extreme metal and metalcore band working the club circuit, the desert floor is littered with alot of screamo bands and younger kids that need to hone their style.
Below we will take you to the music of a few Las Vegas bands that haven't been featured prominently in our pages, so you can get an idea of what this desert community has to offer the metal scene.
Tales of the Grotesque
Tales of the Grotesque define themselves as a brutal melodic death metal band that were "recently released from a dark room where they defined their sound and status as a band." They've been around since 2010 and it's their mission to give you the feeling of an eerie tale crawling in your skin. They were recently voted October band of the month by Las Vegas website FiggZillaMusic.com.
Impurity of Mriya
Impurity of Mriya is a progressive deathcore band formerly known as Awakening the Deceased that was formed in 2009. Influenced by All Shall Perish and Born of Osiris, they have developed quite a following in the valley. They have a big show scheduled with Elitist on October 28th at the Hypnotic Lounge on the southwest side of town, opening for Molotov Solution's CD release party.
The desert is a harsh climate with lots of secrets buried about it's million acres of austerity. Predatorial dub themselves "barren death metal within the realms of the desert," and state in their bio that they play real, extreme metal - "no poser BS." They just played at the annual Hallows Eve Fest on the 15th at the Cheyenne Saloon and opened for Grave last month.
Las Vegas is it's own city, probably because no towns surround it for hundreds of miles. In this isolation, the population grew to well over a million and the residents of it became reliant on their own scene. A city this big was bound to jump into the metal scene, and you can see it on many levels.
Check back every Monday as we delve into a different scene or genre to unearth some new underground metal bands.
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