Unearthing the Metal Underground: The Brutal Manila Metal Scene
A few weeks ago in Unearthing the Metal Underground, I introduced some ultra brutal bands from the southern Filipino city of Davao. This time around, let’s take a look at the capital of Manila, which definitely isn’t to be outdone in the slamming, blasting sickness category. The Metro Manila area, an impossibly huge urban center, is bursting with bands weaned on a steady diet of Disgorge, Malignancy, Devourment, and Gorgasm, so let’s get right down to it.
OK, so technically Pus Vomit isn’t actually from Manila, but the band is from right next door to the metro area, and calls Dasmarinas home. There’s no doubt the denizens of metro Manila can clearly hear the unholy din this three piece has been conjuring since 2005 no matter what part of the packed metropolis they hail from.
Pus Vomit keeps things simple from a lineup perspective, with just drums, vocals, and a guitar player, but there’s little simple about the Pus Vomit sound, which is equal parts slamming accessibility and technical prowess. The band has kept busy since its founding, with two demos, three splits, and a full length, “Degrade the Worthless,” which came out in 2009 on Berdugo Records, the label run by Alexander De La Cruz, the man who also publishes the In Dark Purity ‘zine. Fans of far eastern brutality in the vein of Vomit Remnants, Infernal Revulsion, and Rest in Gore will revel in Pus Vomit’s insane mix of slams and technicality.
Discreate is a relative newcomer to the Manila death metal scene, founded just two years ago, but the band members are anything but new to the game. Created by some ex-members of Burial Disorder, this four-piece is also sans bass player, choosing to go with two guitarists instead, but losing little, if anything, in terms of heaviness. With guitars tuned to sludge and a penchant for a technical brand of gravity blast, bar chord sweeping brutality inspired by the likes of Brain Drill, Origin, Slaughterbox, and Viraemia, Discreate is one of those jaw drop bands that makes you stand back and admire the musicianship, but can also get the pit going with the best of them. Currently, the band is passing around a live EP to help get the word out.
Again, not technically from Manila, Anal Fissure is a band from Cavite, just thirty kilometers from the city, and on the shores of Manila Bay, so although this band can’t lay claim to Manila roots, it is squarely in the midst of the Manila scene. Along with other Filipino bands such as Down from the Wound, another great brutal band located just a few hours’ drive from Manila, Anal Fissure is helping to create a unique brand of brutality in the Philippines that puts as much emphasis on the groove as it does on the blast, and finds a near incomparable way to combine the two. Anal Fissure is currently unsigned and is also passing around a self-released demo at shows. Currently, the only way for fans outside the Philippines to check out some Anal Fissure tunes is through the band’s Myspace page.
These are just a few of the awesome metal bands worth checking out in the Philippines. Keep checking back each Monday as we unearth more bands worth a minute of your time from around the world on Metal Underground.com.
Joe Henley is a freelance music journalist and editor currently living in Taipei, Taiwan. In addition to pulling vocal duty in a death metal band, he maintains a website on the Taiwanese metal scene and writes regular features on the touring bands that come through Taipei for a local monthly music magazine.
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