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Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Colombian Metal Scene

Colombia just might be one of the forefathers of the extreme metal scene and it may have influenced some of the most nihilistic groups to come out of Europe. Yes, this South American land of extremes may have been one of the catalysts for the Scandinavian scene, ushering in a whole horde of sick and twisted metal bands. You may think that's an incredulous statement to make and a mighty tall order, but wait. There's a true story I am going to recount for you now.

Back in 1992, a few Colombian metal fans/musicians went up from Stavanger, Norway to a record shop in Oslo owned by Oystein Aarseth (better known as Euronymous). As they were going through the releases, they struck up a conversation with Euronymous about the country they were from, black metal in general and their respective bands. Euronymous became animated and said "Two bands from your city of Medellin influenced Mayhem's sound."

"Parabellum and Reencarnacion were a few of the true bands that shaped us. They captured a hellish environment and represented a true hardcore, evil sound that we emulated in the band."
Spoken by Euronymous himself a year before he died in infamy, and put in Spanish on the liner notes of the 2005 compilation "Tempus Mortiis" put out by Blasfemia Records. This anthology featured Parabellum, a nihilistic affair redolent in that evil backwards riffing that characterized the band. Songs such as "Engendro 666" and "Madre Muerta" influenced Mayhem and other Norwegian bands and helped create a whole genre of evilness, blasphemy and sickos.

At the time, neither Parabellum nor Reencarnacion were satanists, but critiqued Christianity and Catholicism and played an early prototype of metal that predated the "black" genre in 1981 (with the exception of Venom) and was called "ultra" metal or "anti-technical" metal in Colombia since it was raw and primitive musicianship. Kreator, Beherit and Impaled Nazarene have also paid homage to them in one form or another.

Parabellum has long since disbanded, but their countrymen have kept up the tradition. Legendary Colombian band Masacre featured one of its members wearing a t-shirt with their logo on it on the back side of its 1991 "Requiem" album, and although they didn't get their due back in the day with their demos and two albums - a thousand Colombian bands exist in this present day. Over half of those are a form of extreme metal, influenced through and through by these progenitors. Colombians Neurosis are celebrating a quarter century as a band, recently ten younger bands paying them respect by issuing a compilation titled "Historia de una Rebelion" with covers of their songs.

Neurosis also won the Premio Shock award, the equivalent of a Colombian Billboard prize. The black metal from the early days also branched out and was formative to the pagan/folk scene, bringing stellar Cali band Guahaihoque to international recognition with its ancestral black metal. Internal Suffering won Guttural Fanzine's 2006 prize for best brutal death metal record with "Awakening of the Rebel." Another Colombian group, Perpetual, was chosen out of seven other national melodic thrash metal bands to do a track for the Iron Maiden tribute album "The Golden Beast," contributing "The Wicker Man." A year later, that group opened for In Flames in Bogota.

Colombians, as you can see, are a whole society of metal heads. They even influenced some of the godfathers of metal, which must make those older acts respected elders. With their influence in extreme and raw metal, it should come as no surprise that this microcosm has loads of bands that put out material in the nihilistic and extreme end of the spectrum. Bogota and the other cities such as Cali and Medellin are cultures replete in an atmosphere that includes plenty of chaos, violence and harsh life skills. It's survive or die, an ethos that is seen in the extreme music most of the metal bands gravitate towards. A harsh world requires harsh music.

Today we will take a look at three Colombian bands that don't kid around with their uncompromising sounds. They are only a small percentile of what this South American country has to offer, but are very representative of modern day brutal Colombia. Some are crazy, some are deadly, but most are anything but wimpy. As we look back to the beginnings with Parabellum or Reencarnacion - or even Mayhem - we can say to them "look at all these insane bands that you helped create." Join us today as we unearth a few extreme metal bands that are making the rounds in modern day Colombia.

King

From the deepest bowels of the Medellin barrios comes the collosal blackened death metal band King. Whereas many black and death metal bands get repetitious, this band hits you with a wall of sound and supremely evil twists and turns. King is technical and deadly. Formed in 2005, King represents all the blasphemy, brutality, evil and hate that spews forth from some of the best sinister acts such as old school Morbid Angel. Ironically, King have covered that band in concert to the tune of the song "Day of Suffering."

Recently the German unholy horde Desaster played with them in concert in Medellin. King has the promo EP "Emperor of Darkness" to its credit, plus the brand new 2012 eleven song full-length album "Forged by Satan's Doctrine." Stream a song from that album, "When the Walls of Heaven Turn Black" at StereoKiller. Some of the song titles, like "Satan's Fabrica" (factory) and "Kill the Posers Like Fucking Christians" are hilarious, but then again that's what happens when you translate literally from one language to another.

Cuentos De Los Hermanos Grind

Here's a grindcore band with a touch of sick humor that is making the rounds in Bogota and has hundreds of thousands of fans all over Latin America. Cuentos de los Hermanos Grind got its inspiration one Sunday morning in 2005 when future bass player Gato Con Zorras was all hung over and watching local television. He turned on a cartoon show about Cuentos de los Hermanos Grimm (the Brothers Grimm fairytales) and got the inspiration to start the band.

He called up future vocalist Bizarrio and pitched the idea of twisting the names of children's stories and fairytales to sick humor. They recruited Bruja Heroina on drums and Lobo Culion (rump ranger wolf) on guitar once he got out of jail. Brujo then got incarcerated himself, the band then bringing in Diablo Rojo to fill the vacancy. Their demo and 2008 album "Los Cantipuercos" made them immensely popular, so Cuentos de los Hermanos Grind is busy finishing its next album - which should come out in a couple of months. They wear crazy masks like Anal Grind or Slipknot, which is part of their appeal.

Putreclitor

This brutal band started up in 2008 in the capitol city of Bogota. They call themselves a trio, including their programmed drums "sickjunkiedrummachine" as a member. Putreclitor is actually a duo made up of Sadist on guitar and vocals and Scar of God on bass and vocals. They have one album to their credit, the ten track extreme grindfest "Zoorgia," plus the bonus track "Zombieland." Influenced by bands such as Lividity, Necrophagist and the band that brought us "Raped by Elephants" (Torsofuck), Putreclitor has released one official video for the track "Supositorio de Carne para una Puta Ninfomana." They recently appeared at the Grotesque Aberrations Fest 6 with fellow Colombians Phalogore and eight other bands.

As you can see, the Colombians don't mess around. Metal is a reflection of their surroundings and they live it to this day. Back in the dawn of the eighties, they needed a viaduct for conveying their emotions and disgust, so they took heavy metal and helped shape thick filthy slabs of black metal and grind which mutated into the scene that they have today. Hopefully you found a band that merits you looking into them more. Join us again next week when we unearth another trio of metal bands from a different location or genre.

sonictherapy's avatar

Vicky Willis has been a freelance journalist and former college radio disc jockey for almost twenty years. She has been contributing to Metalunderground.com since 2010.

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3 Comments on "Unearthing The Metal Underground In Colombia"

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Rex_84's avatar

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1. Rex_84 writes:

Head Crusher, a band from Columbia, moved to Austin a while back. They play a lot of shows out here.

# Apr 30, 2012 @ 1:24 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
wilco's avatar

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2. wilco writes:

yes indeed do travel lots to colombia my wife she is colombian bogota the last frontier of metal do think
if you go to a gig its awsome
bands like hirax and morbid angel real big in colombia
just came back from the anthrax exodus obituary show in bogota was just by acident over there did not know they did play in bogota exodus killed bogota awsome show

# May 5, 2012 @ 1:02 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. Gusthav writes:

I'm colombian, from Medellin and I glad to read this column about our metal scene, maybe some people doesn`t know but Dagon from Inquisition its from Cali - Colombia and the band just started there playing thrash metal in the late 80s, later turned into black metal and moved to USA

# May 6, 2012 @ 11:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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