Badr Vogu - Photo by Freddie Ross

Download: Mixtape: The Heavy Sounds of San Francisco Metal (Podcast #346)

We don’t cover San Francisco heavy metal very much at, but it’s not for a lack of music worth talking about. For several decades now, the San Francisco Bay Area has played a significant role in the evolution and growth of heavy metal. Metallica might be the most obvious significant Bay Area metal name to the uninitiated, but, over the years, groups like Neurosis, Hammers of Misfortune, Slough Feg, Ludicra, and Sleep (to name just a few) have pushed heavy music forward in a variety of directions. Through those acts and countless others, Bay Area bands have tread new ground in distinct sub-genres like black metal, thrash and doom, incorporating and contorting elements of other sounds like punk and prog along the way.

In venues like The Knockout, Bender’s, the Oakland Metro, and the Hemlock Tavern, a wealth of San Francisco Bay Area heavy metal bands continue that tradition of excellence today. This 80+ minute mix aims to survey some of the Bay Area’s best emerging heavy groups, from the retro-influenced sounds of Blackwülf, Hornss, and Castle to the genre-mashing approach of Deafheaven and the dulcimer-laden “green metal” of Botanist. Along the way, you’ll hear pummeling tracks from Black Monolith and Augurs, and thrashy goodness courtesy of Serpent Crown. We’ve also got some crushing doom via Cardinal Wyrm, Lycus, and Larvae, sludgy jams from Wild Hunt and Hazzard’s Cure and a couple of brutal Bädr Vogu and Abstracter epics.

Whatever particular strain of metal you might enjoy, there’s something for you here. And if you aren’t a metal fan, this mixtape just might convince you to give local heavy music another chance.

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Blackwülf – “Acid Reign”
Serpent Crown – “Doomsayer” (starts at 5:55)
Cardinal Wyrm – “Cult of the Coiled Spine” (10:15)
Deafheaven – “From the Kettle Onto the Coil” (18:56)
Hornss – “Heir to the Pickle Throne” (25:27)
Wild Hunt – “Panorama” (28:02)
Hazzard’s Cure – “Terminal Frost” (33:40)
Lycus – “Coma Burn” (36:46)
Black Monolith – “Dead Hand” (48:14)
Bädr Vogu – “Gospel Of Greed” (52:36)
Castle – “Blacklands” (58:21)
Botanist – “Callistemon” (62:39)
Abstracter – “Walls That Breathe” (66:52)
Larvae – “Fallen, Left To Die” (77:45)
Augurs – “Drunk” (84:00)