This episode first ran on KQED.org.Download: Mixtape: New Directions in Bay Area Heavy Metal (Podcast #418)
With the Bay Area’s history as a breeding ground for significant heavy metal bands, it’s probably not a surprise that emerging Bay Area bands are continuing to find new and compelling ways to cross-pollinate metal’s many strains.
Succumb and Funeral Chant, for example, are contorting black metal and death metal into unpredictable new sounds. The former band’s first LP, arriving on reliable local label The Flenser, debuted to widespread critical acclaim; the latter group’s murky, lo-fi demo tape, with its warped, unsettling sound, marks the band as one to watch.
Other local heavy groups, like Brume and Body Void, offer contrasting approaches to atmospheric doom metal. Brume fuses doom’s heaviness to sprawling, psychedelic compositions, while Body Void layers its songs with abrasive noise. Perhaps the most high-concept of the doom-influenced bands included here is Squalus. Formed by members of Giant Squid, the group’s first LP is a musical re-imagining of the story of Jaws.
This mixtape collects new and recent music from ten local metal bands, but it really only scratches the surface of the wealth of metal talents in the Bay Area. If you like what you hear in this mix, be sure to check out the Transylvanian Tapes label, which has released works from a number of the bands included here and whole bunch of others worth digging into.
Listen to the mixtape to learn more about all ten included bands.
Succumb – “Survival”
Funeral Chant – “Flood of Damnation”
Ails – “Dead Metaphors”
Hazzard’s Cure – “Master of Heathens”
Brume – “Call the Serpent’s Bluff”
Body Void – “Swan”
Squalus – “The Orca”
Cardinal Wyrm – “The Resonant Dead”
Akatharsia – “No Generation Without Corruption”
Badr Vogu – “Anathema of Time”