Sunday, October 17, 2010

Music from New Orleans (Part 3): NOLA Metal

Welcome back guys!
            In this last part of my 3 part series on New Orleans, I'm gonna focus on a often neglected scene, New Orleans Heavy Metal. NOLA metal is some of the most clearly influenced by it's environment. Unlike Bay Area, L.A., or New York metal bands, NOLA metal is much more about the groove than about the speed the tunes are played it. They can get fast, but there will be clearer dynamic changes. Something that NOLA metal has in common with the jazz, blues and funk from the area is it's gumbo-like mix of influences. NOLA metal combines thrash, hardcore, grindcore, blues, southern rock and punk to make a completely, geographically unique sound.
           The first band to be identified with NOLA metal is Exhorder. Originally playing straight ahead trash, they adopted more of a groove element for their 1990 album Slaughter In The Vatican. The following clip is the song "Slaughter In The Vatican" from that album:

Another influential NOLA metal band is Eyehategod. EHG combined more elements of Sludge metal, along with blues riffs. EHG has released 4 major label releases to date. Amazing that they're still around considering how choatic they've been known to be on the road and the issues many of the band members have had with substance abuse. Here's a live clip from 2008:

Another influential Sludge metal band is Crowbar. Formed from the ashes of punk band Aftershock, Crowbar is known for playing much slower than any of their counterparts, giving their music a much gloomier vibe:

Soilent Green formed in 1988, but didn't get to release a debut album until 1995. Highly influential for their mix of grindcore, doom metal and sludge metal. Soilent Green is also infamous for the murder of bassist Scott Williams by his roommate and the death of singer Glenn Rambo during Hurricane Katrina. Rambo went to his mothers house during the hurricane, he help her move to the attic, because she was handicapped. Both were found drowned in that attic by rescue workers after the hurricane. Here's a single from their 2008 album "Inevitable Collapse In The Presence Of Conviction":

One of the most prominent musicians from New Orleans is singer Phil Anselmo. Anselmo is best known as the singer of prominent metal band Pantera. Although they were from Texas, Pantera incorporated many elements of the NOLA sound, most noticeably, the focus on groove. Anselmo also works with the NOLA bands Down and Superjoint Ritual.

Here's a few clips of Pantera:

The next clip is of down, Anselmos' band with members of Crowbar, Pantera and Eyehategod:

Soon after Pantera broke up, Anselmo formed Superjoint Ritual. Even though Superjoint didn't last long, it was clear where they were coming from with the NOLA groove metal sound. Interesting side note, the bass player for Superjoint is Hank Williams III (Also known as Hank III or H3.):

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