Scream: Denton's Best Metal Bands
I attended my first metal show at Hailey’s one cold night in November a little over a year ago. I will candidly admit that I had little previous exposure to the genre, but after spending half the set staring in awe and eventually thrashing my head at the front of the crowd with the best of them, I was hooked. As a whole, the metal scene in Denton is comprised of some of the most talented, versatile and dynamic bands to grace the stage. Nominated for the Best Metal Act are five of those bands. If you get the chance, I highly recommend seeing all of them live. You will not be disappointed.
I am Man, I am Monster
Comprised of five members, the progressive metal group I am Man, I am Monster (IAM,IAM) released their full release album Transmutation in August. Bouncing across the stage, frontman Travis Barton lets out the beast with his vocals while making eerie contact with audience members. Bassist/vocalist Megan Lackey complements the sound with haunting melodies as she rocks the bass. Rusty Jordan tearing it up on guitar also adds his own dynamic vocals along with Lackey and Barton. Reilly Hoff alongside Lackey and Jordan saunters across the stage with his fellow band members, adding another layer of guitar to create a exciting and multilayered musical experience. Coming full circle, Al Bagley hits every note with a head-banging passion. What is really enjoyable about this band is you can tell they are having one hell of a good time. Metal fans can download Transmutation from iTunes or Spotify.
Wrought of Obsidian
Working tirelessly for more than a decade to refine their art, the members of Wrought of Obsidian have taken a unique approach to the metal genre. The band describes itself as a ‘musical amalgamation’ of various elements of different styles including Scandinavian black metal, jazz, and power metal, which merge into their unique version of "technical death metal." At the forefront of the stage, vocalist/guitarist Andrew Austin thrashes with melodic phrases in a deep, harrowing tone. Nathan Fenoglio on bass and Kirk Kirkwood on guitar add a layer of intricate, assaulting transitions that complement the vocalist. Finally, Eric Park assaults the drums in precision, completing the four-piece tempest assaulting the audience with a sound you might hear in the backdrop of a desolate scene from a Mad Max film. To experience this blending of various subgenres of metal into one perfected band, check out the live performance brought to you by Mildly Distorted Promotions.
Self-described as "loud, abrasive stoner metal," Orcanaut crashes onto the Denton metal scene with lengthy guitar/drum solos and high-pitched screeching vocals. Featuring the talents of Cameron Hinojosa on guitar/vocals, Korbin Chase at guitar, Hayden Kirkby at bass/vocals, and Jake Mann on drums, the group pulls heavy influences from other subgenres of metal. Their most recent discography includes the single “Sith Viscious;" a guitar heavy tune you can’t resist rocking out to in the car. The four-piece played their most recent set at the first annual Band Together Denton festival; if you were unfortunate enough to not be in attendance (like me), you can still experience their music via their Bandcamp page.
Reminiscent of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign in musical style, lyrics, and stage presentation, Dieselbeast stands apart from its fellow nominees. Carek Coleman playing bass with Rogan Naples on drums provide a stark contrast to the swift guitar performances of Jason Rochester (also on vocals) and Wyatt Williams. Chris Morehead’s voice carries clearly over the instrumental ensemble, contrary to the deeper and harsher vocal tones of other metal performers. Although seemingly out of the norm from other Denton acts, Dieselbeast takes on the typical idea of modern metal and turns it on its head with melodic ballads and a stage presence all their own. If you haven’t experienced Dieselbeast live at a Denton show yet, Mildly Distorted Promotions has provided a great video of one of their previous performances at Andy’s for your viewing and listening delight.
Shaolin Death Squad
Donning kabuki masks and other stylistic elements as a homage to the Asian theatre, Shaolin Death Squad combines the harmony, melody, aggressive grooves and mysterious ambience. Adroo O’Hearn, Kenny Lovern, Gary Thorne, Matt Thompson, David O’Hearn and Kelsey Sharp create an orchestrated synthesis that illuminates a strong theatrical presence while offering an intriguing mix of progressive hard rock and metal. Featuring dynamic covers of famous artists such as Queen and David Bowie as well as their own original material including their single “Race of Thinkers” from their album As You Become Us, Shaolin Death Squad stands in as a strong contender with the rest of the features metal acts. Intrigued metal fans can partake in their music by visiting their website.