It's that time of the year again folks, when ghouls and goblins roam the streets of the city, eager to rock their brains out.
Yes, Halloween is not just for kids or adults who are into wearing scary, kinky costumes. It's also about musicians, particularly those into what is popularly known as death metal.
The genre gained prominence in the '80s and is marked by heavily distorted low-tuned guitars, fast and aggressive beats, and growling vocals. And the lyrics, well they're usually about death (or some might argue, life). Sometimes it goes to the extremes, touching on topics that include violent acts like torture, dismemberment, and mutilation. Perfect for Halloween, right?
Several Pinoy bands have gained acclaim for their foray into the genre. In celebration of the scariest time of the year, we've collated some of the best local metal acts we've heard so far.
Members of this Pinoy outfit are considered gods of the scene. Their song "Amorphosis" is a good introduction to their kind of music because it displays not only their technical skills, but also their superb lyrical work, which is as imaginative as it is quite visual. A sample lyric: "Darkness will conquer the earth and the sky, Forever we'll suffer, humanity's demise..." Damn, that's deep.
These Parañaque based metalheads are earning nods for their dark rocking tunes. Their collective appearance is kind of reminiscent of make-up era Kiss, except their singer wears actual fangs. Among their best cuts is "Beast 696," where they summon some demons to rise. Hail, Satan!
Not really classified as Death Metal, but band leader Eurd dela Hostria (he with the axe-shaped bass) and company sure deserve inclusion in this list, only because they rock as hard as any of their younger counterparts. Besides, their songs are the perfect soundtrack for All Hallows' Eve. Just check out the opening lines of "Kandilang Itim," which goes, "Pagdating ng takip-silim, Sa pag-aagaw ng liwanag at dilim, Ako'y muling lalakad sa lupa, Sa pagtirik ng kandilang itim..."
Among more popular local death metal combos, Intolerant always gets the best gigs, being the first choice to open for visiting Death Metal acts from overseas.
Formed in 2007 from the ashes of the legendary Skychurch, the band has since charted several iconic tunes, among them the headbanger's anthem "Death Toll Rising," which could very well be the next theme song for The Walking Dead. Sing it: "Bodies pile up everywhere, Fear, death is everywhere…" That went dark quick...
These Caviteños are considered the fastest of their ilk, able to rain a million shards of notes and beat per second, allowing for a frenetic sound that could incite riots. Just listen to "Master Of Pain" and you'd easily understand why.
Kabaong ni Kamatayan
Among early progenitors of the genre, Kabaong Ni Kamatayan is an inspiration to many of today's Death Metal acts. Formed in the '90s, KNK separates themselves from the rest of the pack with their old-school approach to noisemaking, as defined by their classic "Prelude To Insanity."
Known for melding slashing riffs with thunderous beats, creating haunting tunes that punch listeners in the gut, Pathogen is among the rare Pinoy acts to have earned fans across the globe, including France and the US. Check out "Atrocity Exhibit" which boasts of memorable lines that goes, "Inside the crypts of damnation, Where souls forsaken and torn, Torched in stygian pyre, Breeding rabid virulence of an infernal provocation..." Sheer poetry.
Rocking out of Cebu, these hellraisers are among the few local acts to actually dare explore satanism in some of their songs. Check out the downright spine-chilling "Rivals Of The Throne". Definitely not for weak of heart.