By Rebecca Bulnes
By Lee Zimmerman
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"Metal is alive and kicking down here," says Jean Saiz, guitarist and co-growler for guttural sludge trio Shroud Eater.
Her endorsement of Miami's assorted metal-derived extreme music comes with the clarification that recent activity — such as the rise of Shroud Eater's practice space and metal clubhouse venue, Beelzebub's Cave (recently awarded Best Rock Club in New Times' "Best of Miami"), as well as the increasingly porous relationships among the respective punk, experimental, and metal scenes — is no new development.
According to Saiz, metal has been a part of the local musical climate for years — it's just "been associated with a fringe, underground culture that thrives mostly through word of mouth and not popular consent or being written about in the paper." And recently, the only thing that has changed is increased attention.
5501 NE 2nd Ave.
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Despite a long-broiling, subterranean precedent, the current age of Miami metal — Shroud Eater, numerous peer bands, and the increasingly metallic South Florida genre Venn diagram — can at least be qualified by a steady flow of nationally touring artists pulled in by the scene's magnetism. And like moshing, headbanging moths led to a totally brutal breakdown flame, a pair of acts representing Canadian cult-metal label Profound Lore Records will take Miami for a spin in the pit this Sunday at Churchill's Pub.
Winnipeg's KEN (Kill Everything Now) Mode wears its influences on the sleeve — and we're talking about tattoos — which brings us back to cross-genre pollination. The Mode doesn't play traditional anything, instead infusing the testosterone-fueled, angry-dad-shouting pulse of '90s Amphetamine Reptile-style rock with the air-tight compression and chaotic composition of the tech/hardcore/metal blueprint perfected by Converge.
Meanwhile, Atlas Moth is equally eclectic in its savage stylings. This band even gets straight-up sensitive, delivering emo-indie crooning in between the postrock crescendos, whirlpool psychedelics, and intricate thrashing.
So whatever their chosen take on the metal template, it's clear that bruisers across the nation (and, hey, Canada too) are taking note of the menacing, deep sounds roaring forth from the deep, deep South.