"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 -- like the rise of Shroud Eater's practice space b/w metal clubhouse venue, Beezelbub's Cave (Miami's Best Rock Club), and the increasingly porous relationships between the respective punk, experimental, and metal scenes -- is no new development or wave.
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's changed has been increased attention.
Despite a long-broiling, subterranean precedent, the current age of Miami metal -- Shroud Eater, numerous peer bands, and the increasingly metallic South Florida genre ven diagram -- can at least be qualified by a steady flow of nationally touring artists pulled in by the scene's magnetism.
Like moshing, headbanging moths led to a totally brutal breakdown flame, a pair of acts representing Canadian cult metal label Profound Lore Records will be taking Miami for a spin in the pit next week 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-y, angry-dad-shouting pulse of '90s Amphetamine Reptile-style rock with the air-tight compression and chaotic composition of the tech/hardcore/metal blueprint developed (and/or perfected) by Converge.
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Meanwhile, Atlas Moth is equally eclectic in its savage stylings. This band even gets straight-up sensitive. We distinctly hear some emo-indie crooning in between the post-rock crescendos, whirlpool psychedelics, and intricate thrashing.
Whatever their chosen take on the metal template, it's clear that bruisers across the country (and hey, Canada too) are taking note of the menacing, deep sounds roaring forth from the deep, deep South.
KEN Mode and The Atlas Moth with Shroud Eater, Homestretch, and Ether. Sunday, October 9. Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. Doors open at 8 p.m. and there is $5 cover. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com.