Archive for Las Cruces

Rivers To Ruin (or just another heavy metal Saturday night in the River City).

Posted in flyers, Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2013 by backstabbath

mala suerte flyer

As I set out to write a little something about our next show in San Antonio I couldn’t help but reflect back on some of previous gigs we’ve played there in the Alamo City. From all night illicit and intoxicated shenanigans with the gents from Las Cruces, Pillcrusher, and Slo’ Poke, to almost landing myself in the slammer on felony charges after a gig with Eyehategod and Phobia, San Antonio has proved to be a place of many vivid memories for me, fond or otherwise. Many people will tell you, especially those who reside in the area, that San Antonio is without a doubt the metal mecca of Texas, a sentiment that can be evidenced by those “Keep San Antonio Metal” bumper stickers that I saw emblazoned on more than a few truck bumpers a few years ago. Now while I may agree that pound for pound San Antonio probably has more metal per capita than anywhere else in the state ,which could also possibly be attributed to it’s even more superb tradition of absolutely delicious Mexican cuisine, I must say that it currently fails to live up to it’s lofty reputation. It’s legendary status of being a metal oasis is still supported by the memories of a scene that once was really thriving and vital, but unfortunately, rose colored glasses and the occasional backyard barbeque with a bit of Slayer and King Diamond does not a scene make. I remember hearing about all the unforgettable shows that took place there in the 80s and early 90s but the viability of the scene seems to have fallen away quite a bit since then. Nowadays it seems that many metal fans there seem less concerned with supporting their local scene and can only muster up the energy to attend shows featuring more established national acts, and in all fairness, this is probably the case in many others scenes as well, Austin included. Now before I get all my San Antonio friends and associates upset and ready to string me up and burn my corpse in offer to the metal gods, I will say that there are great bands, musicians, and fans there that are very much involved in the scene and because of their continued dedication and support we do continue to play there.  With mainstays like Las Cruces continuing to carry the torch and current frontrunners, Hod, spreading the gospel, San Antonio metal could be poised to experience a new renaissance, and I for one welcome it.

On Saturday, October 5th we’ll be returning to SA and Nightrocker Live once again for a bill that features a collection of bands that all do decidedly different takes on the riff-based sound that Sabbath created. For our part we’ve been taking the miserably morose doom-laden foundation that we’ve been known for over the past several years and incorporating a lot more velocity and chunky riffing to add an even more vicious level to our morbid miasma of sound. Fellow Austinites, The Well harken back even further and much closer to the initial source of inspiration by eschewing modern sounds in favor of a more heady concoction of psychotropic freakscapes, Iommi-induced guitar-gasms, and an almost poppy sensibility that all but belies the enveloping heaviness on display. San Antonio’s sons of feedback and fuzz, Slo’ Poke, bring the good vibes and buzz and are probably the band most likely to be a hit with the heavy metal parking lot set. I’ve yet to hear Mount Sherpa but from what I’ve gathered from the postings I’ve seen, they do the whole doom/drone thing and should add another varied element to the evening. Don’t forget your qualudes.

And by the way, to all of my San Antonio friends who may have gotten up in arms about the comments above, they should in no way be deemed as an indictment against the city or those in the scene.  Maybe I’m completely off base or maybe I’m just a cranky old bastard, but believe me I could go on an even longer rant about the Austin scene. Huzzah!

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The Tex-Mex Doom Triumvirate (Maligno, Mala Suerte, and Las Cruces join forces)

Posted in flyers, Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2012 by backstabbath

Monterrey’s premier doom rockers, Maligno, are gearing up for their first US jaunt with shows in McAllen (Nov. 15th), San Antonio (Nov. 16th), Austin (Nov. 17th), and Houston (Nov. 18th), and joining them for three of the four dates are Austin’s masters of misery, Mala Suerte, and San Antonio’s doom icons, Las Cruces. While Mexico has never been known as a hotbed for doom metal, Maligno, which formed in 2004,  has been at the forefront of the Mexican metal and hard rock scenes, racking up stadium shows and festival appearances alongside such luminaries as Slayer, Iron Maiden, Cathedral, Metallica, Testament, and Guns N’ Roses. Their sound was forged from the purest elements of metal’s origins, especially evident in their razor-sharp Sabbath-inspired riffing and traditional melodic sound. Even though much of Maligno’s music could be easily considered doom, there is enough deviation stylistically and tempo-wise, with many flat-out rocking moments and plenty of shades of light and dark sprinkled throughout, and the precision of their delivery and the melody of their vocals adds a touch of class and refinement which I think will go a long way in opening up further inroads within the heavy music community.

It amazes me when I talk to people in this town that claim to like doom when I mention the name Las Cruces and I simply get a shrug and a look of complete of bewilderment, especially considering the fact that they are this state’s second longest running doom band, with the sole exception being the legendary Solitude Aeturnus. But I guess with all things retro being in vogue now it should come as no surprise to me that only the hippest (i.e., the lamest) bands are the ones that are being thrust into the limelight. Whatever the case may be, those of you that have truly followed the evolution of our beloved slow and low, morose and mighty metal scene will need no introduction to the undeniable merits of their deliciously leaden groove. Las Cruces has thus far released three full studio albums, two of which–1998s Ringmaster and 2010s Dusk–are as good as any release by any other doom band here or overseas. The band has seen many trying and turbulent times, with many line-up changes and setbacks, but it is a tribute to their tenacity that they keep bringing the doom despite the adversity. Perhaps this is what makes their sound seem so immediate and authentic? I for one am glad they are keeping the torch aflame through the darkness!

Once again, I feel rather ridiculous about waxing poetic about the band for which I’ve shredded my vocal cords and decimated my hearing for for the better part of the last 15 years, and, besides by now, you’d think we’d be old enough to know better. Unfortunately for you that is definitely not the case. Hard-headed bastards die hard. Trends be damned.

As I type this, post-2 AM Friday morning, Maligno will have just wrapped up their first US gig in McAllen, TX and will be heading to San Antonio presumably after all proclivities have been entertained and vices celebrated, and will be joining up with Las CrucesMala Suerte and Bay Of Pigs for a show at The Nightrocker.  The Tex-Mex Doom Trio will then be heading to Austin right into the thick of Formula 1 madness for a gig at The 29th ST. Ballroom. Austin’s excellent doom/psych trio, The Well will be offering support. Finally, we’ll finish off the weekend at Rudyard’s in Houston along with Project Armageddon.

I’m looking forward to seeing the guys in Maligno again, as it has been quite some time since we’ve ventured down to Mexico to play with them, and I hope to get better acquainted with the fine folks of The Well, Project Armageddon, and Bay Of Pigs. Hopefully we’ll also see some of you at the shows. Doom till the tomb!