Archive for The Well

New Years Salutations

Posted in Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , on January 6, 2014 by backstabbath

Huzzah!We had a great time at Friday night’s show at Red 7. The Well, Skycrawler, and Sex Chamber all delivered the metallic goods and despite the less than ideal weather an abundant crowd showed up and rocked with us. Thank you all for helping us ring in the new year. Huzzah!

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Heavy Comes To Free Week

Posted in flyers, Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2013 by backstabbath

free week We’re currently in the middle of recording the follow up to “The Shadow Tradition” but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have time to bring our brand of beatific bludgeoning to local aficionados of heavy music as we take part in this year’s Free Week festivities. This year Red 7 will be hosting a showcase which in all probability will be Free Week’s heaviest bill, as we join Skycrawler, The Well, and Sex Chamber in purveying perpetual poundings of powerfully ponderous proportions. And did I mention that this is free? So now all you thrifty thrill-seekers (i.e. cheap bastards) have no excuse. In lieu of paying a cover charge, you’ll now have some extra cash to spend on a few extra PBR tallboys or to buy that poodle-haired girl at the bar an extra drink or two…or, hell, maybe even spend some money on merchandise and show us how much you really love us. Or not. We’ll love you all anyway.

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!

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!

A Hell Broth of Sonic Sorcery, or The Incestuous Nature of The Capitol City’s Metal Scene

Posted in flyers, Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2012 by backstabbath

Tomorrow night we’ll be playing at the Taj Mahal of Austin’s live music venues: Headhunters. This place is definitely not for the claustrophobic or faint of heart and even less so on this particular evening, as eight different bands of metallic bent will be piling into this cavernous club with the full intent of out-heavying all other contenders on the bill. If cramped quarters, drunken revelry and maximum volume aren’t your thing,  you are well advised to steer clear. For those of you who can deal with the extremely cozy quarters and ear-splitting volume then checking out this bill just may prove to be worthwhile, as quite the eclectic array of ponderously leaden sounds will be on display. Everything from doom, thrash, death, crust, psych, traditional metal and even some good ol’ hardcore will be represented at some point before the last riff has been played and final shot of liquor has been consumed.

For the uninitiated I’ll give a few brief thoughts regarding the bands on the bill.

Whenever someone asks me about The Blood Royale I always want to say they sound like Motorhead meets Discharge. I’ve never really listened to Discharge so what the hell do I know? I do know that The Blood Royale are oppresively heavy and infectiously catchy and they put on a hell of a show. They play regionally constantly so all of you locals probably know this already.

Curse The Heavens mix up epic metallic compositions with the filth-ridden angst that comes from their old-school hardcore origins and produce a sound that, to my ears, is quite unlike anything else in the Capitol City. These guys have been slogging it out in the trenches here for quite some time to very little fanfare. They deserve your attention and support.

The Well are quite possibly the band most likely to have a derisive eye cast in their direction from the most “cult” and “true” of the metal faithful in attendance, but I also suspect that they may also win over quite a few converts and provide a much needed breath of fresh air to the nights heavier-than-thou proceedings. Don’t get me wrong, because there is plenty of heft and weight to their Pentagram-inspired delivery and the dueling vocals of guitarist, Ian Graham, and bassist, Lisa Alley, are an especially nice touch. Check out their version of Pink Floyd’s “Lucifer Sam”.

Aside from old-school death I am not really much of a fan of this genre anymore, especially with regards to the modern ultra-technical bands that dominate today’s scene. For my money, Entombed, Autopsy, Asphyx, and Bolt Thrower are where it’s at.  That being said, I did enjoy Demontuary the last time I saw them at The Scoot Inn. They played a tight and technical set that was not without catchy hooks. They certainly had the most memorable onstage moment of the night when their Satan-praising lead vocalist quit the band mid-set and threw his beer at their guitarist for proclaiming that “Satan sucks”. Very metal indeed.

I have yet to catch the remaining acts live so I don’t have too much to say, but what the hell…

According to what I’ve read and heard about Witches Mark, they produce a stylistic mix of traditional metal and only the “purest” of its sub-genres . I recently heard their cover of  “Solitude” by Candlemass and I must say that it was not too shabby. I am looking forward to catching them in action

The Cruxiter Facebook page describes them as being “Traditional Hard Rock/Heavy Metal From Texas USA”. Fair enough. I have also heard good things about them from very reliable sources so get down early enough to catch their set. They go on at 9:30.

The ridiculous band name of the evening award goes to (drum roll, please)….ASS! I showed the flyer to a co-worker and she thought the name was cool, so maybe it’s just me. I was, after all, a member of a band called Bukakke at one point fer chrissakes, so who am I to judge? I hated that band name too, by the way. Apparently ASS is a crossover thrash band from College Station. I was weened on the stuff so I will certainly give them a go. Hopefully it’s not the trite party thrash that all the kiddies have their skinny jeans all in a bunch over. We shall have to wait and see…

If you are reading this blog then you more than likely already know what Mala Suerte sounds like so I’ll leave it at that.

After making the above flyer for this show and looking and the bands on the bill I got to thinking about all the performing bands that have shared or do share band members. The Blood Royale’s drummer, John Petri, played drums for Mala Suerte for many years up until about a year ago and he and their guitarist, Tim Corken, played togther and moved from Iowa while playing in a noisy metal/rock outfit called Gutbucket. Additionally, their lead-guitarist, JT Smith, also shares duties in local trio Dixie Witch and Houston’s The Drunks. As mentioned above, our guitarist, David Guerrero, and I were also in a band with Tim and John called Bukakke. We played quite a few shows and even recorded a rough 4 song EP which unfortunately, due in part to shoddy recording quality and the band’s implosion, never saw the light of day. Dave and I also jammed briefly with guitarist John Alaniz and drummer Tony Degon in a pre-Curse The Heavens incarnation. A few songs were written but no live shows or recording ever came to fruition.
Witches Mark stick-man, Scott Palmer, also manned the drum stool for Demontuary and he, together with Demontuary guitarist, Steve Perez, were also in two other metal ensembles together, namely Of The Fallen and Hollow Point. Witches Mark’s  bassist, Andy Gonzalez, will be performing double duty as he also handles the low end in show openers Cruxiter as well. I’m not exactly sure what this says about the state of the Austin metal scene. Are we a bunch of prolific fuckers that have too much creativity to let out, or are we just an incestuous bunch of bickering bastards that just can’t seem to get along with one another? As is usually the case, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. Either way, I think the metal scene is certainly starting to pick up some steam and is beginning to produce bands of a more varied and diverse nature than ever before.

Anyway, if you see me at the show come and say hello. I’ll be the thirsty guy at the bar. Prost!