Happy REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY!!! Or is it DR. REV.? Either way, HAPPY MLK DAY! This week’s post is going to be different — everyone’s black. SURPRISE! Yes. All of the metal bands I’m about to show you are either all black, or mostly (2/3 or more) black — and there’s going to be more bands featured than usual. I’ve photographed a shit ton of shows, moshed with the best of them, been knocked unconscious, woke up, and still took more pics — but I still get the “what are you doing here?” question from the baby boomer bigots and some gen x morons. Black people not only like metal… we invented it.
Rock n’ roll? That was us. That shit white christians used to call “devil’s music” (they weren’t talking about Satan sweetie, they were talking about black people) was actually music (formed) by black people. Little Richard, Chuck Berry (The Father of Rock n’ Roll), James Brown, Fats Domino, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Bo Diddley and others were the true pioneers of Rock n’ Roll since it started out as blues music. Then we played the guitar a little angrier and just started wailing! Yeap! So before Elvis (the guy who stole black music and made money like other pop icons) was even thought of, the genre was already well on it’s way to being a success since kids love listening to things they’re “not supposed to”. So, in honor of them, and MLK Day and all of the black kids out there who want to be in a metal band but might feel weird or it’s “not for them” — bitch, you were MADE FOR THIS. We INVENTED this. Pick up that guitar, or those drum sticks, or that mic and fuckin WAIL BABY!
ALL. BLACK. EVERYTHING.
THE COLOR 8 — “SAVAGE SEASON”
FATALITY!!! As a Mortal Kombat fiend and a black nerd, I really appreciate this song (I’m more of a Kitana/Scorpio player)! THE COLOR 8 is a rap metal band from Phoenix, Arizona who gets the crowd hype on their music. A nice flow enhanced by some baritone guitar playing — not to mention the breakdown at the end. “Savage Season” is THE COLOR 8‘s #1 song on YouTube (I can see why), and they have others to check out as well. No Band Camp to speak of but they’re on Spotify so stream that shit!
SAMURAI SHOTGUN — “THE BLAST”
Seriously digging this song “The Blast” from this amazing band called SAMURAI SHOTGUN. This experimental hip-hop/progressive rock band is from Tampa, Florida and has been around since their first album in 2013. The music being produced by this band is definitely something I don’t normally come across — reminded me of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE for sure! SAMURAI SHOTGUN‘s music video gives the full picture of the song’s meaning — turning from a peaceful ceremony into a bloody mess. Check out their music video for their wildly amazing sound and go to their Band Camp page for more albums!
THE MUSLIMS — “FUCK THE CISTEM”
LOVING this quirky, queer, poc, punk band THE MUSLIMS! They come straight out of Durham, North Carolina (really?!) and are absolutely adorable as they are savage! “Fuck The Cistem” is everything I needed this year — every year. THE MUSLIMS are fearless and funny with their lyrics with this perfectly punk song from beginning to the very end! Check it out below and download the album from their Band Camp page here!
PALEOS — “THANATOPHOBIA”
Where have y’all been all my life? What the fuck?! PALEOS is this killer deathcore/metalcore band from Atlanta, Georgia (that’s where they were lol) and they’ve only just started. This song “Thanatophobia” (translated as the fear of death), was a single release from January of 2020. I’m seriously hoping that this year we get some more PALEOS music cause I’m very much into the idea of an all black death/metal core band! Check out their video for “Thanatophobia” below and be sure to listen to their album ‘ We Are The Weary’ on the official Band Camp page!
UPCHUCK — “SHAKIN”
Another amazing punk band here! UPCHUCK is an incredible band from Atlanta, Georgia and really brings the “justified anger” vibe along with them in this song “Shakin”. UPCHUCK has actually released their very first EP last year in January with only demos floating around. Very interested in what this band has to offer in the future (especially after all of this). Check out their super cool music video below (and even learn a new language haha!) and don’t forget to dip by their Band Camp for some more music!
THE 1865 — “GET OUT”
True to the roots and origins of Rock n’ Roll, THE 1865 is a band from New York, New York that tells it like it is — no chaser. Even the name ‘1865’ made me look up the year which revealed that a lot of the messed up racial history was happening at this time (Google it — for real) and really sets the tone of the band. THE 1865‘s song “Get Out” is a disturbing reminder of who we share this land with — mental illness with face paint. Not going to lie, this video is a little enraging considering the history of blackface and the social injustices real black people face everyday. All that being said, watch the music video for their song “Get Out” below and be sure to check out their music on Band Camp!
BLACK PANTERA — “I CAN’T BREATHE”
I’m pretty shocked that this video didn’t go viral. The first band to come out with some music regarding all of this chaos (from what I can tell), BLACK PANTERA got straight to the point with the “I Can’t Breathe” music video. A literal depiction of being a black man in the world with a white hand on your neck as you’re just minding your own business. I love that it didn’t need to be complicated, or feature images of tragedies, or anything like that — it was just simple, dark, and deep. BLACK PANTERA wasted no time in coming out with the video or the song, and the urgency for black equality isn’t over yet. Check out their visually impacting music video below and be sure to steam their new music on Spotify!
ZULU — ‘MY PEOPLE… HOLD ON’
RAW AS FUCK. ZULU is a hardcore punk band from Los Angeles, California who mixes music with black PSAs and emotional recorded speeches to enhance the message behind their music. There was this other video where they had a run in with a klansman (watch it here) — I won’t ruin it but it’s pretty short and hilarious. ‘My People… Hold On’ is a beautiful piece of work that lasts less than nine minutes — ZULU‘s entire EP. I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to hearing more out of this band, especially as the historical events unfold. Listen to their record below and don’t forget to check out the rest of their music on Band Camp!
WE ARE BAND NERDS — “SAVAGE”
A gorgeous mixture of hip-hop, metal, and r&b , not like anything I’ve ever heard. WE ARE BAND NERDS fulfills my eclectic needs with this song “Savage” experimenting with elements of OVO-style/DRAKE and 2000’s Nu Metal — the range is pretty extraordinary. This hybrid metal band comes out of Dallas, Texas, and before you start to fret since this is an older video, they are working on something new so no worries! WE ARE BAND NERDS is coming up with some new mixtures right meow! So check out their music video for “Savage” below and drop by their social media to see what they’re working on!
CONKRETE GOD — “DRIVE”
CONKRETE GOD is a powerhouse band that really sticks to the origins of Rock n’ Roll! This Atlanta, Georgia based band is all about soulful heavy metal and it really shows in their biggest hit “Drive”. The singer had already mentioned it, but I was thinking about Aretha Franklin when I was looking at this band. If Aretha had a metal band to back her up, it would be CONKRETE GOD — they’re still a glorious tribute to the legend regardless. Check out their song “Drive” below and make sure you visit their social media for updates on upcoming projects!