Pyreship (Houston, TX)
Houston is most often noted for bland pop and indie. What is most often overlooked is it’s small but indelibly black-blooded metal scene. Informed equally by West Coast doom and post metal, Floridian death metal and Georgia sludge, it’s the unexpected scream at a hipster’s dinner party.
Houston sludge thugs PyreShip expertly blend post metal and doom with a raft of 90’s slowcore and noise rock influences. Comprised of four road-hardened musicians, PyreShip’s songs are reflective of their formative environment – stripped down, unpretentious, and resilient.
Live, the music is meant to be both heard and felt, with Steve Smith’s relentless jackhammer beats melding seamlessly with the molten slag spilling out of George Lusito’s bass amp. Co-guitarists Jason Jordan and Sam Waters stoke the bellows. PyreShip is one of the few remaining bands running an unapologetically monolithic backline. They use it to slam out slow, deliberate riffs that resonate long after the show has ended and the crowd dispersed.
Omotai (Houston, TX)
Omotai is a rarity in the world of the heavy – a curious stylistic alloy, a band wielding the stoner metal truncheon with math rock deliberation. The apoplexy of each gnashing riff, conveyed live via a massive wall of amplification, is enough to bring flesh as well as the surrounding atmosphere to a target resonance, the audience appropriated as a biological component of the sonic transmission.
The Houston metal outfit was formed in December 2009 by Sam Waters (guitar, vocals) and Anthony Vallejo (drums, vocals). They recruited Melissa Lonchambon Ryan (bass guitar, vocals) a month later and hit the studio almost immediately to pump out their debut EP Peace Through Fear, taking cues from 80’s thrash, 90’s noise rock, grindcore and sludge. Their sophomore effort, Terrestrial Grief, distilled Peace’s strongest points, upping the math and whiplash quotients by several orders of magnitude.
Rapidly garnering a rep for punishingly loud live performances, with an emphasis on speed and aberrant rhythms, the trio toured the US between 2010 and 2012, sharpening their skills alongside Yob, the Sword, Big Business, Hammerhead and countless other bands. In 2013, after constant writing and the third release,Fresh Hell, looming, they took on guitarist/vocalist Jamie Ross. It’s proven a smart investment for the band, with Ross’s shred adding a new dimension to Ryan and Waters’ already pummeling wall of riffery.
Glassing (Austin, TX)
Cold sand on a barren coastline. Spectral blackness. Godless nights. The calmness of undisturbed water. The illusion of belonging. Death As A Gift. These are but a minute illustration of the vast array of themes and explorations deliberated upon by Austin, TX trio GLASSING on their sophomore opus Spotted Horse. Weaving together layers upon layers of dense textures, swirling blast beats and looming atmospheres, GLASSING excel at the art of organized chaos through sound. Across 10 songs and 44 minutes, GLASSING blend elements of black metal and post-hardcore with ambient explorations, dream-pop sensibilities and grinding walls of sound that defy categorization. Spotted Horse is, at its core, a construction of dynamic, beautifully unsettling soundscapes and nothingness unsurfaced.
Searing Arrow (Houston, TX)