"You hear one metal band, you've heard 'em all."
Heavy metal fans know that this is one of the most naive statements one can say about the genre, but it's still a sentiment often spoken.
Metal genres are exponentially diverse nowadays, allowing for some interesting lineups. A perfect example is a metal show at Rogue Bar on Saturday, February 28.
Put on by Kill Death Productions, the lineup includes Ashes of the Dead, Empire of Dezire, Enemy Machine, Falling Thru Skies, Storm of Perception, and Teratoma. It's a mix of bands from across Arizona, playing in support of Denver-based Sanity's Edge.
"I chose these bands because the variety of metal genres help define how badass a metal show can be," says Manni Jimenez, founder of Kill Death Productions.
Each band has a unique background and provokes completely different sounds within the realm of metal.
Sanity's Edge is just what it sounds like: focused on "the split second impulses we either fight off or relent to, the thin line we balance on called sanity's edge." Since 2008, the band has created a blend of driving riffs and powerful screams balanced with harmonic vocals -- a melodic brutality, if you will.
"Denver's metal scene is very vast and diverse," says guitarist Steve Addison. "We prefer to stay away from the 'recipe' arrangements."
Then there's Enemy Machine, an extreme metal band hailing from southeastern Arizona's San Carlos Apache Nation. Their mix of vicious vocals and grooving, relentless riffs creates an unintentional brand of "dirt road metal."
"Our area is very rural, with a lot of back roads or dirt roads," says guitarist Josh Titla. "Our singer [Bryan Pechuli] jokingly said our demo is the type of music you can blast while cruising the dirt roads."
It's safe to say that the San Carlos Apache Nation isn't really known for metal, but then came Enemy Machine in 2005, which eventually would open for such national acts as Six Feet Under, Warbringer, and Decapitated.
"We were the first metal band to emerge from our area, and the music scene has never been more active than it is now. We just want to represent where we come from the best we can," Titla says.
Storm of Perception is a band that thrives on the mythological elements of the northern Arizona desert, in Prescott. The members are astronomers, martial artists, former sailors, and gunsmiths, and the band currently is managed by Alan Niven, owner of Tru-B-Dor Records and a past manager of Guns N' Roses. Storm of Perception brings influences that range from Pantera to Iron Maiden, and you hear it in the growls and soaring melodic bridges.
"Our music is free of the dimension of formula, and forms horizons we can only imagine. Our music is our metal fuckin' mothership," says vocalist Brian Herring.
And it was only in fall 2014 that Ashes of the Dead came together, pulling from influences that range from the Beatles to Metallica to The Who. One of the band's vocalists and guitarists, Ritchie Smith, lost a finger in a 2006 motorcycle accident and was told by doctors that he would have only 5 percent to 10 percent use of his arm. He has found that he's actually a better guitar player than before, overcoming all the odds -- not surprising to the other members, as that's just the mentality of the band.
Rounding out the bill includes Teratoma, Falling Thru Skies, and Empire of Dezire, the latter of which is a mix of progressive metal and thrash. The band's powerhouse female vocalist, Tulin Howey, brought her Turkish background to the table, which included music influences from Europe and Asia. Combine that with the other members' love for classical, blues, and Southern tunes and you've got inspiration from what Tulin says is "current social and political topics, while also reaching deep into emotional and universal views that could be related to by most people."
Sanity's Edge and others are scheduled to perform Saturday, February 28, at the Rogue Bar in Scottsdale.
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