Metal and Spain: an Insider’s Perspective

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Hello fellow flushers!! My name is MoshOff. I was born in and currently live in the mythical land of SPAIN. I’m here to tell you about my (sometimes) great country!

If you pay attention to the news, you might be thinking “Poor thing, are you OK? Can you afford clothes? Aren’t you sick of eating tacos all day??”. If any of those questions popped into your head, then QUE TE JODAN, PUTO YANKI EGOCÉNTRICO.

Did you notice the distinct lack of “Pendejo”, “Pinche” and “Güero” in my insult? Good!! That’s the first step towards realizing…

 

SPAIN ISN’T MEXICO GODDAMMIT

 

Whenever I’m in the States there’re always an alarming number of people who believe that Spain and Mexico are one and the same, because why would two countries that have nothing but (barely) the same language in common be different, right? They’re both worse than America, so why should I care about being able to tell the difference?

First of all, the type of Spanish spoken in Spain (Castellano) is quite different from the type of Spanish spoken in Mexico. Suffice it to say it’s comparable to British English and American English: different accents and VERY different names for things.

Second of all, don’t let the tan fool you: most “native” Spañards are as Caucasian as they come (myself included), so if you pictured a Spanish person and he wasn’t white then YOU’RE PROBABLY A RACIST. Not really. But Spain didn’t actually have a lot of racial diversity until the 80s came around. Why? Dictatorship, that’s why!! (I’ll get into that later).

There are many more differences to bring up (food, climate, etc.), but you probably get the idea. So the next time you meet a Spaniard, don’t give him a Mariachi hat and take him to El Rodeo so he “feels at home”. Please.

Also, like I sort of mentioned in the first paragraph: if you watch the news, you might be aware that Spain is going down the toilet. We don’t have any money, nobody has a job, and the government is dismantling the public health system that took a good 30 years to build faster than you can say “Haxl Posenberg”. And if that wasn’t bad enough, THE KING RESIGNED (like I give a crap, but it was a pretty big deal). All of this is true, but don’t let the lamestream media fool you: it could be a lot worse. YAY!!

 

Moving on to the important stuff: the Metals of Spain. To give you an idea of where metal in Spain is coming from, let me give you a bit of historical context.

The Spanish Civil War ended in 1939, after 3 years and close to 200.000 casualties, and from then until 1975 Spain was run by a dictator with a huge Napoleon complex whose name I’m not going to type because he doesn’t deserve the press (hint: he was a super chill and understanding dude). There was very little information about the outside world until the 60s rolled around, and only then did foreign popular music start to make its way to people’s earholes at a slow and supervised rate.

This meant that hard rock/metal bands started to sprout up in the late 70s/early 80s (after the dictatorship) and got popular during the 80s. Most of these bands were heavily influenced by AC/DC, Iron Maiden, blues-oriented rock ‘n roll, and stuff like that (thrash wasn’t a thing yet, and even when it was Spain was really behind schedule). As the 80s progressed, some of these bands started to ape the Glam aesthetic (and the music to, to some extent).

From what I understand it was a pretty underground scene at first, and all these “original” Spanish metal bands are super important to every metalhead over 40. I don’t really care that much for any of them, and some of them barely qualify as metal to my ears. If for some reason you ever hear an older Spanish person talk about “heavy” (pronounced he-bi in Spanish), there’s a solid chance it might be in reference to one of these bands. Anyway, here they are, in no particular order:

Obús

Barón Rojo

Ñu

Leño

 

Later came the 90s; these three bands (of different sub-genres) are among the most popular in the Spanish metal scene, even nowadays:

Tierra Santa

Hailing from the region where I live in, Tierra Santa (Holy Land) play pretty straightforward Power Metal, you’ll probably dig them if you’re into that. I’m not huge on PM to start with, but for some reason Spanish lyrics make everything sound like 100000x more epic, and my brain just can’t deal with it.

Saratoga

“Spanish Thrash” is a phrase often used to describe these fellows (not by me though). You might be starting to see a pattern here: yes, Spañards like their metal epic and cheesy. Their current drummer used to be in Wormed, that’s about all I care to know about them.

Mägo de Oz

Although this song in particular might not be the most representative of theirs, it’s by far their most well-known. If you’re into folk-y stuff with lots of violins, flutes and lyrics about drinking and partying (and pirates), this is your band!!

 

The bands that I’ve talked about so far are some of the most popular in the Spanish metal scene as a whole. You’ve probably been able to tell I’m not exactly fond of any of them. So to finish this mother up, here are some of my favorite extreme bands from Not Mexico:

Wormed

Tech-Death-ish band from Madrid. Reminds me of Cryptopsy with (more and better) pig squeals and lyrics that would make Carl Sagan say “You might want to cool it with the space stuff”. Buy their shit, pronto.

– Bandcamp: http://wormed.bandcamp.com/

– FB: https://www.facebook.com/wormed

Machetazo

Grind band from Galicia. Alleged pioneers in the whole horror movie samples thing. They hardly play anywhere, so if for some twist of fate you get the chance to, go see them. LITTERALLY as I was putting the finishing touches on this article I read on facebook that they just broke up. Dammit.

– Bandcamp: http://doomentiarecords.bandcamp.com/album/ruin

– FB: https://www.facebook.com/MACHETAZO.Official

Haemorrhage

Goregrind band from Madrid. I saw these guys live last year and the singer was gnawing at a plastic leg and waving it around. Fun, kinda-ignorant, Carcass worship. What more do you need?

– Bandcamp: http://haemorrhage.bandcamp.com/

– FB: https://www.facebook.com/HaemorrhageGore

Teething

Hardcore/Crust/Grind band from Barcelona. Just recently discovered this fine bunch of gentlemen after I heard that they opened for Napalm Death last year and upstaged them pretty hard.

– Bandcamp: http://teething.bandcamp.com/

– FB: https://www.facebook.com/teethingband

Under Vultures

Grind band from Madrid. No-bullshit, straightforward grindcore with a bit of blackened-ness sprinkled around here and there for good measure.

– Bandcamp: http://undervultures.bandcamp.com/

– FB: https://www.facebook.com/undervultures

Ernia

No post would be complete without a shameless plug for my band, Ernia! We’re the Ernia with no h AND no umlaut, it turns out that there’s another band called Ërnia from Spain that formed around the same time we did. They play crusty grindy stuff and cover Nasum just like we do. What kinda odds are those? Anyway, we’re currently in the process of recording new tunes, all of which kick the living shit out of our other material.

– Bandcamp: http://erniatheband.bandcamp.com/

– FB: https://www.facebook.com/ErniaTheBand

 

That’s all I have for today. Thanks for reading, people! Hopefully you know more about Spain than you did 10 minutes ago. I’ll be back if I don’t get flushed!!

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  • Tyree

    Machetazo, Yes dude! Ruin is a fucking beast of an album.

    • MoshOff

      Thanks dude. The production really blows, I did what I could with what we had available (electronic drums and all). I spent a lot of time on it cause I don’t know what I’m doing lol.

      • Tyree

        I was going to ask if it was a drum machine or electric drums. I kind of like raw sounding grind though man. Favorite track so far is P.C.R. (Polymerase Chain Reaction).

        • MoshOff

          Yeah, we just call that one “The Porno Song”, we just copied the lyrics from some random biology article. As you do.

          • Mook Styfawker

            Call it whatever you want, it sounds like someone inserting an electric egg beater into your skull via your ear and turning it on full power.

            Note, I don’t mean that as an insult. Your stuff is brutal.

  • Fun and interesting read for an oblivious American Masterlord like myself.

  • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

    “They’re both worse than America, so why should I care about being able to tell the difference?”

    http://38.media.tumblr.com/1c0cc06cd2ce41e515c8564f4c52cc7d/tumblr_mlsd1oS6LF1ryzizgo1_500.gif

    Good article, btw!

    • Paris Hilton

      If Walt had called himself Rosenburg instead of Heisenburg he would have been shot in the first episode.

  • W.

    Two questions: 1. Is there greater diversity in the south of Spain due to the Moorish influence? 2. How do you feel about Basque separatism?

    Actually, I have another question. Do you like Vita Imana?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sTbhlCoNqE

    • MoshOff

      1) Not really.
      2) Eh.
      3) Not really.

      Thanks for reading!

      • Negrodamus

        This article gets 0 / 5 flushes!

      • W.

        Dang. 0/3. Oh well. Good post!

        • MoshOff

          About 1), basically everybody who wasn’t white and didn’t convert from Islam or Judaism didn’t live too long after the Catholic Reconquista.

          • W.

            Ah gotcha. I wasn’t aware of that.

          • MoshOff

            Funnily enough, traditional Flamenco music (from the South of Spain) has a HUGE middle eastern influence, to my ears at least.

          • W.

            That actually makes sense. Never been to Spain, but I have been to the Middle East.

          • Renan Ribeiro

            To mine as well, I thought the intro to your song was more Flamenco-based than properly middle eastern.

    • Mother Shabubu III

      “due to the Moorish influence?”

      *Moopish

  • Nashgul? My favorite Spanish grinders!

    • Tyree

      DUDE! Looking for an Answer is awesome too.

      • MoshOff

        LfaA were in my original draft, but it was looking kinda cluttered and I decided to size down. But yeah, I obviously left A LOT of stuff out.

        • Tyree

          Understandable dude. This was a great read, well done.

      • Not familiar with them. I have homework now, in addition to all of this above!

      • CORRECTION: Nashgul and Looking For An Answer – my TWO favorite Spanish grinders!

        • Tyree

          Great Success!

  • KJM

    “mythical land of SPAIN”

    Indeed, I’m not sure this place really exists.

    • MoshOff

      It barely does, if you ask most bands that tour Europe 🙁

      • So Spain is to Europe what Wisconsin is to the States.

        Feel your pain, dude.

        • Mook Styfawker

          As do I.

  • Fun fact: reading this article to completion will earn you 3 Geography credits from the for-profit-college of your choice.

    • You mean to tell me not all colleges are for profit?

    • Sorry to spam the top comment… but… I am pretty sure these guys are from Spain…Dawn of the Maya ?

      I totally dig this song btw. Tight sound – simple structure – drummer has awesome facial expressions. Win, win, and win.

      GL

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFMqLP3Ujso

    • Lacertilian

      If you like instrumental post-rock/metal Russian Circles but with more dynamics then check out Spain’s Toundra.
      3 great albums so far.

  • Renan Ribeiro

    AVALANCHAAAA

    Spain is definitely one of top travel priorities in the future. I’ve only been to Santiago de Compostela for half a day, as a kid, so it doesn’t even count.

    Good post man, I’m thinking of doing something similar to talk about brazilian metal.

    • MoshOff

      No shortage of good bands in Brazil man, looking forward to that.

      • Tyree

        Lot of good death metal from Brazil.

      • Renan Ribeiro

        I wonder if there’s a connection between Iberic based populations and cheesy metal though, ’cause Brazil had its fair share of popular cheesy acts, such as Angra and Shaman.

        BTW, the intro to the Ernia song you posted was really dope.

        • MoshOff

          Hahaha yeah, that’s an older song. It’s about ordering a Kebab and finding out it’s dry. Because the intro sounded middle-eastern-ish

          • Mook Styfawker

            That is surprisingly a great reason and topic for a song.

  • Cock of Steele

    I have never been outside ‘Murica so I think Spain will definitely be on my list.

    • MoshOff

      It’s nice, if you avoid the tourist-trap beach resorts and stuff like that.

    • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

      great horror quadrilogy out of spain. Tombs of the blind dead – 4 fucking awesome movies.

      • Cock of Steele

        i think the only “spanish” horror movie so to speak that I have seen is Devil’s backbone. The Guillermo Del Toro one.

  • Thanks for the history lesson. I think it’s interesting to see how the political landscape of a country influences the artistic output. That gives me a good context to understand where these bands were/are coming from. Thanks!

  • Mook Styfawker

    My mom and her boyfriend went to Spain a few years ago and said it was a gorgeous country, I’ve wanted to go there ever since. Lots of tips and great recommendations in this article, Mr. MoshOff!

  • Beth Berdofe White

    Moshoff, your writing style is very much like someone else I know—fantastic…if I do say so myself. I learned a lot from your Spanish Metal Synopsis…good history lesson included, by the way. Ernia ( sans the umlots) ROCKS!

  • Paris Hilton

    The only lyrics a Spanish metal band will ever need:

    “Hello,

    My name is Inigo Montoya.
    *heavy as fuck riff*

    You killed my father.
    *Bass lick*

    Prepare to die!”
    *squealing solo*

    “I want my father back, you son of a bitch!” (Gang Vox)
    *Sikk breakdown*

    • SMOHLG

      Yo Paris, are you in the Facebook Crew?

      • Paris Hilton

        I don’t have a Facebook haha

        • SMOHLG

          Props

    • Stockhausen

      There’s not enough room in my heart for how much I want to like this.

  • SouthAmHell

    I’m posting this just because,
    ENTE – (Espacio Infecto)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9qZhCKCJKw

  • Kazz

    I didn’t come to Hell’s toilet expecting to learn about another country, but I did, and I’m glad. Körgull the Exterminator is another cool Spanish band, if you’re into really nasty black/thrash.

  • Rob M

    Ataraxy is a killer Spanish death metal band that worships at the skull-throne of the old Finnish style

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrADm_caokg

  • Gurp

    Teitanblood is also totally from Spain.

    • Howard Dean

      Fuck yeah. That’s the first band I was looking for on this list. Grimy as fuck!

      • Howard Dean

        And Proclamation! Byyyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!

      • Gurp

        New record out this year, too!

        • Howard Dean

          Hells yeah. “Death”–while not the most inspired album title ever–is a monster of an album. I love the way the record just abruptly crashes into existence with “Anteinferno.” Pure filth!

          • Gurp

            Fuckin’ A. I’m not sure whether to tag Teitanblood as ‘plague metal’ or ‘New Wave of Old School Death Metal’ though.

          • Rob M

            Neither..its war metal or bestial black metal if you prefer

          • Gurp

            Agh. It’s such a vague term, war metal…

          • Rob M

            ..but it sounds so cool..”I listen to fucking War Metal!”

  • Gorgasm

    Maximus is from Spain….and so was Morgan Freeman’s charter in the Kevin Costner Robin Hood. Good article. I’ve always enjoyed geography. So thanks for making an article with two subjects that i really enjoy: geography and METAL!!!

  • SMOHLG

    No mention of Vita Imana who I thought were from Spain. Any thoughts on them? They seem to have a great thrash/tribal vibe going on.

    • MoshOff

      Eh… I’m not that big on them, if I’m completely honest. I never liked Sepultura’s Roots, and to me they just sound like an uninspired rehash of that album. A lot of people like them though, so they must be doing something right.

  • geddy

    Great article, man – thanks for writing it. I enjoyed the eclectic collection of music you included. Hope to read more from you. Cheers!

  • Gorgasm

    I can totally relate to being mistaken for part of Mexico. Living in New Mexico and traveling elsewhere in the country, i get asked all the stereotypical ignorant american questions. “Did you need a passport?” “Your english is so good for being mexican.” “Why aren’t you wearing a sombraro?” “Where’s your mariachi band?” “How does it feel working in a shoe factory?” “Are you part of a cartel?”

    This has become the main reason why i despise the east coast, among a couple other reasons (two nameless editors)

  • JWG

    I suspect a Canadian metal showcase would not work anywhere near as well as this because it’s only thee stuff that’s obscure to *other Canadians anyway* that isn’t unknown to the average diligent and investigative indie metal fan.

    Topical note: when I saw the article title, I immediately thought “I’ll bet Mago de Oz is in here”.

  • Fromwisdomtohate29

    No Teitanblood? I am disappoint.

    Otherwise, good article. It’s always fun to learn about the music and culture of a country that is considerably different from your own.

  • Stockhausen

    Good read! I want to like Wormed, but that vocal style would have to grow on me first. Teething is fun, and nice stuff with your band!

    • Howard Dean

      KARLHEINZ!
      LISTEN TO WORMED!
      IGNORE THE VOCALS AND WORSHIP THE SLAM!
      BYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!
      [goes and listens to Exodromos]
      [punches out windows in office]

  • Poop Mango

    “SPAIN ISN’T MEXICO GODDAMMIT”

    Of course not, that’s stupid. Why would anyone think that?

    Spain is in Puerto Rico, right?

    • Mithrandir

      No dumb fuck, Spain won the war against Puerto Rico, now they’re a separate state in México.

  • Just so you nonspanish speaking folk know, not only the music, but the lyrics to the old bands’ songs are beyond cheesy. Many of you would cringe and start telling people that’s not the kind of music you refer to when you say metal. It’s worse when people say “Escuchas metal? Te gusta Mago de Oz?” or some shit like that.

  • A Feed From Cloud Mountain

    I’m ashamed to live in such a negatively stereotyped country but I can’t help it, so I’ll just apologize on behalf of the people in the US who are not geographically bankrupt.

    That said, good article. Definitely looking forward to hearing some of this. I find that some regions tend to have a specific sound, I’m curious to see whether Spain is the same way.

  • Mithrandir

    JODER! Buen artículo y buenas bandas, saludos.

  • Tommy P

    MAJOR props for Nu, i love them