For those who don’t already know The Metal Dad also hosts a weekly radio show on Cygnus Radio, co-hosted by my 11 and 5-year olds. It’s a blast to say the least. We introduced a new segment this past week called The Heavy Metal World Tour. It’s exactly as it sounds – a brief examination of a handful of bands from different countries, cities, states, and provinces from all over the world. The catch is that where the world tour stops every week is chosen at random. My kids spin a globe we keep in the house and the first place one of their little fingers touches down on I’m responsible for finding at least three bands from said locale. This new weekly column on the site will be a companion piece to the radio show in the hopes of shining a little light on some cool bands, hopefully some of which will be new to both you and me.
First stop on the Heavy Metal World Tour: Costa Rica
The Central American country of Costa Rica may only have just shy of 5 million inhabitants, which is less than about 22 U.S. states, but it has a large and vibrant metal scene. We discovered a bunch of killer bands and below are three of our favorites.
Advent of Bedlam
It was serendipitous that the first band we started rocking happened to also have a new record just come out. Advent of Bedlam’s Human Portal Phenomenon just released on May 4 and it’s an absolute beast of a record. Taking queues from just about every corner of the death metal pantheon, Advent of Bedlam mix sheer brutality with both melodic and technical death metal leanings to create an all-encompassing and often unrelenting sound. Throw some grind and black metal influences into the sonic brew and Advent of Bedlam scores high marks on the extremity scale. The new album is worthy of multiple listens and fans of everything from Skinless to Belphagor will find something to like here.
Sight of Emptiness
Sight of Emptiness first entered the worldwide metal consciousness way back in 2007 when they won the Bloodstock Open Air Festival (U.K.) unsigned band competition and were subsequently given a slot on that year’s fest. Fast forward to 2013 and Sight of Emptiness sees the release of their third full-length album, Instincts. Filled with technically proficient, and at times super catchy, melodic death metal, Sight of Emptiness could easily find fans looking for their next fix once they’ve ripped through the back catalogues of acts like Black Dahlia Murder and early In Flames. Throw in a distinct Atheist/Death influence alongside some interesting post-metal interludes and the whole thing winds up being a pretty unique sonic journey. The time elapsed between each full-length album has subsequently grown however. We’re working on five years now since Instincts, and here’s to hoping the they deliver the goods sooner than later.
This is one band that is simply not messing around. Quite possibly the best black metal band to emerge from the Costa Rican shores, Mortigor play a style akin to the storied Second Wave that came flowing out of Europe in the early 90s like a tidal wave of sacrificial blood. Although we haven’t been gifted a full-length album since 2008’s Barbarian Darkness, Mortigor did release a comp album in 2013 featuring demo and unreleased material from the previous twelve years, and 2016 saw a split album with German depressive black metal act, Schattenfang. Fans of all the early black metal classics, such as Mayhem and Darkthrone, should be all over this band’s catalogue.
To hear tracks from all three of these bands (plus some other killer acts) check out the archived episode of The Metal Dad Radio Show.