The Heavy Metal World Tour is a companion piece to a weekly segment on The Metal Dad Radio Show. Each week we play a block of bands from a specific location from around the world, picked entirely at random. This week: Santiago, Chile
It was without one ounce of hyperbole when I said on this past week’s show that I thought Chile had one of the most prolific metal scenes in all of South America, and arguably the best in terms of quality. There are so many active metal bands in Chile right now that we decided to narrow our search to the capital city, Santiago. Below are four Chilean bands we played on this week’s show, and four bands with your time in further exploration.
One of the first extreme metal bands to explode out of South America and the granddaddies of the extreme Chilean metal scene, Pentagram Chile’s reputation precedes them. Originally formed in the mid-80s and dropping their first official EP in 1987, this band has battled line-up changes, multiple hiatuses, and a name change from their original Pentagram moniker to be the first band on metal lips when discussing Chilean metal. After two compilation records in the 2000s that culled together their early demo material, Pentagram Chile finally released their first official full-length album, 2013’s The Malefice. Fans of early blackened thrash and death metal influences such as Possessed, Kreator, and Sodom should own the entire Pentagram Chile catalogue (at least what’s easily attainable).
If there was one sub-genre of extreme meta the Chilean scene seems to really excel at it’s the whole blackened thrash/speed metal thing. Evil Force is a prime example. Taking the atmosphere and brutality of the earliest progenitors of black and death metal and combining it with a torrid array of thrash riffing and speed metal aesthetics, Evil Force create a sound that hearkens back to a time when the metal world wasn’t as concerned with making sure every band fit into a tidy, descriptive box. Since their formation in 2010, Evil Force have offered up two split releases and two EPs. The standout among all of these may be the 2016 EP, Supremacy of Darkness. It’s a rabid metal assault on the senses from note one. Here’s to hoping their next offering is their debut full-length.
If avant-garde doom metal is more you speed, Mourning Sun is going to be one of your new favorite bands. Soaring, clean female vocals and somber, passive interludes, mix with crushing doom metal to create a sound that often borders the surreal. There are post-metal elements here at play, the occasional teasing of folk metal, and symphonic moments all woven into a tapestry doom with exceptional results. Their 2016 full-length album, Ultimo Exhalario, is a roller coaster ride of emotive and captivating metal. Fans of any of the above mentioned genres are encouraged to spend as much time with this album as possible.
One of the best, and most prolific, bands to come out of Chile in recent years is Invocation Spells. On July 27 they will release their fourth full-length album, Spread Cruelty in the Abyss. It’s their fourth full-length album since their 2014 debut and each release has seemingly gotten tighter and tighter. Taking the fire and fury of speed and thrash metal and mixing it with the pure evilness of black and death metal, Invocation Spells delivers chaotic slabs of pure intensity. Stay tuned to this site for a forthcoming review of the new record.