Florida: A Metal Scene on a Rapid Rise (Part One)
Although HFTB is based in the UK, we have a very healthy musical interest in what is happening all across America, and right now there cannot be a more healthy rock and metal scene than in Florida. Hell, they even have their own festival dedicated to bands from the state.
In a brand new focus feature which will be spread across two or three parts, we take a look at some of the bands that are helping to bring the scene together as, just from looking at some of the Facebook pages dedicated to Floridan heavy music, a sense of community perhaps not seen since Ozzfest is alive and well; and that isn’t going to change anytime soon.
Here are the first five bands we are taking a look at, and if there are any you haven’t heard of, take our word for it when we say they are most definitely worth your time and ears.
Originally forming back in 2006 as Meka Nism and Her Rusty Tears, this Orlando band are a worthy successor to Within Temptation, for example, as they combine melodic alternative metal with progressive, art and operatic textures that have very impressive results.
Led by the stunning vocals of Ms.Meka who can scream and sing as good as any frontwoman out there, Meka Nism made their full band debut in 2013 with their first EP ‘The Dance at the End of the World’, followed it up with second EP ‘The Shift’ a year later and then this year, came back with their best effort to date- the soaring five-track ensemble ‘The War Inside’. Check out the standout moments ‘Trailblazer’ and ‘Black Sky (It’s Not Over Yet)’ to hear what Meka Nism are all about; and having shared stages with the likes of Mastodon, Otep, Avatar, Nonpoint, Sevendust and more- there are many others that also think this band deserve a lot more credit across the heavy metal spectrum.
Current Line-Up: Ms Meka (vocals, shaman), Bobby Keller (guitar), Danny Arrieta (guitar), Jarrett Robinson (bass), Nick Colvin (drums), Jay Adkisson (keys)
subXero bring a modern approach to the nu metal resurgence whilst also providing some bruising post metalcore, and the quintet have raised the bar in 2018.
Having already released two EP’s (‘Starseed’ in 2016 and ‘Reborn’ in 2017), the band, who was originally a solo project of frontman Jason Xero, produced a metalcore masterclass with ‘The P.H. Balance’ only five months ago, and last week they followed it up with ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ which includes some songs from the previous album; however the latest effort is the best indication of what subXero are capable of as proven by the stunning opener ‘Demons’ and then hooks galore on the likes of ‘Elev-8’ and ‘In Circles’.
As good as many of the leaders of the nu metalcore movement, go and get your head crushed by subXero now.
Current Line-Up: Jason Xero (vocals, guitar), Matthew Lee (guitar, vocals), Cody Richardson (guitar), Eric Schramm (bass), Josh Lough (drums)
Orlando’s F.I.L.T.H. are an interesting bunch, but they play some insanely good hard rock and heavy metal. There is a helluva lot of groove to their songs as well as plenty of accessibility, but predominantly this band are great at providing some infectious modern metal.
Forming in 2009, F.I.L.T.H. put out their first EP in 2013 which featured the pulsating stomps ‘The Quiet Song’ and ‘Soft’, before they regrouped and upped the ante with their 2016 EP ‘An Ode to Decay: The Armageddon Strain’.
Again featuring their formula of raucous metal with catchy choruses, metalcore elements were added which will undoubtedly endear these dudes to even more fans. ‘Timebomb’ oozes raw energy and ‘Anthem for the Rejects’ is pure fire, so do yourself a favour and add F.I.L.T.H. to your playlists, or even better, go and buy their CD.
Current Line-Up: Eric Mann (vocals), Mike Andes (guitar), Josh Lyons (guitar), Mikey Vettel (bass), Freddie Hull (drums)
One of the most popular bands in Florida, Breathing Theory started out as BurnTheSky in 2008 before changing their name and releasing ‘The Parasite’ EP in 2011.
A hard rock band full of heavy riffs and melodic leads, Breathing Theory earned some good exposure with their single ‘Fireflies’ (from ‘The Parasite’) which earned some strong rotation on the US airwaves, and in 2015 they emerged with the ‘Uprise (Part 1) and (Part 2)’ EP’s, where tracks such as ‘Empire’ and ‘Breathless’ were worthy stadium-sized anthems.
A new EP is soon to be released in the form of ‘Balance’ and the first song off of it, ‘The Nothing’ shows where the band’s headspace is right now. Expect their stock to rise very soon, even though it’s already long overdue.
Breathing Theory have shared stages with big draw names that include 12 Stones, 40 Below Summer, Bobaflex, Flaw and Smile Empty Soul.
Current Line-Up: Cory Britt (vocals), Rob Mahoney (guitar), Collin Morrison (Guitar), David Marfitt (bass),
Previous special guests on the HFTB podcast, NoSelf are one of the best bands on the Zombie Shark Records roster, as they show their love of the classic nu metal movement with some gloriously heavy and addictive alternative metal.
Originally forming all the way back in 2002, the current incarnation of NoSelf are the ones to watch (and listen to), as they announced themselves last year with the ‘Human-Cyborg Relations Episode 1’ EP.
Led by the stirring singalong rocker ‘Frisco’ and the pounding ‘Casting Stones’ (check out Dylan Kleinhans’ monstrous roar and the crushing instrumentation), NoSelf proved to be the real deal by refusing to hide behind their love of bands like Deftones and Spineshank. The quartet were also featured in Matt Karpe’s 2018 nu metal encyclopedia ‘Nu Metal: Resurgence’.
We cannot wait to hear what this band come out with next but we’re sure it’s going to be tight, cohesive and absolutely imperative listening.
Current Line-Up: Dylan Kleinhans (vocals), Justin Dabney (guitar), Glenn Desormeaux (bass), Drew Miller (drums)
All five of the bands included in part one of our feature have great music out that is available on Spotify, iTunes and all the other main streaming devices. Physical CDs are also available for a lot of the releases and there is some great merchandise out there too, so go and support these bands because there is nothing like watching relative unknowns become bigger and better in time.
Keep checking our website for further parts of the Florida feature, where we’ll be focusing on bands such as I Own Nothing, Burning Fair Verona, Auditory Armory, Parallel Motion and more.