You know a band have hit the target when their riffs make you want to run through a brick wall. Formed in Colombia but resident in Austin, Texas, since 2008, Headcrusher have several wheelbarrows full of riffs like that. Flying the flag for uncompromising modern metal, they are also keen to confirm that there is much more to the Lone Star State than Stetsons and Dimebag.
“Obviously, lots of people immediately think about Pantera when they think of Texas, and we love Pantera!” laughs frontman Kike. “But there’s way more than that in Texas. The thrash scene is vicious, death metal here is brutal and then you can find anything you want across the extreme metal spectrum. We’ve felt a lot of warmth from the scene since we came here.”
With a sound that echoes the intricate grooves of modern metal heavyweights Lamb Of God while never straying from a no-nonsense, no-prisoners path of flat-out, crusty intensity, the new Headcrusher album offers a much-needed slab of unpleasantness at a time when many bands are aiming for polished perfection or inoffensive sheen. Musical urges aside, the vein-popping fury that powers the likes of Seismal and A Plague Upon Us is driven by the band’s own, real-life bouts of turbulence and travails.
“The last couple of years were a time of turmoil for most of us,” Kike explains with a sigh. “We went through a couple of near-death experiences, some of us lost our jobs, there were some separations from friends and loved ones. You know, life being life… it was a mess! And I believe it’s all reflected in the album, in order to make some sort of catharsis and take those demons out.”
Despite their dark inspirations, Headcrusher are, at heart, a balls-out extreme metal band with big ambitions. With plans to hit the road with a vengeance this year, potentially (we’d say hopefully) including a debut trip to Europe, Kike and his cohorts are hellbent on living the dream, even if things happen to get a little weird along the way.
“Sometimes I feel we’re in constant Spinal Tap mode,” laughs the singer. “One show I particularly remember is playing on a back patio with an enormous tree right in the middle which had a huge beehive [on it]. The promoter had to call the fire department to bring it down. Then, the soundboard was inside a giant chicken coop! It was a great show, though. The crowd went nuts!”
Sounds Like: The gnarliest thrash, death and hardcore in a bruising free- for-all fistfight
For fans of: Lamb Of God, Goatwhore, Power Trip
Listen to: A Plague Upon Us
Death Comes With Silence is out now via Bandcamp and iTunes