Monday, November 23, 2015

Heavy Metal Monday: Bright Lights, Thrash City

The San Francisco Bay Area is known for a lot of things. Berkley and its university - today known for being a center of campus communism - was once a center for science and innovation, contributing to the Manhattan Project and nuclear research after the war. The hippy movement originated here and Santa Clara Valley got the informal name "Silicon Valley" during the technological boom in the 1970s. Today, it is one of the most politically correct areas on the planet.

Even here, subversion lurks just below the surface, in the form of Thrash Metal. With a culture focused on conforming and censoring the world's problems away, the Metal scene focused on lyrical themes of violence, warfare, tyranny and rebellion, with even faster tempo and harsher lyrics than traditional Thrash Metal. This distinct style has become known as Bay Area Thrash Metal.


Exodus was created in 1979 in Richmond, California by guitarists Kirk Hammett and Tim Agnello, drummer/vocalist Tom Hunting, and bassist Carlton Melson. The band was named after the novel Exodus, which was about the experiences of Jewish refugees in the newly created state of Israel. Exodus's core lyrical themes are politics and religion.

Death Angel

Death Angel was formed in 1982 in Concord, California by Rob Cavestany, Dennis Pepa, Gus Pepa, and Andy Galeon - all of Filipino descent (and the SJWs say that Heavy Metal is as white as wind driven snow), though only two of the original members remain. The band began in similar style to Iron Maiden, but changed to Thrash Metal as the genre was gaining prominence in the area. The band gained fame entirely through underground tape trading.


Testament was formed in 1983 in Berlkey, California, by by guitarist Eric Peterson and cousin, vocalist Derrick Ramirez, originally under the name Legacy. Starting out with occult themes, the band changed its theme to corruption and social issues. In 1999, lead guitarist James Murphey was diagnosed with a brain tumor and in 2001, vocalist Chuck Billy was diagnosed with a rare testicular cancer. Both were successfully treated with the help of money raised by fans.


Slayer was formed in Hunnington Beach, California in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. The band originally played covers of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest songs, but styled themselves with satanic imagery. The band's song Angel of Death, about Joseph Mengele have been subject to attempts to censorship based on accusations of it advocacy for the Nazi doctor (you can read about the controversy here).

No comments:

Post a Comment