Black Music Matters: A List of Underground Black Musicians in Rock

Here at Maehem Underground Media, we will say it very plainly and clearly:

Black lives matter.

And alongside that statement, we emphatically say… BLACK MUSIC MATTERS!!

At the time of this article going live, it is Juneteenth 2020.

Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day) is a day that many Americans feel should be honored as a federal holiday, as June 19th is the anniversary of the day in 1865 when General Gordon Granger read orders in Texas to all that previously enslaved people were to be free– two whole years after the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.

To honor both this day of Juneteenth, and to honor the ever-expanding and much needed Black Lives Matter movement in general, AND to celebrate the diversity in the underground rock scene, we here at Maehem wanted to do our best to come up with a decent list of rock bands that feature black musicians.

We hope you as our readers give this list a good look over and we hope that you find at least a few of these bands to enjoy and support underground black rock music!

Click each band name to follow a link to their social media or website!

*Disclaimer: While we tried to compile a long list of bands with black musicians, we do not claim that these are ALL the bands that exist with nothing more. We did a good amount of research, but we are aware that we may have missed some really good ones.

That being said, if there is a band you think belongs on this list as well, please email us at maehemundergroundmedia@gmail.com and let us know. We would be more than happy to keep updating the list!

Hi/Jack: two-piece rock music from Milwaukee, WI // hijackmke.com //

A Silent Truth: metal from Crystal Lake, IL // facebook //

H1Z1: metal from Milwaukee, WI

Echo Of Silence: melodic metalcore from Grand Rapids, MI // rhodesentertainment.net/echoofsilence //

Semtex: prog/death/thrash metal from the Twin Cities, MN

Amillenial: prog/thrash metal from Fond Du Lac, WI

Pangaea: prog metal from Wisconsin // bandcamp //

Disappearance: metalcore from Southern WI

Sheild The Survivors: metalcore from Oshkosh, WI // bandcamp //

Vex Nation : punk band from Milwaukee, WI // bandcamp //

Palaceburn: melodic power metal from Philadelphia, PA

Straight Line Stitch : hard rock/metal from Knoxville, TN

Frozen Crown : power metal from Milan, Italy // bigcartel //

Butcher Babies : metal from Los Angeles, CA // facebook //

Fire From The Gods : hardcore from Austin, TX // facebook //

Nova Twins : synth rock/new wave from Sussex, England // facebook //

Meet Me At The Altar : pop punk from Georgia, Florida, and New Jersey (respectively)

Please share this article with all your rock-loving friends to give the gift of sweet new tunes to their life!

As a gentle reminder, remember that rock music is open to any and ALL that wish to experience it, and the scene does not have room to tolerate racism, sexism, xenophobia, or hate of any kind against any one person or group of people!

Music is for everyone. Music is meant to bring us together.

Always remember to do your part to keep the scene safe and peaceful and open-hearted.

We are ALL in this moshpit TOGETHER!!

Header photo credit of Ron Terrell from Hi/Jack : TStarr Photography

Article written/ list compiled by

Cat Sullivan

Album Review: DART BUMMIN LIZARD: The Red Flags

Coming back strong with their second release in the past year, The Red Flags are here to show that ain’t no quarantine gonna keep this flag burning any less bright!

On March 20, 2020, The Red Flags released their official second album, Dart Bummin Lizard. This album is everything I’ve come to expect from The Red Flags…and by that, I mean I’m always wrong with what I expect, but always pleasantly wrong. I should know by now that trying to guess what direction this band is going to go in is a futile point. The Red Flags are always creating new, exciting, unexpected, and unprecedented sounds, and Dart Bummin Lizard is a good figurehead to explain to the new listener what these rock n roll reptiles from Janesville are all about.

Mixing old school funk with classic rock and roll, The Red Flags come through yet again with this new record by putting their chaotic, and sometimes maniacal, experimental twist in the fires from the walls of their home studio.

Within the first second of the first track, “Danuh”, you get a less-than-fair warning for what a banger you’re about to be in for. I for one was not prepared for the amount of ear-fucking that this record made me endure. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not complaining!

My favorite song by The Red Flags, titled “There’s No”, has now FINALLY been recorded on this new record and I’m so excited about it! Anyone who has ever seen The Red Flags live knows this song as a solid staple of their set and with good reason. Personally I’ve seen them play more times than is probably considered healthy, and I have been waiting at least four years to be able to play this in my car!

Dart Bummin Lizard sounds like one long bop that refuses to stop; smells like one too many cheap beers and cigarettes; tastes like summer dirt under your toenails; and makes you feel like …

Well. It makes you feel like you’re not in quarantine from a pandemic that halted the entire economy and took away live concerts and put our whole scene on pause for an undetermined, but certainly unbearable amount of time.

I’m just saying.

Long story short, Dart Bummin Lizard is the exact pick-me-up that I think so many of us need right now. Gabe, Jonah and Abby have delivered above and beyond yet again. Not a bad effort at all, considering the world is ending and we are all losing our collective shit.

In short, I recommend blasting this record from a boombox stereo delicately placed over your shoulders on our way to overthrow the government.

20/20 darts in the pack, highly recommend.

Dart Bummin Lizard, as well as their first record, Summer Dirties, are both available to listen to, download, and buy physical CD’s at theredflags.bandcamp.com

Also make sure to check out their fanTASTIC homemade music videos for

“Dart Bummin Lizard” HERE

Cat Sullivan

Album Review: ASHES OF ALEXIS ‘Neurosis’

Ashes Of Alexis is a metal/death core band right out of the Fox Valley here in WI! Their newest EP release ‘Neurosis’ is finally here and available on all listening platforms! Recorded by our friend David Pietila from SourceTrack Studio– this is a brutal banger! So, let’s dive in!

Starting with “Statuses! Statues! Statuettes! Statures!” Honestly, right off the bat, I catch similar vibes as one of my most favorite bands of all time Between The Buried And Me. The guitar riffs really take me there, they have an elegant yet brutal edge. Everything about this track is heavy and strong; a perfect way to start off any release. “Oh God” kicks off hard with the vocal statement “Oh God The Irony!!” One thing I am loving about this release is, is it brutal? YES! Is it heavy? YES! Can I understand the vocals? YES YES YES!! No disrespect to any death metal bands, or other kinds of extreme vocals, but I personally love a band where I can clearly hear what they are trying to convey. Proving that you can be heavy “AF” and still be clear. Also, I really dig the bass solo in this track as well! Super slammin’ for sure!

“Sasquatch” starts off with an eerie call of the beast from beyond the tree line. I actually, not to be on a side rant, have recently read an article of a mysterious howl in the Wisconsin northwoods; so I find that a tad ironic, but moving forward. This track is awesome and incredibly dynamic! This track has a lot of progressive vibes in it which I think helps contribute to how full everything sounds all together. “…Thirteen Pints…” has that classic metalcore build that we all love but also has a lot going on with keys/effects and other elements that pull it away to create a unique feel. Especially in the breakdown.

For the final 2 tracks on this EP there are two special guests! “Hooligans” features Josh Rundgren on guitar and “Frantic Scribblings and Incoherent Thoughts” Features Francesco Antonio Mastrocola-Kochan on vocals from the band The Martyr Complex which is another well known band in the Midwest Scene. “Hooligans” is a lot heavier on the keys than the other tracks and has a nice slow build up, but then as we start to reach out we have a melodic breakdown with sweet licks that compliment the beauty of the keys. “Frantic Scribblings and Incoherent Thoughts” picks up the pace a bit and carries us out to a strong finish.

Over all this album is fantastic and I was honestly not at all let down. For those of you who really dig the metalcore scene- this is definitely an album you want to add to your playlist! As I mentioned before it is available everywhere! So, no matter what you prefer- you can find your copy of Neurosis—–HERE

Neurosis Tracklisting
1 Statuses! Statues! Statuettes! Statures
2 Oh God
3 Sasquatch
4 …Thirteen Pints…
5 Hooligans (ft Josh Rundgren)
6 Frantic Scribblings and Incoherent Thoughts (ft Francesco Antonio Mastrocola-Kochan)

-Emily Mae
Edited by Samantha Crocker

Album Review: COYOTE MAN ‘PRECOGNITION’

What’s up local music lovers- long time no read! This time I have a really unique and kick-ass instrumental album for you- HAPPY 420!!!

Coyote Man of Chicago, IL is a legendary two piece who has just released their killer progressive instrumental masterpiece ‘Precognition’! This has to be one of the coolest local albums I’ve heard in years..and actually one of the coolest albums in general-So lets just jam it!

“Blatherskite” has a big synth intro which I can dig! The drumbeat in the background before and during the guitarist’s entrance was great I’m loving the warm tone of the bass fills as well. Everything blends together effortlessly. The dynamic nature of this song really keeps your brain active and intrigued. “Remnants” hits you right in the jaw just to slow down and tell you an enticing story. I really get into the band’s ability to paint you a picture-especially without vocals. Many bands/artists do that, but many of the very same artists are rather sporadic and fickle in the composition. This second track, although slower, was huge and heavy.

“Perilous” has more of a groove style tempo that pushes more emotion into the track. This wouldn’t be the same had it been overly technical or fast. The rests are perfectly timed with great composition; the percussion really shines during this track as well. Every feeling is perfectly set out for you with a perfect sense of space and understanding. “The Unseen Hand” has that creepy ’80’s’ horror delay and build up- very great timing in the bass as well! That specific to the second rhythm gave the second half of this track a huge push.

“Death Before Dishonor” has some serious Queensryche vibes, and I mean that entirely as a compliment; they were prog GODS to my early self and there was something in the way that they wrote that I still hold dear to me. A mystery aesthetic if you will. “Apocalyptic” has an intro that I would say is an accurate assessment of the track title. It definitely validates my thoughts of an apocalyptic perception. However, I also get some cosmic images as well; epic to say the least. Amazing layering throughout as well as a superb build up to the climax. The guitar solos sing with a heartfelt melody what I personally feel hold much more passion than any vocals.

All in all I was very impressed! The style was something I have not heard in an instrumental release before, and it somehow made me feel nostalgic after my first time hearing it. I can’t get over the warm tones and the spot on production. If Steven Wilson got his hands in this band- the world wouldn’t know what to do!

Don’t forget to follow Coyote Man on all their socials including Youtube! Remember your support matters-especially during times like these! Stay safe and thrash fast!

Mitch Fulcer
Edited by Samantha Crocker

Extended Play: FLESH TO ASHES Self-titled

Flesh to Ashes is an up-and-coming death metal band out of Escanaba, MI! Following their most recent video release track “Hell Catcher” is their very first self-titled EP release!

This release contains three tracks of face-melting brutality! Starting with ‘Ass Casket’ (that’s not a typo, haha!); it starts with the bass setting a solid foundation for the rest of the track, and honestly the album over all. ‘Hell Catcher’ has all those nasty, teeth-grinding riffs that you love, and the classic death metal vocals bring all the brutality! Finishing out this release is ‘Impending Doom’, which is more relatable now than ever it would seem. All jokes aside, this is a hard and heavy metal slow jam, and is my personal favorite of this release. Something about it hits just right, and you’ll know what I mean when you check it our for yourself!

This EP is hard, heavy, and just what the doctor ordered for times like these! This self-titled release is available now! Follow Flesh to Ashes online HERE!

-Emily Mae
Edited by Samantha Crocker

LUNAR MOTH Single Release ‘Valley of Fire’ 4/20

It’s finally here! Madison’s legendary three piece doomy, garage-rock outfit Lunar Moth has announced the release of their newest single ‘Valley of Fire’! As a huge fan of Lunar Moth, I couldn’t wait to have this track in my hands! This is a tune that transports you to another realm of sludgy riffs, spacey vocals, fuzzy bass, and let’s not forget the heart-stopping drums!

‘Valley of Fire’ is available HERE starting 4/20 and drops at 4:20 PM! I can’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate the holiday than with this absolute banger! Not every holiday has to be cancelled this year; so, while you are at home during these times, spark one up with Lunar Moth! Don’t forget to grab their self-titled release as well! You won’t regret it, we promise!

Find Lunar Moth online on Facebook and Instagram!

-Emily Mae
Edited by Samantha Crocker

Maehem News: SDI Releases New Album ’80s Metal Band’

1 years after their last full-length “Mistreated”, German Speed Metal veterans SDI return with a new album! After reactivating their activity back in 2013, SDI went to perform on several shows and festivals such as “True Thrash Fest” in Japan, as well as the Czech “Obscene Extreme” and several other shows and tours across Europe since 2017. 

In the year 2019 ,the trio finally made it back to the studio, where they recorded 12 new tracks, reflecting the band’s range from speed metal grenades to metal anthems in ways of the old school. To get rid of the expectation to have reinvented the wheel somehow, the title of the album makes it clear on what’s going on – and so this album is all about the 80s, the period of time where the band left their mark! 

“80s Metal Band” is therefore not only a description in which SDI feel represented in 2020, but also the motto and title of the new full-length which takes the listener 30 years back in time. The mix of Føni Goedereis and the mastering of Peter “Pluto” Neuber (Primordial, Blood Red Throne, Manos) makes sure that the sound of SDI fits into the new millennium!

80s Metal Band Available HERE

Line-up:
Reinhard Kruse: Bass, Gesang
Christoph Olbrich: Drums
Daniel Haverkamp: Guitar

Follow SDI online HERE

Maehem News: BLACK HEART SAINTS Releases Official Music Video For ‘Misery’

January 31, 2020 – Austin Music Award-winning band BLACK HEART SAINTS has just released the fourth and final installment from their new Misery EP — a blistering Southern hard rock tune that masterfully melds the soulfulness of THE BLACK CROWES with the sheer heaviness of SOUNDGARDEN.

The music video for “Misery” takes a darker tone than the previous installments of the series, touching upon such topics as addiction and depression. All four music videos from the Misery EP were shown as part of a film premiere at Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX earlier this month, which featured a red carpet and a curated drink menu.

Black Heart Saints has continued to turn heads around the country, and will be featured as part of Sweetwater Studio’s Master Class program — a specialized recording class available to the public that recently hosted such names as ANTHRAX and ERIC JOHNSON.

Misery EP Track List:
1. Lines
2. Crazy
3. Addicted to Love
4. Misery

Dangerous & dirty, with a distinct groove steeped in classic rock, yet with a modern intensity. Black Heart Saints gives fans exactly what they want – rock god vocals catapulted over explosive, memorable riffs – leaving legions of the rock ‘n’ roll faithful yearning for more.

After debuting at South by Southwest Festival, this powerhouse quartet has been building a solid reputation as a support act for national touring bands such as Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The ConspiratorsSevendustSteel PantherPop EvilBuckcherryStryperDirty Honey, and more.

The soaring vocals of front-man Josh Ross have drawn comparisons to Myles Kennedy and Chris Cornell. While the band is influenced by the likes of Mötley CrüeGuns ‘N Roses, and other legendary Hard Rock acts, the commanding presence of Black Heart Saints’ live show brandishes an updated take on the genre.

Quickly conquering some of the biggest stages and festivals in the United States, Black Heart Saints has built an impressive resume, and has been recognized as one of the nation’s top emerging rock acts:

– 2019 Austin Music Awards Winner #1
– Music videos featured in over 5,000+ gyms across the US and Canada
– Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Headliner
– Austin Chronicle Music Awards: Top 10 Best New Bands
– San Antonio’s Fiesta Oyster Bake Headliner
– Official South By Southwest Festival Performer
– Buffalo Trace Battle of the Bands Grand Prize Winner
– ESPN X Games Performer

The band’s first full-length release – ALIVE – was soon followed by the Road to Sturgis Tour 2017, which put Black Heart Saints’ charismatic live performance to the test when the band took the stage at the world-renowned motorcycle rally, attended by over 500,000 bikers from all around the globe.

In 2018, Black Heart Saints embarked on an extensive tour to the West Coast beginning in January, which included a highlight performance at the legendary Viper Room in West Hollywood, California. On April 12th, 2018, Austin City Council and Mayor Steve Adler officially proclaimed April 12th to be “Black Heart Saints Day.”

After being tapped to open for Steel Panther, Slash, and Pop Evil throughout 2018 and 2019, Black Heart Saints has been dominating stages in their native Texas, with highlight performances at prestigious venues such as the House of Blues in Houston, Texas.

The band’s latest release, Misery EP, which features an accompanying film based on the band’s music, has received rave reviews:

“When I first heard opening track ‘Lines’ I knew Black Heart Saints were onto another winner. The song, which comes across like a heavier take on ‘Southern Harmony-era’ Black Crowes, is something special indeed and a great way to start this four track EP. Just to make sure you are sat up and paying attention then ‘Crazy’ muscles in, it’s a big-riffed stomper that smashes the door down making it another great opening to a Saints’ release.” – The Rock Pit (Australia)

“Take advantage of this now. Hit those local shows while you still can, grab that grainy IG video proof and a moment to meet & greet the guys before they’re selling out stadiums and you miss that opportunity.” – Kail Rose (dRiFFt)

Album Review: 5 R V L N 5 ‘The Black Mark’

Industrial Metal born from the underbelly of Chicago’s sprawling, urban landscape, 5 R V L N 5  (pronounced “surveillance”) is a solo/collaborative electronic based industrial project created by former Faces of the Bog guitarist/vocalist, Chuck Clybourne. Taking after the likes of influences such as Skinny Puppy, Ministry, and Godflesh 5 R V L N 5 creates an atmosphere that is unnerving, perverse, and dark. Pounding beats and despondent lyrics drive the tone of the music, inducing hypnotic chaos.

We were fortunate enough to get a sneak peak into their first album, The Black Mark, which is officially set to release March 13th, 2020.

It can be difficult to find just the right type of extreme metal for you, but the genre itself has quite the cult following! For those of you who are always on the search for something heavier- this is the band for you! It’s been awhile since I have really heard of anyone coming out with new industrial metal, so it’s cool to see that someone is taking a step forward and bringing life back to the semi-lost metal genre!

The Black Mark is 5 tracks (coincidentally as they have 5’s in their band name) and will be on the way soon! But, for now, you can check out their single release for their track “FLESH” which is in the video link above! Be sure to follow 5 R V L N 5 online and catch them at their release party! Event link HERE!

Don Niesen
Edited by Samantha Crocker