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: 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

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

The Stage: Orange Fest 2019–Last Orange Fest EVER!

The early autumn of the Madison music scene means once again the return of Alex Nitke’s brainchild Orange Fest. This Orange Fest, held this year at the Wisco in Madison, was slightly more bittersweet than any of the previous, because it was announced in September that this year’s would be the last show ever.

(I give him ten years at most for the comeback; three before I start bothering him about it.)

With some roadbumps here and there along the way to planning for Orange Fest 2019, the bill ended up being filled by Order of the Jackal, All Kings Fall, Seisma, and Orange the Hueman and his Shitty Metal Band.

Starting off the night was Order of the Jackal, a last minute fill in after aforementioned speed bumps allowed them to take the opening slot.

Following up on the second slot were Orange Fest veterans All Kings Fall, who were the only band on the bill who have played all four Orange Fests to date (besides Seisma, of which band Alex aka Orange the Hueman is the creator of Orange Fest).

Third up to bat were tried and true kaiju metal band Seisma. Not only was Seisma doing a recording of their next live album, but it was announced by Dan (vocalist) that this was one of three last shows ever with Dan fronting the band. From here, it was said that Seisma will thereafter be taking a brief hiatus while they start new material with a new vocalist.

Last but not least to hit the stage was the member-swapping-concoction known as Orange the Hueman and his Shitty Metal Band. This band is much different from all the others, as it is not one concrete band, but rather a fluid project in which songs are played and covered by Alex/Orange and a select lucky few who come on and off stage to join him on vocals, guitar and bass for each song.

Covers included some metal, some punk, some stuff written by Alex and his band from way back at age 13. It was an awesome conglomeration to say the least!

(Note: not all members who played in OTH&SMB are pictured.)

Not to brag, but yours truly was one of the lucky few asked to join Alex on stage to cover a Misfits and a Dead Kennedys song.

(Okay I’m totally bragging! It was an honor!)

It was an amazing night filled with great friends, incredible music, and cheap beer in the friendly neighborhood dive bar–an Orange Fest just as sweet as all the rest. A lot of us are going to miss looking forward to this event every year, especially including myself!

Click the links below to find out more about each of these amazing bands!

Order of the Jackal

All Kings Fall

Seisma

Orange the Hueman and his Shitty Metal Band

Written by Cat Sullivan

Maehem News: GWAR Announces ‘Use Your Collusion’ Holiday Tour Dates

Merry Xmas Human Scum!  So you’ve finally wiped your chin clean of Santa’s jolly old “elf gravy” and finished shovelling your faces full of baked goods. Well, your Lords and Masters GWAR are set to bring their very special brand of holiday cheer, to your shit hole town!  Starting December 27th in Washington DC and running through New Years Eve in Cincinnati, OH, GWAR will return to the road on the “Use Your Collusion” holiday tour.  Support on these dates will come from Unearth and Savage Master.

Lead singer of GWAR, the Berserker Blothar had this to say: 

“Suck my candy cane and swallow my nog! GWAR are ready to cook your Christmas goose! So, pull up your chair at our dysfunctional family table and get ready to go deaf and blind from the loudest, hardest rockin’, heavy metal horror show in history. HO HO HO!” 

Don’t forget, you can assure your corpse will have a spot on top of the pile by purchasing the “Lords and Masters” VIP experience. That’s right, you too can meat and greet GWAR and worship at their feet…for a price.  All tickets and VIP packages are on sale HERE.

Each Lords & Masters VIP Experience Includes:
•One (1) General Admission Ticket with Venue Early Entry (potentially guest list)
•Exclusive access to GWAR soundcheck where you will pledge allegiance to your Lords & Masters!
•Tour of the weapons of your Lords & Masters
•Crowd Free Merch Access
•One (1) Souvenir item signed by members of GWAR
•One (1) Souvenir GWAR laminate
•Photo opportunity with GWAR in costume before they take the stage
•You will be killed by GWAR on stage during the show.
•Designated Slave Pit Area to pledge your allegiance before you are killed on stage by GWAR

GWAR “Use Your Collusion” Holiday Tour Dates:

  • 12/27: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
  • 12/28: Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
  • 12/29: Cleveland, OH @ House Of Blues
  • 12/30: Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
  • 12/31: Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts

GWAR “Use Your Collusion” Tour W/ Sacred Reich, Toxic Holocaust and Against the Grain:

  • 10/1: Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
  • 10/2: Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
  • 10/4: Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall
  • 10/5: Clifton Park, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall
  • 10/6: Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
  • 10/8: Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
  • 10/9: Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s
  • 10/10: Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
  • 10/11: Minneapolis. MN @ Skyway Theatre
  • 10/12: Kansas City, MO @ CrossroadsKC
  • 10/13: Denver, CO @ Summit
  • 10/15: Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
  • 10/16: Reno, NV @ Virginia Street Brewhouse
  • 10/17: San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
  • 10/18: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
  • 10/19: Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
  • 10/20: Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
  • 10/21: Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
  • 10/23: Fresno, CA @ Tioga-Sequoia Brewery
  • 10/24: Los Angeles, CA @ The Belasco Theater
  • 10/25: Garden Grove, CA @ Garden Amp
  • 10/26: Las Vegas, NV @ Fremont Country Club
  • 10/27: Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee
  • 10/28: Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
  • 10/30: Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
  • 10/31: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live
  • 11/1: Austin, TX @ Empire Garage
  • 11/2: Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
  • 11/3: New Orleans, LA @ Joy Theater 
  • 11/4: Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
  • 11/5: Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue

More GWAR here!
Official site
Gwar tv
Instagram
Twitter
Youtube
Facebook

Published by Abby Niesen

Maehem News: BEHOLD THE ARCTOPUS Now On Tour; Performing Upcoming Album Live

The 7th BEHOLD THE ARCTOPUS recording is immanent! We are extremely excited to be working with Willowtip Records for what will be our most extreme, unique, and controversial album.
This will be the 2nd recording with our current drummer, Jason Bauers (previously of Psyopus), who has brought his experience with 20th century classical percussion to the musical table, allowing the drums to become another melodic voice, rather than just a rhythmic skeleton.


BEHOLD THE ARCTOPUS is (new album lineup):
-Colin Marston: Warr Guitar
-Mike Lerner: Guitar Guitar
-Jason Bauers: Metal, Wood, Plastic Attack


Come see us perform the entire new 9-song album on tour before it is released in early 2020!


BEHOLD THE ARCTOPUS is currently on tour with Dysrhythmia, and Captured! By Robots.

Dates are as follows:

  • 10/2 – TorontoON – Garrison 
  •  10/3 – Ottawa, ON – House of TARG  
  • 10/4 – Montreal, QC – Le Ritz (early show) 
  •  10/5 – Portland, ME – Geno’s 
  •  10/6 – Northampton, MA – 13th Floor* 
  •  10/7 – Boston, MA – Middle East  
  • 10/8 – New Haven, CT – The State House* 
  •  10/9 – Brooklyn – Saint Vitus 
    (*Dys/BtA only)

Follow Behold The Arctopus in the links below!
Facebook
Bandcamp

Published by Abby Niesen

Single Review: SEVEN CITIES DEAD ‘Misaligned’

Seven Cities Dead is a five-piece metalcore band based out of central/southeast Wisconsin. A lot has changed for these guys since the first time I saw them perform. They have played many venues and festivals, including Breastfest and most recently Dangerfest. Following their most recent release, self-produced EP, Siren Songs Of the Apocalypse (2018) is their newest single ‘Misaligned.’

Album cover photo: Emily Mae- Emily Maehem Photography

As I had mentioned earlier, Seven Cities Dead has progressed a lot in their career, especially since the first time I saw them perform. All of their hard work is reflected in the release of this track. They have genuinely made an impressive amount of development in only one year, which is such a short time, especially in music! I will be the first, but certainly not the last, to say how truly impressed I am with these guys! Their live performances are commanding and full of energy. They fit right in with all of the fantastic things going on in the Wisconsin scene these days!

Misaligned‘ is a passionate and powerful performance. This track is an excellent peek into what Seven Cities Dead has in store for us with their next upcoming release. ‘Misaligned‘ was recorded as a live session at Blast House Studios. This recording captured the energy they bring to their live performances and brought it to you to have anywhere you like! Check it out below

Music and video produced by Dustin Sisson

The band explains:
In a lot of ways this song feels like a representation of this chapter of our band and we are excited to share it with you in this form. It is an unfiltered (and metal!) look at the aftermath that comes when two hearts become misaligned; When you realize what could have been is destined never to be. The fight to move on when the only way forward is the most difficult way.

Get your copy of ‘MisalignedHERE. Also available on Spotify .

Below are a few photos captured at their live performance at the SV2 in Green Bay, Wisconsin! Photos by Moon Doom Media.

Find more from Seven Cities Dead online HERE

Emily Mae
Edited by Samantha Crocker

Maehem News: VOID KING Releasing ‘Barren Dominion’ September 13

Indianapolis (IN) – Stoner Doom and Roll practitioners VOID KING are proud to announce the forthcoming release of sophomore album Barren Dominion on Off The Record. On Barren Dominion, the band has harnessed raw emotion and embraced a darker, heavier sound to express three years of personal and group struggles and victories.

Stream album track “The Longest Winter” here

Barren Dominion will be available for mass consumption on September 13 via voidking.bandcamp.com/ and all major digital platforms, as well as on CD. A vinyl release is planned to follow at a later date.


“At the heart of it, this record is who we are. Jason and I have been through some pretty trying times in the last couple of years and managed to rise above it all”, says guitar player Tommy Miller. “I wouldn’t go so far to call this a concept record, but there is a theme running through the entire thing.”


Barren Dominion was recorded with Bloomington, IN artist Niko Albanese, and mastered by Dennis Pleckham of Comatose studios and guitarist for the band BONGRIPPER. “We needed people working on this record that understood not just the sound that we were going for, but also the vibe that we wanted to hit. Dennis and Niko really hit that perfectly on both fronts”, says drummer of VOID KING, Derek Felix. “We talked a lot about making sure that this record was massive. Between recording the drums in an empty warehouse and having the guitar player from BONGRIPPER master the record, I would say that this album is exactly what we were looking for.”

Track Listing:
1. A Lucid Omega
2. Leftover Savages
3. Burnt At Both Ends
4. of Whip And Steed
5. Temples Made of Bone
6. Learning From The Ashes
7. Crippled Chameleon
8. The Longest Winter

VOID KING found their full iteration when Chris Carroll joined drummer Derek Felix, guitar player Tommy Miller and vocalist Jason Kindred in late 2015. VOID KING released their debut album There is Nothing, recorded with legendary Indianapolis Musician and producer, Carl Byers, in the summer of 2016. The record showcased the band’s penchant for fuzzed out, riff laden epics and a love of showing something different from song to song.

The band was approached by the Dutch label Off The Record later that year, and quickly released a vinyl, cassette tape and CD of the band’s efforts. Reviews of There is Nothing were full of praise for the band’s ability to keep their sound, while adding different elements of song writing throughout the entire record. The band followed this signing up with several DIY tours and bookings all over the United States for the remainder of 2016 and most of 2017.

In 2017, VOID KING toured Europe with their label mates BOUDAIN. The band received much adulation as they spread their brand of stoner rock to Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and more. In 2018, VOID KING was asked to headline one of the stages at the SXSW festival “Stoner Jam” in Austin, Texas, played the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, invited to headline a stage at the second annual “New England Stoner and Doom Festival”, as well as countless other festivals, shows and events. In 2019, VOID KING once again played the NESDF, followed by a DIY East Coast tour with WRETCH and others.

Find Void King online below!
Bandcamp
Facebook

Published by: Emily Mae




EXTENDED PLAY: The Red Flags, “Summer Dirties”

As I sit here, finally taking the time to write a review for this incredible EP by the Red Flags, I am stuck and wondering “What. The hell. Can I say about The Red Flags that hasn’t already been said?”

After all, I can only say, “I LOVE THIS FUCKING AWESOME BAND” so many times.

But I’ll try anyway.

Earlier this month, The Red Flags released their much-anticipated EP titled “Summer Dirties.” I can confidently say that there couldn’t have been a better name for the record, all five songs on this EP sound, smell, look, feel, and taste like summer (and a little bit of Jonah’s sweat, but that’s to be expected of any song this band brings to the table).

These five tracks will have you feeling like you’re on the highway blasting the record with the windows down no matter where you happen to be listening to it. This three-piece has an inexplicable way of creating a classic but at the same time brand-spankin’-new and innovative rock and roll sound.  They continue to surprise us all with how awesome they can prove themselves to be. Just when you think they couldn’t get any better, they go out and release this EP. 

I would appreciate a little warning for the next record, so I can properly prepare to have my ears fucked (in the best way).

In conclusion, I highly recommend going out to a Red Flags show to pick up this EP while supplies last.

In the meantime, you can also get “Summer Dirties” on bandcamp, and more at the links listed below!

It Felt Like” music video:

Links:

Bandcamp

Facebook

Youtube

Official website

-Cat Sullivan
-Edited by: Samantha Crocker