Despite punishing eardrums for more than three decades, death metal remains a decidedly underground movement. That's mostly by design, obviously -- the genre's bloody and extreme artwork, cruelly downtuned guitars and horrific, indecipherable lyrics are intended to provoke as much as they captivate. But when you slap a band logo on all of your albums and merch that's more or less completely illegible, that's got to up the difficulty factor in building a following.
Why the longstanding trend toward these cryptic logos? Because they look cool, duh. Often intricately drawn to achieve near-perfect symmetry, these fearsome works of art are calculated to look awesome on a long-sleeve black T-shirt, marking the wearer as a true disciple of death. Over the weekend, Fitzgerald's figures to be filled with these die-hards, when the third annual Building Temples From Death Fest collects 20 of the most brutal bands from around the country (and the world) to turn the old club on White Oak into an abattoir on Saturday.
I was thrilled to begin seeing fliers for the fest in the early days of summer, because trying to make out as many of the gruesome logos packed on to a tiny handbill as you can is a fun game for all ages. Some of the featured groups -- like fest headliners and grindcore superstars Cephalic Carnage -- opt to keep it simple, some bands on the bill appear to be downright secretive with their names.
Got a few minutes to (brutally) kill? Then test your metal cred by trying to decode five of the gnarliest band logos employed by BTFD Fest acts. You'll find the answers at the end of the post.
And remember, cheating is for poseurs.
No. 5: This brutal death-metal band from Evansville, Ind., released their debut full-length last year, entitled Omnipotent Asperity. In addition to the expected blast-beating, their music also features some nice Pantera-esque shred solos to keep things lively.
No. 4: How to label the music of this one-man band created by Fayetteville, Ark.'s Clay Lamanske? Brutal death? Goregrind? Pornogrind? Hard to say, exactly, particularly if those terms are meaningless to you anyway. But Lamanske reportedly uses no effects or processing to create the band's bizarre, cricket-like "vocals." Couldn't tell you how, but I can tell you that it's intensely weird.
No. 3: This outrageously perverse Australian death/grind outfit released the charmingly titled EP Vomit Sucking Cunt Lips way back in 2007. It may be for the best that no one can understand the lyrics to presumably tongue-in-cheek ditties such as "Limp Dick Coprophilia" and "Penis Eaten By Rectum," because sweet Jesus, man.
Quiz continues on the next page.
No. 2: These blasphemous purveyors of the breakdown-heavy strain of death known as "slam metal" hail from Massachusetts, a haven for extreme rock in all its myriad forms. At least, I think it's slam metal. When you're chopping up bands into subgenres this fine, it's hard to be sure. If you like your death metal slow, loud and bangin', though, these are your guys.
No. 1: This is totally cheating, so forget what I said about cheating earlier. This maniacal Houston resident is actually headlining the Building Temples From Death Fest Pre-Party at Fitz on Friday, but I had to include him because his logo is absolutely nutty. Yes, that actually does say something up there, so don't give up! This guy is a one-man band, and he happens to be the last person I ever saw take the stage at Walter's on Washington, so if you're into death and you don't know him, you really should.
So how'd you do? Did you get the first two, at least? Scroll down to find out.
Answers: 5. Visceral Throne 4. Cemetery Rapist 3. Odiusembowel 2. Dysentery 1. Shawn Whitaker
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