Who Are the Greatest Metal Bands In Texas Music History?

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When I asked our friends on the Rocks Off Facebook wall who they thought were the greatest heavy metal bands in Texas music history, the response was larger than I thought it would be. I assumed five of you would say Pantera, deadhorse and King's X and go back to sleep, but no.

You stepped up and got into the discussion, and reminding everyone of bands that may have been forgotten. The power of the metal hive mind. Sounds like an Iron Maiden song, right?

My vote for the list was Josephus, Houston's own proto-metal legends, who played with early incarnations of ZZ Top around town. The four-piece broke up in December of 1970 and now reunite for the odd gig at Dan Electro's.

So, what did you Lone Star metalheads have to say?

Overwhelmingly, it looks like Pantera will now and forever take the top spot, followed by deadhorse, King's X, The Sword, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (who barely make it because they are a thrash crossover act), and Helstar. 13th Floor Elevators were cited as proto-metal too.

"Their music was described as "heavy metal" in an early-'70s Rolling Stone article. That's where I first heard the term," wrote Jefferson Woodruff. The case is definitely there for the Elevators to be in this heavy class.

One reader could only add Helstar, resigning that "The moral of this story is Texas hasn't produced many great metal bands at all," which oddly enough didn't get any feverish rebuttals. Another reader chimed in that to him Pantera was extremely overrated.

Lesser-known acts like Watchtower, At All Cost and Iron Age, got mentions. Even forgotten thrashers Sentinel were trotted out. Metal site Texas Metal Underground has an exhaustive piece on their scene you can read here.

Locals like Tana'ri, Venomous Maximus, Sanctus Bellum, Golden Axe (RIP), Insect Warfare, PLF, and Hatred Surge got love too. Insect Warfare's has probably been the most influential overseas too, in terms of still staying in relative obscurity outside their own genre.

No one said anything about Scale the Summit, but I will. They are awesome.

The question of a "hair metal" act like Dangerous Toys was brought up too. Does Dangerous Toys belong on a list with Pantera, The Sword and deadhorse? According to you guys, they do.

Dangerous Toys

Insect Warfare

Rigor Mortis


The Sword


Dirty Rotten Imbeciles

King's X



Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

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