Guest Column: Three Bands You May Not Know About But Should By Hatchet’s Julz Ramos

Guest Column

You folks seemed to enjoy our last series of guest columns on five life-changing albums so much, we decided to reach out to our various friends in the metal world, asking that they write columns on a new topic.

That topic? Three Bands You May Not Know About But Should, with a brief description of what makes each band worthy of your attention. Today, we continue this ongoing series with an entry written by Julz Ramos of Hatchet, who have a new album coming in March.

Xentrix
One of my all-time favorite bands with only three albums under their belts, and of which only two I like.
Within those two early albums Shattered Existence and For Whose Advantage I find some of the most original sounding and catchy sounds in thrash metal. Their riffs are very well thought out and laced together with hooks and loops in just the right places, harmonies, etc. The opening track on Shattered Existence “No Compromise” sounds like a forgotten Testament demo song that never made it to final cut, but should have. The production on the two albums as well for late 80′s/early 90′s is top notch in comparison to some of the bigger bands of the time. A truly underrated and awesome band.

Glamtera (Glam-era Pantera)
Most people know Pantera from the album Cowboys From Hell and on, but little know there is almost a whole other span of career preceding that album. Four full length studio albums actually came before Cowboys, three of which feature a different vocalist. Phil Anselmo came in on the last of the four, Power Metal, which is my personal favorite of all Pantera albums. It still features their still then, glam sound but a noticeably heavier approach to it and has the beggining of the CFH vibes in there. Overall their earlier material featured a lot more memorable and catchy riffs and song structure. It’s a shame not more people venture into this territory.

Solstice
This is a band that came out in the time of the early Death Metal uprising in Florida 1991-92 alongside bands Deicide, Obituary, Morbid Angel, etc. This is a band that is greatly overlooked but definitely should not be at least for their debut release. The band has reformed and disbanded a handful of times, but it is the early period I reference here. Their debut self titled, featured an album full of memorable, sometimes melodic, yet very brutal songs. The solos alone are very catchy, use actual scales and feature some awesome neo-classical sweepage, which most of the bands of that time in the same genre were far from. The vocals although being guttural in attempt come off as a very heavy and harsh thrash type approach which gives for a unique sound. The guitars also being in standard tuning and not scooped in tone make it an audible and tight sounding piece. Their track, “Transmogrified,” is my personal favorite.

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