Who Are the Greatest Metal Bands In Texas Music History?

Categories: Texas Me

pantera.jpg
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


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25 comments
hunter2590
hunter2590

Tatally left out Hammer Witch, Devastation and Caustic Death!

NathanSmith
NathanSmith

I just remembered that Rotting Corpse existed (and still does). I think they deserve a mention, too.

Txdeathmetalguy
Txdeathmetalguy

Prophecy from Fort worth! Foretold..Fore seen is one of the most ground breaking death metal albums to ever come out of D/FW ..12 years ago and still kicks ass! And if ya ever seen em live...you have witnessed  the definition of Pure Texas brutality!

pyrabot
pyrabot

@msrcast Absu, sadly mostly overlooked.

imaluthier
imaluthier

Devastation and Solitude Aeturnus are two more that come to mind

Kai Freund
Kai Freund

Crucifixion (RIP) out of Houston was also really good if we're also including Death Metal.

Alan Williams
Alan Williams

I think Rigor Mortis needs to be higher. vampire is such a crushing tune.

Creg Lovett
Creg Lovett

I can't find Josephus music on amazon

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

Too much Country, Soul and Blues influence in Texas to support a thriving Metal scene. Ya know, REAL musical styles, not 'I bought a pointy guitar and wanna make some noise' idiocy.

John Phillips
John Phillips

That DRI video brought back memories. As a kid growing up in the early 80s and skateboarding, this was played at all make shift half pipes, etc. The DRI mosh guy was spray painted on an abandoned drive in movie theater just outside of Galveston. You could see it from 45, just before the causeway.

Creg Lovett
Creg Lovett

Pantera, dead horse, kings x, the sword is a pretty great top 4!

Kai Freund
Kai Freund

Pantera, without even reading the article. Side note, yesterday was Dimebag's (RIP) birthday. Upon A Burning Body out of San Antonio is also great and are quickly making a name for themselves.

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