The Rocks Off 100: Eloy Contreras, Deathrazor's Sharp Thrash Vocals

Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See the entire Rocks Off 100 at this link.

Who? Deathrazor had a rocky road to getting their particular brand of thrash-metal off the ground. They started playing around town in 2009 under the names Violent Resistance and Immortal Assassin, playing some originals, but mostly covers. It was the band's first gig after yet another re-structure when singer and guitarist Johnny Arce asked his cousin Eloy Contreras, who was attending the show as a fan, if he would mind coming up and singing some Metallica covers since he knew the words. He mostly certainly did not, and the newly christened Deathrazor was born.

Contreras always loved to sing whether it was out with friends, alone in his room, the shower, really just anywhere and everywhere. He developed a love of metal at an early age, with particular focus on the three Ms: Metallica, Maiden, and Megadeth. He'd half formed a band here and there, but joining the ranks of Deathrazor on a moment's notice was the first real band experience he had.

Currently the band just has a few home recordings lying around, but those show Contreras' potential well. He has a brutal, fast-paced delivery that may lack in elegance but makes up for it in a kind of sincere, spoken rage that feels like the narration of a particularly gruesome police report over the thunder of his mates.

It's unapologetic, and definitely appropriately named.

Home Base: Contreras prefers to retreat to the solitude of his room to craft lyrics, then bring them out at band rehearsal at drummer Jorge Bocanegra's garage. His favorite place to play is Warehouse Live because of the grandness of the stage.

Good War Story: "It would have to be a house show we had a few years back. It was freezing outside," he says. "I had a sore throat, stuffy nose, but we played well over an hour."

Music Scene Pet Peeve: "It could improve," says Contreras frankly. "Our metal scene definitely needs to grow. As of lately it's kind of been on the uprise."

Best Show Ever: "It would have to be a recent show we had with Havok," he says. "It was our biggest show to date, and the crowd was amazing."

First Song You Ever Fell in Love With: Iron Maiden, "The Trooper."

Five Desert Island Discs:

  • Anthrax, Spreading the Disease
  • Megadeth, Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?
  • Iron Maiden, The Number of the Beast
  • Iron Maiden, Somewhere In Time
  • Def Leppard, Pyromania

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

See who else has joined the Rocks Off 100 this year on the next page.

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