If you’ve banged your head to some of the most popular hard rock/heavy metal in the past 30 years, you may not have known some of the top bands in the genre have ties to South Florida. So who are the most noteworthy metalheads coming out of South Florida?
The shock rocker, born Brian Warner, is originally from Ohio, but cut his teeth at Cardinal Gibbons High School and later at Broward Community College. His career has included hits like “The Beautiful People,” and a metal remake of the pop song “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This).” He’s also been depicted in the media as bad for children and was initially blamed for the Columbine massacre. He penned a lengthy response to the tragedy and said if he could have done anything with the students who killed at Columbine, he would have simply listened. He was heavily influenced by bands like Nine Inch Nails and other metal bands like Slayer, who he has toured with repeatedly.
Formed in January 1997, the band is a compilation of nu-metal as a four-piece band. The band toured heavily after releasing a major label debut in 2000. They landed a spot on the Ozzfest tour in 2001 and their career started to rise. They hit the road with bands like Mduvayne, Taproot, Drowning Poll, Sevendust, and Disturbed. The band’s first major hit was “Bullet With A Name,” but they also drew praise for their remake of the Phil Collins’ classic, “In the Air Tonight.”
While not necessarily as heavy as the first two in this list, Saigon Kick was formed in Miami in 1988 and gained a following on the club scene and while their first record only sold marginally, they hit it big with the song “Love Is On The Way.” More of a hair metal ballad, the band’s hit helped them score a gold record. The band wouldn’t have another song to make it into the Billboard Hot 100, but did have some success in the mainstream rock charts with the son “All I Want,” released after “Love,” in 1992.
While not originally from Miami, Malmsteen now reportedly resides in Miami. He’s one of the pioneers of shredding on the guitar. His albums have included a neo-classical approach that feature wide stretches and picking at speeds that have rarely been matched. Perhaps his greatest album as a guitarist was the first album he released as a solo-artist, “Rising Force.” He was ranked 9th all-time best electrical guitarist by Time magazine.
From just up the road in Tampa, Cannibal Corpse was so original that it created it’s own genre of metal affectionately known as “death metal.” The band cut its teeth around Florida including South Florida. It has had no radio or television exposure, but has a cult following. The band’s performances have been banned at various times by different countries. It had a spot appearance in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, filmed in Miami. Among the band’s releases are “Butchered at Birth” and “Tomb of the Mutilated.”