By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy, Photos by Matt “Rabit” Martinez Red Hare Images
For me, sludge metal can be a hit or miss, depending on the group. Often at times, I find sludge metal groups to be a little sluggish and not very energetic. The music sounds good, but it can be drawn-out and depressing. However, I have recently come across this one group from Los Angeles that not only is a sludge metal band, but they also add elements of stoner metal, doom metal, progressive rock, and psychedelic. All those styles should not really go together, but these guys pull it off. They call themselves Garbeast, and it is time that you, the readers, step into their realm.
They first caught my attention when I ran into their new drummer at Las Rageous last year, Felicity Feline. She told me what the group was all about and why I should care about them. After a couple of months of trying to find the right time to see them, the opportunity presented itself when they were booked as the opening/closing act at the famous Whisky a-Go Go for the nu metal group Lethal Injektion. They were the last group to go on, and I was amazed by the music they have created. They performed 4 songs that I thought were well-written, and they include “Red Grave,” “Garbeast,” “Gauntlet,” and “Nexus.” Felicity is a beast on the drums. Frontman/bassist Shaun Munz is an effective growler/singer, and he wails on the bass in haunting tones. Colin Graham plays the synthesizers with progressive flair that sort of mix of Richard Wright of Pink Floyd and Keith Emerson of ELP (Emerson Lake Palmer). Rounding off the group is guitarist Ryan Elliot, whose sludge riffs were sweet.
Full Garbeast gallery from the Whisky A Go-Go Show
They have been playing the Orange County and Los Angeles area all year long, all the while gaining new fans. That night they actually played a really good set, even though they were the closing group. In my opinion, they should have been put in the middle of the line-up, but they still brought it. Before they performed, I had the pleasure of speaking with them in the upstairs rooms at the Whisky. It was a lot fun getting to know them and how they all came together to create something unique. We even shared our thoughts on passing rock artists that we grew up to admire, especially Pantera’s Vinnie Paul. Felicity told me how she was at a Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey game and saw him walking by, but she did not take a photo with him. They said that after 2018, they plan on putting out new EP, their first with Felicity on drums. 2018 has been really good to them, and I feel 2019 will be an even better year for them. So, if you are a fan of sludge metal and psychedelia, Garbeast is the group for you. To Garbeast, I salute you. Horns up!!!
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