Latin metal

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Latin metal (Spanish: Heavy metal en español, Portuguese: Heavy metal em português) is a subgenre of heavy metal music with Latin origins, influences, and instrumentation, such as Spanish vocals, Latin percussion and rhythm such as Salsa rhythm. Some South American bands also add influences and instrumentations borrowed from world music and ethnic music, relating to musical traditions of the indigenous people of America.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian, is a Romance language that originated in the Iberian Peninsula and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in Spain and the Americas. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

The term Latin percussion refers to any number of a large family of musical instruments in the percussion, membranophone, lamellophone and/or idiophone family used in Latin music, which in turn is a very loosely related group of musical styles, mainly from the Latin American region, and ultimately having roots or influences in African tribal music.



An early mention of the term comes from critic Robert Christgau, who referred to Carlos Santana's music from the 1970s as "Latin-metal pop," making it a possible forerunner in the genre. [1]

Robert Christgau American music journalist

Robert Thomas Christgau is an American essayist and music journalist. One of the earliest professional rock critics, he spent 37 years as the chief music critic and senior editor for The Village Voice, during which time he created and oversaw the annual Pazz & Jop poll. He has also covered popular music for Esquire, Creem, Newsday, Playboy, Rolling Stone, Billboard, NPR, Blender, and MSN Music, and was a visiting arts teacher at New York University.

Carlos Santana Mexican and American musician

Carlos Santanaaudio  is a Mexican and American guitarist who rose to fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band Santana, which pioneered a fusion of rock and roll and Latin American jazz. Its sound featured his melodic, blues-based lines set against Latin and African rhythms played on percussion instruments such as timbales and congas not generally heard in rock. Santana continued to work in these forms over the following decades. He experienced a resurgence of popularity and critical acclaim in the late 1990s. In 2015, Rolling Stone magazine listed Santana at number 20 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists. He has won 10 Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards, and was inducted along with Santana into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Latin metal started in the 1970s and 1980s, originating in many countries of Latin America, thanks to the increasing worldwide popularity of heavy metal and heavy rock from Europe (obviously including Spain, with bands such as Baron Rojo and Angeles del Infierno singing in Spanish and reaching international success in the 1980s) and United States. It may also have profited from the "Latin explosion" in the United States of the 1990s, though some critics contend that the gap between Ricky Martin-style pop and metal is too great for Latin metal to have profited greatly. [2] Still, record companies in the 1990s sought to profit from the rise of Latin pop, as evidenced from the Metalo compilation of Latin metal bands by the Grita! Records label, which included songs by Ill Niño and Puya, [3] and bands from the 1990s such as Sepultura and Soulfly are cited as predecessors in the genre. [4] In the United States, Ill Niño is probably the best-known exponent of the genre; their first two albums (with "philosophical and bilingual lyrics" about such topics as growing up fatherless) were commercially successful and got them strong radio play in for instance the San Antonio area. [5]

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Barón Rojo Hard rock/heavy metal band from Spain

Barón Rojo was a Spanish heavy metal band, who reached international success in the 1980s. The band was led by siblings Carlos and Armando de Castro, previously from the band Coz, and it is considered one of the most important representatives of Spanish hard rock bands. "Barón Rojo" in Spanish is "Red Baron", the name of the band is an homage to Manfred von Richthofen, and the eponymous song "Barón Rojo" is about him, also the name is a pun as the Spanish pronunciation of 'Rojo' is close to the English 'Rock-o'.

Ángeles del Infierno heavy metal band from Basque Country, Spain

Angeles Del Infierno is a heavy metal band from Basque Country, Spain, formed in 1980. Signing with Warner Bros. Records in 1984, they achieved success in their home country and Latin America during the 1980s and the early 1990s. In 2003, the band reformed and signed back onto Warner Bros. Records, releasing Todos Somos Angeles later that year.

Latin metal has managed to enter the mainstream world, with bands like Ill Nino, Puya, Nonpoint, landing Top 10 and 20 singles,on the Active Rock charts.

Latin metal bands


Hermética Argentine Heavy metal band

Hermética was an Argentine thrash metal band from San Martín, Buenos Aires. It was formed by bassist Ricardo Iorio in 1987 after his previous band V8 disbanded. Hermética was signed to the independent record label Radio Trípoli Discos throughout their career. The band's initial lineup consisted of Iorio, vocalist Claudio O'Connor, drummer Fabián Spataro and guitarist Antonio Romano. Spataro left the band in 1988 and was replaced by Antonio Scotto. This lineup recorded their eponymous album, the first thrash metal album recorded in Argentina. At this point of their career, Hermética performed mainly in Argentina, except for one concert held in Uruguay. In 1990, they released Intérpretes—an extended play which included covers of Argentine rock and tango songs. Both albums were released by Radio Trípoli Discos as a single CD when digital technology became available.

Almafuerte (band) Argentine metal band

Almafuerte is a Heavy metal band from Argentina, formed by bassist and lead singer Ricardo Iorio in 1995 after the dissolution of Hermética.

Rata Blanca band

Rata Blanca is a heavy metal band from Argentina, formed in 1986. It is considered the most famous metal band in its country.



Angra (band) Brazilian power metal band

Angra is a Brazilian heavy metal band formed in 1991 that has gone through some line-up changes since its foundation. They have released nine regular studio albums, five EPs and three live CD/DVDs to date. Led by Rafael Bittencourt, the band has gained a degree of popularity in Japan and Europe.

Power metal is a subgenre of heavy metal combining characteristics of traditional heavy metal with speed metal, often within symphonic context. Generally, power metal is characterized by a faster, lighter, and more uplifting sound, in contrast with the heaviness and dissonance prevalent for example in extreme metal. Power metal bands usually have anthem-like songs with fantasy-based subject matter and strong choruses, thus creating a theatrical, dramatic and emotionally "powerful" sound. The term was first used in the middle of the 1980s and refers to two different but related styles: the first pioneered and largely practiced in North America with a harder sound similar to speed metal, and a later more widespread and popular style based in Europe, South America and East Asia with a lighter, more melodic sound and frequent use of keyboards.

<i>Holy Land</i> (album) 1996 studio album by Angra

Holy Land is a 1996 concept album by Brazilian metal band Angra. Its theme is centered on the Brazilian land by the time it was discovered in the 16th century, as depicted in the art surrounding the album release. Once fully opened, the cover illustration turns out to be an old 15th-century map. Title track "Holy Land" contains many indigenous and folkloric influences taken from Brazilian music, but also includes classical arrangements symbolizing Europe at the time.


Alejandro Silva is a Chilean instrumental heavy metal guitarist, best known as the founder and lead guitarist of his band, Alejandro Silva Power Cuarteto.

Atomic Aggressor is a band started in the mid-1980s in Chile, a well-known exponent of Chilean death metal. Its early influences were from bands such as Celtic Frost and Trouble.

Criminal (band) Chilean-British thrash metal band

Criminal is a Chilean thrash/death metal band which formed in late 1991 in Santiago by Anton Reisenegger and Rodrigo Contreras. Later they were joined by J.J. Vallejo on drums and Juan Francisco Cueto as bassist, completing the original lineup. The band incorporates elements of thrash metal, death metal, groove metal and hardcore. They later moved to Colchester, England.







United States

Puerto Rico

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Soulfly heavy metal band

Soulfly is an American heavy metal band formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 1997. The original lyrical content revolved around spirituality, political and religious themes, with later albums encompassing other themes including war, violence, aggression, slavery, hatred and anger. Soulfly is led by former Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera, who formed the band after he left the Brazilian group in 1996. To date the band has released eleven studio albums, one tour EP, twenty-three singles, one video album, and twelve music videos. Their debut album, Soulfly, was released on April 21, 1998, while their most recent album, Ritual, was released on October 19, 2018.

<i>Roots</i> (Sepultura album) album by Sepultura

Roots is the sixth studio album by Brazilian metal band Sepultura. It was released in Europe on February 20, 1996 and in the U.S. three weeks later on March 12 by Roadrunner Records. It is the band's last studio album to feature founding member and vocalist/rhythm guitarist Max Cavalera.

<i>Soulfly</i> (album) 1998 studio album by Soulfly

Soulfly is the debut album by the metal band Soulfly, released on April 21, 1998 through Roadrunner Records. The record was released in memory of frontman Max Cavalera's murdered stepson and the first album featuring Cavalera since leaving Sepultura two years prior. Both CDs have the message In Loving Memory Dana printed across them. The album has been certified gold by the RIAA.

Max Cavalera Brazilian musician

Massimiliano Antonio "Max" Cavalera is a Brazilian singer, guitarist, and songwriter who currently plays in heavy metal bands Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, and Killer Be Killed. In 1984, he co-founded the acclaimed thrash metal band Sepultura with his brother Igor Cavalera and was the band's lead singer and rhythm guitarist until he left in 1996. Cavalera was also involved in a short-lived side project called Nailbomb.

<i>Prophecy</i> (Soulfly album) 2004 studio album by Soulfly

Prophecy is the fourth studio album by the metal band Soulfly and it was released in 2004.

Ill Niño American band

Ill Niño is an American heavy metal band formed in New Jersey in 1998 by founder/drummer Dave Chavarri. Ill Niño developed their own unique style known to fans of the band as "Latin metal". They have released seven studio albums, two EPs, and one greatest hits album, selling over 2 million albums worldwide.

Nailbomb band

Nailbomb was a heavy metal band formed in 1994 as side project by Brazilian musician Max Cavalera of Sepultura, Cavalera Conspiracy and Soulfly and English musician Alex Newport of Fudge Tunnel. The band recorded one studio album, Point Blank, and played one live performance before disbanding the next year.

Cristian Machado Brazilian singer

Cristian Machado is the vocalist for the nu metal band Ill Niño and was a lead singer for Roadrunner United. He has also played in Headclamp and La Familia, in addition to making numerous guest appearances on albums such as Sepultura's Nation, Soulfly's 3 and 40 Below Summer's The Mourning After.

Groove metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music. Music journalists and fans have used groove metal to describe Pantera, Exhorder and Machine Head. At its core, groove metal takes the intensity and sonic qualities of thrash metal and plays them at mid-tempo, with most bands making only occasional forays into fast tempo.

Roots Bloody Roots single by Sepultura

"Roots Bloody Roots" is a song by Brazilian metal band Sepultura. It was released in February 1996 as the lead single from their sixth album Roots. The song is the band's best known and remains a concert staple to this day, usually being performed on encores. A music video was filmed for the single which features the band performing in an underground catacomb as well as on the streets with a tribe of percussionists. This video can be found on the VHS We Are What We Are, which was later released on DVD as part of Chaos DVD.

Dave Chavarri Peruvian musician

Dave Chavarri is the founder, producer, manager, and drummer for the band Ill Niño, and Terror Universal. He is also the former drummer for bands Soulfly, Pro-Pain, M.O.D., Merauder and Lȧȧz Rockit, and Gothic Slam Chavarri is also the owner of entertainment company C.I.A Management, whose roster includes Ill Niño, Terror Universal, and others.

A.N.I.M.A.L. is a groove metal band from Argentina.

Rock in Puerto Rico has been a product of direct and indirect influence from both American rock music and Latin rock music, and its fusion with other genres. Throughout history, the genre has suffered ups and downs having a significant peak in the 1990s. Here's a breakdown of how rock evolved in the island through the decades.

Ankla is a latin metal band with Latin influences such as flamenco from Los Angeles, California.

<i>Arise</i> (Sepultura album) 1991 studio album by Sepultura

Arise is the fourth studio album by Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura, released in 1991 by Roadrunner Records. Upon its release, the album received top reviews from heavy metal magazines such as Rock Hard, Kerrang! and Metal Forces. Arise is considered Sepultura's finest hour among longtime fans. While the music on Arise was mostly in the same death/thrash style as their previous album, Beneath the Remains, it was clear that the Sepultura sound was acquiring an experimental edge.

Hamlet (band) Spanish band

Hamlet is a five-piece metal band from Madrid, Spain. They formed in 1987 and are still active. They are signed to Maldito Records and have released twelve albums, their most recent being Berlín was released in 2018. They are the pioneers of alternative metal in Spain with their albums Sanatorio de Muñecos (1994) and Revolución 12.111 (1996).

Puya (band) Puerto-Rican rock band

Puya is a Puerto Rican progressive metal band. Formed in 1991, the band rose to prominence with their fusion of salsa and heavy metal.

Walter Meza Argentinian singer of thrash metal and heavy metal

Walter Meza is an Argentinian singer of thrash metal and heavy metal, known for being the singer from Horcas, from 1997 to the present.

Felipe Arcuri Venezuelan musician. Bassist of Venezuelan heavy metal band Arkangel

Felipe Arcuri, born in Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela, is a musician, songwriter and composer specializing in the genre known as Heavy Metal. He is known as the bassist of the Venezuelan heavy metal band Arkangel, one of the most legendary and successful bands in the Latin American rock scene.


  1. Christgau, Robert (1990). Rock albums of the '70s: a critical guide. Da Capo. p. 342. ISBN   978-0-306-80409-0.
  2. Burr, Ramiro (2000-06-24). "Are You Ready to Rock Pesado? Latinos Struggle to Prove their Metal". Billboard . pp. 52–54. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
  3. "Puya, Armored Saint Lead Latin Metal Surge On Metalo". MTV. 1999-06-25. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
  4. Peiken, Matt (2001-07-31). "Bang Your Head: Latin Metal is Next 'Revolucion'". Sun Herald . Retrieved 2009-08-11.
  5. Burr, Ramiro (2003-11-30). "Latin Notes: Ill Nino's confessional Latin metal band rages about missing fathers, betrayals, and loving and hating". San Antonio Express-News . p. J.8.
  7. Sharpe-Young, Garry (2005). New Wave of American Heavy Metal. Zonda Books. p. 242. ISBN   978-0-9582684-0-0.
  8. "Ill Niño: Overview". Allmusic . Retrieved 2009-08-11.