Black Cobra Shows Its Fangs For Heavy Metal

Named one of Spin Magazine’s “40 Must-See Acts” at this year’s SXSW music festival, Black Cobra has the attention of the music community and, more specifically, the metal community.

“What we strive for is to be ourselves,” said guitarist and vocalist Jason Landrian.  “If you like heavy music you’ll probably like us.”

The band is unique, it's a duo comprised of Mr. Landrian and drummer Rafael Martínez. But listen to them on vinyl or through download you’d never know they are the only members of the band.

The New Times last year said of their set at St. Vitus in Brooklyn that “whatever they do on their records, they can reproduce live, and slightly more vividly.”

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They did that this past June in the same venue, tearing through a range of their songs including many tracks from their latest album, “Invernal.”

“We’re doing about a 100 shows for this record and we just reached out 600th on this tour,” said Martínez.  “We’ve be at it pretty much non-stop for six years.”

The band, which formed in 2001, has continued to tour around the country and around the world.

This summer, they opened for Corrosion of Conformity, metal legends the duo respected for their encouragement and support.

“They were really, really cool with us,” said Landrian.  “It definitely felt like a brotherhood.”

Black Cobra represents not only the generally assumed metal background, white teenage angst but the love affair some Latinos also have with the genre.

Where I grew up there was a lot of violence. It was… an escape because Iron Maiden and these bands kind of created these fantasy worlds.

— Rafael Martinez, Black Cobra drummer

Martínez, originally from Medellín, Colombia, discovered heavy metal music in his youth under less than ideal circumstances.

“Where I grew up, there was a lot of violence,” said Martínez.  “It was… an escape because Iron Maiden and these bands kind of created these fantasy worlds.”

“For me, it was the intensity that drew me to it.”

Landrian sees the genre as something that attracts many different fans.

“You definitely see people from all walks of life that gravitate toward metal,” said Landrian.

As for their career so far and what they hope to accomplish:

“We’re pretty satisfied so far,” said Martínez.  “Hopefully we reach more people.”

Follow Victor Garcia on Twitter @MrVicGarcia.

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