RGV Sounds: McAllen’s Thrash Album Captures Teenage Metalhead Spirit

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If you know a musician or band that should be featured, email KVEO-DigitalDesk@nexstar.tv.

HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Pizza, memes, cats, surreal art, angst, composition notebooks; These are things that a lot of teenagers have on their minds.

And the first thing you will notice about Sonoroum Hymns for a discontented mind is that he has all these elements on his album cover. The trash metal album represents almost everything a young metalhead is interested in.

Chano Martinez recorded all the instruments for Sonoroum’s debut album (photo: Chano Martinez)

Even though the band’s only member, Chano Martinez, hasn’t been a teenager for a few years, he’s able to capture that youthful aggression on his first outing.

Martinez bounced around metal bands in his younger years as a guitarist before settling with a group of musicians who formed Sonoroum. The band wrote a few songs and were ready to record and release music.

But that was around 2018 and some members’ personal lives and commitments continually delayed the recording. These issues left the project all but lapsed, but Martinez decided to take matters into his own hands.

“The main thing I wanted was to be able to hear it and have other people hear it,” Martinez said. “I thought those songs were good and we all did, so I just wanted to finally put them out there.”

Using a makeshift studio in his McAllen home, Martinez recorded 10 songs for the release. Martinez performs vocals, guitars, bass and drums on Hymns for a discontented mindreleased in November 2021.

The album’s music is a mix of heavy riffs, woeful solos and tight drumming that create a product reminiscent of Pantera and other hard metal bands.

He took a straightforward approach to songs using ideas worked on as a teenager in bands such as Among the Desecrated. This gave the album a youthful, explosive vibe reminiscent of the noise made by bands practicing in a garage.

Chano Martinez practicing the guitar in his home studio (photo: ValleyCentral)

Adding to this attitude was the choice of Martinez for the album cover. He took a snapshot of a composition notebook covered in stickers, doodles, Spongebob quotes and special touches that only the artist really understands. It’s a neat nostalgic theme that made the author of this article think of the stacks of notebooks he once had resembling this piece of art.

“I was recording these songs with a youthful or angsty appeal and thought it would be nice to incorporate a songbook like a lot of us had at the time,” Martinez said. “The general impression was that you’re 16 and you’re mad at everything and you write all these angry poems and songs in the notebook.”

The lyrics of the album also reflect this message. Songs like “Watch the World Burn”, “Smile as you Suffer” and “Kamikaze” reflect that youthful spirit where teenagers just want to crush cans and smash stuff.

“Watch the World Burn,” the album’s opening track, features a line that reads “I’m just an idiot with a pen,” which Martinez says is a thesis for the emphasis on the whole album about the state of mind of teenagers.

“Using that statement kind of sets the mood from an album perspective,” Martinez said. “I wanted to paint a disturbing picture.”

Upon the release of the album, Sonoroum received praise from audiences near and far. Local people stepped in to congratulate the album. Critics even came from other parts of the country and Brazil, who compared the album to Pantera and early Slayer.

With Sonoroum’s debut album in the books, Martinez is looking to reunite the band members to play gigs across the RGV and plans to release a new single in May. A second album, titled The Magnificent of Oz, is also in the works for a late 2022 release.

You can find Sonoroum’s music on Apple Music, Spotifyand Youtube.

You can follow the group on Facebook, instagramand Twitter.

The Rio Grande Valley is full of musical talent worth showing off. If you know a musician or band that should be featured on RGV Sounds, email KVEO-DigitalDesk@nexstar.tv.

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