Mike Kerr
Mike Kerr.

Metal is not dead

By Julian Wise - December 14, 2006

While it may have taken a hit with the rise of Nirvana and the creative bankruptcy of Metallica, there are still those uncompromising hardcore souls who keep its steely flame alive. Local metal soldier Aaron Campos presents his project ANTI at an uncompromising, no-holds-barred live show at Aboveground Records on Friday. Mr. Campos's blistering, full-throttle metal attack has earned raised eyebrows and respect from those with a passing knowledge of all things hardcore.

Mr. Campos formed ANTI in the late 1990s and has released 10 records at a breakneck pace. Album titles like "Are You With Us...Or Just Afraid," "Desolence," "What Now?" and the most recent "The Will" reveal a hardened, nihilistic stance. Songs like "Anti Depressant," "Keeper of Darkness," "It's the Drugs" and "Last Resort" underscore the caustic tone of the albums.

"Deadly End," off the 2005 "Broken Dreams" LP, demonstrates ANTI's trademark crunching guitars, lurching tempos, and barked vocals. When Mr. Campos growls, "I feel your hate," it's impossible to challenge his full-tilt conviction. Whether or not one's tastes cater to this brand of music, it's difficult to not be impressed by Mr. Campos' gutsy delivery.

Mr. Campos is joined on the bill by Mike Kerr, a native of Mantenopolis, Brazil. Mr. Kerr studied under Berklee College of Music professor Joe Stump, regarded as the 3rd fastest guitar player in the world. Mr. Kerr tours with the rock bands Reign of Terror and Holy Hell (featuring the drummer from the legendary metal outfit Manowar). Mr. Kerr is regarded as an astute shredder, capable of intricate speed-metal riffs. He plans to release a solo CD in the near future and currently teaches guitar to nine students on the Island between gigs with his new band Ibanez.

ANTI and Mike Kerr perform, Friday, Dec. 15, 7 pm, Aboveground Records, Edgartown. All ages. Suggested donation, $5.