Cuban Metal Comes to SXSW: Escape, Agonizer, and Ancestor Liberated at Last

The Austin festival set to make history this year

SXSW Cuban Metal Bands Escape Agonizer Ancestor
Aptly named Cuban metal band Escape / Photo by Richmond Lam
Chris Martins WRITTEN BY
Chris Martins

Last year, SPIN scribe David Peisner traveled south to explore "The Hidden World of Extreme Cuban Metal." While there, he met three exceptionally heavy bands now poised to make their live debut on U.S. soil. This year's South By Southwest music conference and festival will make history by welcoming Ancestor, Escape, and Agonizer to the stage.

It seems that the Buena Vista Anti-Social Club is in fact making some friends out there in the world. As reported last month, the independent UnBlock the Rock organization has been toiling to secure Escape's entry — it turns out they've been advocating for the other groups as well, plus working with Texas Representative Lloyd Doggett to get the musicians visas.

"In all of the years that I've been working with the festival, this has been an eye-opening experience and one of the most complicated situations that we've dealt with," said SXSW's Alicia Zertuche to Rolling Stone. Peisner himself assisted by helping to get the Austin event's coordinators on board, and helped promote the fundraising compilation The Red Album.

In addition to the performances, SXSW is hosting a "Red Menace" panel moderated by Peisner and featuring input from the bands themselves, along with UBTR director Tracey Noelle Luz and representatives from Cuban metal zine Scriptorium. Most importantly, we shall at last be able to witness this in person:

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