I’ve always been very intrigued by two piece bands. While everything from decision making to space saving lends itself to being super efficient, there are also several obvious limitations to being a power duo in the metal genre where guitar, drums, and bass are considered the bare essentials. Here are 10 amazing duos that truly figured it out, and continue to slay around the world.
I’ve been raving about Mantar since their album Death By Burning dropped last year, and even booked them for the 2015 Metal Injection SXSW showcase knowing they would blow people’s minds. They’re completely raw and disgusting in the best possible way, and although small in number, manage to fill an entire stage with their intensity. I’ve watched these guys do their thing several times this year, and no matter the time or place, they always kill themselves on stage as if it was the last show they’ll ever play.
As if the challenge of being a two piece wasn’t enough, Tempel somehow manages to take it to another level and go completely instrumental while retaining the listeners interest the whole time. The outcome is a beautiful collection of dramatic melodies, paired with monstrous riffs only elephants can properly dance to. I’ve been hooked on their 2014 release On The Steps Of The Temple since it came out, and their latest release The Moon Lit Our Path has been some of my favorite driving tunes this year so far.
Big Business started as a two piece band, eventually picking up a couple cool members in 2008, but were back to absolutely slaying the stage as a power duo when I saw them earlier this year. Seriously, even if this band still had more players, I’d probably want them to turn down so I can hear the magic of that rhythm section!
The Austerity Program
Ever wonder what would happen if Henry Rollins, Trent Reznor, and Justin Chancellor dropped acid in a Russian bath house for a whole day? I imagine the outcome would sound a lot like The Austerity Program, perfectly weird, layered, and infectiously groovy. They’re also the only drummer-less band in history I actually enjoy watching live.
The two guys behind Greber, Steve Vargas of The Great Sabatini and Marc Bourgon of Fuck The Facts, are some of the sweetest dudes you’ll ever meet in the entire world. They’re from Canada, so duh! Yet, this adorable duo manages to create some of the most amazingly disgusting and visceral tones together. An achievement I can only refer to “Garbage Grind” and I mean that in the best possible way.
I sometimes throw on Zombi during long drives and pretend I’m actually James Bond driving a DeLorean, that’s how fucking cool this is! In all seriousness, this metallic-synthwave band has been a staple in my player for years, and simply jaw dropping to watch live. If you’re a prog nerd or soundtrack nut like me, then you’re all out of excuses. The band just released an amazing new record, pick it up!
More duos on the next page…