When most native English speakers think of psychedelic rock—especially its metal/hard rock-influenced offshoot, heavy psych—their minds usually don’t wander south of the U.S. border, much less south of Mexico. But Central and South American artists have long been active in the genre, both historically and well into the present day.
The origin of Latin American psychedelic rock began with the consumption of bootleg records from American and British bands. Fledgling musicians devoured those forbidden texts and began starting their own groups, imitating the exciting foreign sounds, working their own musical traditions—like the rhythms of bossa nova, samba, and tango—into the mix. And while each country had their own regional quirks, the general philosophy remained consistent.
While it would be impossible to give a comprehensive overview of an entire continent and a half, here are eight bands from eight different countries that are putting Latin America on the heavy…
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