\m/etal to the Extreme

By Edgar Rivas, Jr. —

When a 13-year-old Hector Guzman listened to Pantera’s “Cowboys from Hell” for the first time, he knew he wanted to be a musician. It inspired him. Pantera was a band from Arlington, TX that was influenced by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and Thrash Metal.

“I have never heard something that heavy, with that much attack and it was powerful,” said Guzman, 21, Music Education. “That riff changed me.”

The 13-year-old Guzman wanted to buy a bass but during that time bass guitars were more expensive than electric guitars so Gooz (nickname known to his friends) settled for an electric guitar and never looked back since then. Hector got the nickname from just shortening his last name.

“Too many Hectors exist,” said Guzman.

“[His guitar playing] is some really technical stuff. [There is] a lot of riffs, a lot of change-ups,” said Leart Begolli, 19, Classical Guitar Performance. “There is so [many] good songs, catchy songs.”

Gooz formed his own band, Mörder (the umlaut on top of the “o” makes the name sound German) 2 years ago. They are a Progressive Death Metal band, a subgenre of Heavy Metal, which blends the powerful, guitar-driven sound of Metal with the complex compositional structures, odd time signatures, diverse lyrics and intricate instrumental playing of Progressive Rock.

“[They] heavily influenced [by] the old school Death Metal and has roots from Thrash Metal,” said Guzman.

“They’re a good band. [They have] good musicianship,” said Begolli.

Mörder first began in his room, where he was writing songs. He is the sole songwriter for all the instruments.

“Hector writes some catchy riffs. He is the band. He has sole [and] complete creative control,” said Ron Iglesias, 22, Music and History.

Gooz cites the song, “Crystal Mountain” by Orlando, FL band Death as the one song that lured him into the world of Death Metal. Dubbed as the kings of Death Metal, they are known as the founding fathers of the Death Metal scene in the United States. Gooz compares Mörder to Death and can relate himself to Death’s frontman, Chuck Schuldiner. Also known as “The Father of Death Metal,” Schuldiner died from brain cancer in 2001. His favorite bands are Death, Cynic, Morbid Saint, Kreator, and Pantera. His favorite albums are “Human,” “Focus,” “Spectrum of Death,” and “Pleasure to Kill.”

Their first gig was in Jersey City’s Pearl Studios on December 11, 2010 and it was a success. They have played 17 more gigs since then.

“First impressions come a long way. We really showed people that we’re not just a local act,” said Guzman.

Gooz struggled as an English major and was close to dropping out of college. With the help of his good friend, who inspired him, he changed his major into Music Education. He hopes his band would be signed to a major label, but aspires to receive a Master’s degree in Music Education and hopefully go to a musician’s institute, where his guitar playing can reach a higher peak than where it already is. Technically a Junior, he may be here for another 4 years since he made the switch from English to Music Education.

With the semester taking up a lot of their time, Mörder are currently on a break until mid-Spring. Until then you can check out their very first demo, “Aggressions Controlled” and videos of their gigs on the band’s Facebook page. Hector will be performing classical music for the time at the Ingalls Recital Hall on Saturday, November 19th at 5:00 p.m.