Waco Texas Heavy Metal Music During Shooting

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Waco Texas has a long and unique history with heavy metal music. The city was the site of a shoot-out in 1993 between the FBI and a religious cult known as the Branch Davidians.

Waco Texas

Waco Texas has been a hub for heavy metal music since the early 1980s. The city has produced such bands as Pantera, Damageplan, Drowning Pool, and From First to Last. On February 28th, 1993, a shootout occurred at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco between members of the Bandidos and Cossacks motorcycle clubs. Nine people were killed and eighteen were wounded in the incident.

In the wake of the shooting, many Waco residents sought refuge in the city’s heavy metal music scene. The music provided a sense of community for those who felt isolated and alone in the aftermath of the tragedy. It also served as a way to cope with the grief and anger that came with losing friends and loved ones.

The bands that came out of Waco during this time period reflected the darkness and heaviness that many people were feeling. They wrote songs about loss, pain, and rage. They helped their fans to mourn their losses and to express their anger in a constructive way.

The heavy metal music scene in Waco Texas during the 1990s was a product of its time and place. It was shaped by the events of February 28th, 1993, and it helped those who were affected by those events to heal and to move on with their lives.

Heavy Metal Music

Heavy metal music was playing during the Waco Texas shooting. This may have been a contributing factor to the incident.


Formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield, Metallica has become one of the most influential and commercially successful rock bands in history, having sold 110 million albums worldwide while playing to millions of fans on literally all seven continents. With nine studio albums, a live album, and three collaboration albums to their credit — not to mention countless videos, DVDs, soundtracks, and compilations — they have earned numerous awards and accolades, including nine Grammy Awards (with 33 nominations), two American Music Awards, and multiple MTV Video Music Awards. In December 2013, Metallica made history when they performed a concert in Antarctica — becoming the first band ever to play all seven continents all within a year!


Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson formed the band in 1983 shortly after Mustaine’s dismissal from Metallica. A pioneer of the American thrash metal scene, the band is credited as one of the genre’s “big four” with Anthrax, Metallica and Slayer, responsible for its development and popularization. Megadeth plays in a technical style, featuring fast rhythm sections and complex arrangements. Themes of death, war, politics and religion are prominent in the group’s lyrics.

In 1985, Megadeth released its debut album Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!, on the independent label Combat Records, to critical and commercial success. The album caught the attention of bigger labels and their next release, 1986’s Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying?, was issued through Capitol Records. It peaked at number six on the Billboard 200 chart and spawned two successful singles that hold regular rotation on rock radio station playlists worldwide: “Peace Sells” and “Hey Soldier (Private Military).” On Capitol’s request, Megadeth returned to a heavier musical direction for their next release So Far, So Good… So What!, which received mixed reviews; despite this fact it sold wellUpon leaving Capitol to sign with first Sanctuary Records then Roadrunner Records in 2004, Megadeth released The System Has Failed showcasing a return to their thrash roots while still incorporate industrial elements into some tracks.”


Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California, formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman. They were joined by drummer Dave Lombardo and bassist/vocalist Tom Araya. The band has released twelve studio albums, two live albums, a box set, six music videos, two extended plays and a cover album. Slayer’s fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding “big four” bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Many of Slayer’s musical influences were derived from early black metal bands such as Venom, Mercyful Fate and Celtic Frost.

during shooting

Texas heavy metal music has been a source of great controversy for many years. Some people believe that the music is a form of satanic worship and that it is to blame for many of the shootings that have occurred in the state.

at the Alamo

On February 28, 1993, a shootout took place at the Alamo in Waco, Texas between the FBI and the Branch Davidians, a religious sect that had been stockpiling weapons. The siege ended with the deaths of 76 people, including 23 children.

During the siege, the Branch Davidians played heavy metal music at loud volumes in an attempt to keep the FBI from sleeping. The music included songs by Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, and AC/DC.

at the Branch Davidian Compound

The Waco Siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended on April 19, 1993, after a 51-day standoff between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), and members of the Branch Davidian religious sect. The siege came to a tragic end when government agents launched an assault on the compound, resulting in a fire that killed 76 people, including leader David Koresh.

During the siege, music played a significant role in both the everyday lives of the Branch Davidians holed up in the compound and in the media coverage of the event. For example, country singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson wrote and recorded a song called “Waco” about the siege, which was later covered by Willie Nelson. And Neil Young’s song “White Line,” from his album Freedom, includes the lines “I hear they’re playin’ our song /Down in Waco.”

But it was perhaps heavy metal music that had the most direct connection to the events at Waco. In fact, there are reports that during the final assault on April 19th, agents played loud recordings of heavy metal songs at high volume in an attempt to disorient and demoralize those inside the compound. These songs included Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and Megadeth’s “Sweating Bullets.”

So while the tragedy at Waco is certainly not something to be taken lightly, it’s interesting to note how music can play such a vital role even in the most dire of circumstances.

after the shooting

Waco heavy metal music scene came to a screeching halt following the tragedy that took place at the hands of the ATF. All of the clubs in the area closed their doors, leaving the musicians without a place to play.

the aftermath

As the nation mourns the loss of life in yet another mass shooting, this time at a community college in Oregon, questions are inevitably raised about the role that heavy metal music may have played in the tragedy.

In the wake of such a senseless act of violence, it is natural to search for any possible explanation that might help us to make sense of the tragedy. And while there is no one factor that can ever fully explain why someone would commit such a heinous act, it is important to consider all of the possible contributing factors.

Heavy metal music has long been associated with violence and aggression, and some researchers have suggested that it may contribute to aggressive and antisocial behavior. However, it is important to note that there is no definitive proof that heavy metal music causes violence. It is possible that people who are already prone to violence and aggression are simply more likely to gravitate towards music that reflects their inner turmoil.

In any case, it is always important to remember that music is just one element in a person’s life, and it is never solely responsible for their actions.

the investigations

After the shooting, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted an intensive investigation of the site. The ATF’s Christopher Peça said that investigators had discovered “dozens of spent shell casings” inside the restaurant and that “the evidence we’ve collected indicates there was a firefight inside”. The ATF also found “bullet holes in the walls, windows and doors” of the restaurant.

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