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Brown Sabbath offers a (helping) ‘Hand of Doom’ for Puerto Rico

Staff Writer
Austin 360

Earlier this year, our June Austin360 Artist of the Month, Brownout dropped a new EP, “Over the Covers.” It was their first release of original material since 2012, and the title was a tongue and cheek way of saying the Black Sabbath cover project, Brown Sabbath, that dominated the Austin Latin funk powerhouse’s work for the last few years, is taking a break. 

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Brownout returns to pre-Sabbath roots

But hold the “Electric Funeral,” Sabbath fans, the (helping) “Hand of Doom” will be back to celebrate the Day of the Dead while raising money for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico at a benefit show called “Una Noche Para Puerto Rico” at Empire Control Room on Nov. 2.

Like most Austin bands, Brownout gets asks to do many charity events and they have to be selective about the commitments they make, but lead singer and bat-friendly Ozzy substitute, Alex Marrero said everyone in the nine-piece outfit immediately agreed to this one. “The right causes kind of become very clear,” he said.

“Puerto Rico has been in turmoil for a few years now. The last thing they needed was something like this,” Marrero, a Mexico City native who’s lived in Austin since 1994, said. “This is an on-going crisis. It’s going to take years to recover from this one. People don’t have access to clean water, electricity or food. Still. Things you don’t immediately think about like hospitals keeping medication and food refrigerated. Clean clothes, clean water, non-perishable food. It’s a large group of people trying to put their lives back together under some really dire circumstances. It’s bad.”

As individuals of limited means, there’s only so much the band members can do “to help our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico,” Marrero said. But they happen to have a project people love that they’ve deliberately put on the back burner. The last time Brown Sabbath played Austin was Oct. 29, 2016, when they celebrated the release of a second collection of Sabbath covers with a show at the Scoot Inn.

As the show falls on the final day of Día de los Muertos, it’s the perfect time for “the Wizard” to reemerge and work his dark magic.

“So, to all the people that ask when we’re gonna do another Brown Sabbath in town. Well, here is your chance to see it and contribute to help some people in need. It’s a win-win,” Marrero said.

Holy Wave and Annabelle Chairlegs will also perform. $20 suggested donation. 7 p.m. doors. 606 E. Seventh St.