Metro Metalhead

September 15, 2015

M.F. Metal Music is an anomaly not only in Bryant but also in Arkansas. The medium-sized store, which opened in June 2012, is tucked away in a quiet strip mall next to Goodwill. On one Wednesday afternoon, the TVs on the wall play a live concert DVD by the Greek black-metal band Rotting Christ, whose frantic sound provides the day’s ambience.

Jay Kohl, owner of M.F. Metal, is behind the counter, ready to greet whoever walks through the door. His store is filled with heavy-metal CDs and vinyls with colorful cover art, along with T-shirts and wall art. About anything associated with metal music is either for sale or decorating the walls.

Alongside the Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Pantera albums, there are albums by Rwake, Crankbait, Vore and Living Sacrifice — all Arkansas-based bands that are more known outside of Arkansas than within, Kohl says. It’s bands like these, as well as numerous other local acts, he looks to support.

Kohl, 60, is a native of Wayne, Nebraska. His decades-long love affair with music began in the 1960s and 1970s in his hometown at the local head shop, which sold vinyl records.

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