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This Or The Apocalypse

This Or The Apocalypse

by Chris Fox
September 2010

Combine pure aggression, heavy grooves and lots of melodic musings, you have THIS OR THE APOCALYPSE. With their debut record release, “Haunt What’s Left”, released with the production blessing from Chris Adler, drummer of LAMB OF GOD, this band has come out with all guns blazing. Diversity is what drives the metal out of this band even though singer, Ricky Armelino, says, “we’re not exactly hardcore, not exactly metal,” but what they definitely are is heavy.

Being an educated guy, Armelino draws on lots of influences for their music. “The musical diversity in this group is so wide,” he explains, “the most amazing thing, I think, is making five people that listen to completely different genres… we actually make it work.” These guys truly have a passion for the music that they write, and strive to stay true to their unique sound. Armelino explains that he is influenced by “the authors that I respect. Civil rights authors,” but he draws from his wide literary spectrum, “my favorite was early on, when I would use Victorian era poetry and just scream it at these hardcore kids, and they loved it.” The influence of old murky literature and contemporary metal and hardcore artists like EVERY TIME I DIE creates the passionate spectrum that is THIS OR THE APOCALYPSE. “There is a lot of inbreeding in this genre of music,” Armelino explains, “and we just push to really create a new sound. We force ourselves to not rip anybody off and make our own brand.” Using contemporary breakdowns and soaring choruses at first glance these guys could be mistaken for another screamo band until they hit you with their brand of brutality. Driving songs that beg to have a mosh pit, draw you in, and the piercing lyrics will make your chest shake.


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Edsel Dope

Dope

by Chris Fox
July 2010

After more than ten years of playing shows, recording albums, and writing heavy music that just gets stuck in your head, DOPE continues to spread the disease. The quartet has a continuously growing devoted fan base that they have lovingly dubbed the Dope Army. They credit their influences, ranging from the metal likes of Ministry to Skinny Puppy and other industrial musicians, for their diverse sound. Edsel Dope explains, “we no longer really listen for inspiration, we know our sound, now we listen just cause the music kicks ass.” DOPE has effectively found their sound and they are happy to present it to the masses.


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Fear Factory

Fear Factory

an interview with Dino Cazares
by Chris Fox
June 2010

If you’ve felt discouraged with Fear Factory’s direction in the last few years, Mechanize (Candlelight Records) will bring your faith back. The L.A. Industrial metal masters have put out a record that many will say is the revitalization of a legend. Fan-favorite Raymond Herrera has left to pursue playing with Arkaea (E1/Century). He has since been replaced with Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Death, Dethklok). All the more exciting is the reunion with Dino Cazares. He’s back after nearly a 6 year hiatus from the group. Chris Fox interviewed Mr. Cazares, emphasizing the experimental side of Fear Factory…Don’t miss FEAR FACTORY The Rave in Milwaukee on Saturday, May 29.

The metal genre has such a vast array of sub-genres and categories that it is truly impossible to define a band with one term these days. FEAR FACTORY thrives on this grey area of metal, Dino Cazares explains, “we experiment so much that it is hard to put any kind of label on what we do. Death to industrial… the best way [to describe it] would be FEAR FACTORY. We are proud to be a band that helped define a bit of this genre.”


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Madison's Lords of the Trident on cover of April 2010

Lords Of The Trident

by Chris Fox
April 2010

Can you define heavy metal? Does metal mean screaming vocals and deadly distortion? Or is metal wailing guitar solos and an iron lunged singer?

To Fang VonKillenstein of Lords Of The Trident, heavy metal is “that distorted sound that makes you roll down your windows in the summer and makes you put your fist in the air, out the window. It just gives you that feeling in the pit of your stomach that just drives that ‘yeah.’” One can only assume that “yeah” would make King Diamond proud.

Mr. Killenstein, also known as Ty, defines their sound as “80’s metal mixed with modern influences.”

“Our structure is more towards classics 80’s, but we down tune and are fans of modern death and black metal. Those tonalities show up a lot as well.”

Using their local flavor, they have turned bits and pieces of the UW Campus and Madison into epic metal. Fang explains:

“The Madison music scene is really a lot of indie rock, around campus especially. When you say metal, the average Joe thinks of death and turns the other cheek to our music. Half the people come to our shows for cool music, but the other half just come to see what the hell we are up to. “


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Soil - formed in Chicago in 1997

Soil

by Chris Fox
March 2010

Backing a new album and hitting the road, SOIL will be in both Madison and Milwaukee on April 2 and 3 respectively. SOIL plans to hit The Annex and The Rave harder than ever. Going out on a limb from their previous albums and getting back to their early rock roots, they have developed an album that “took them back to their youth”.

The new album, Picture Perfect, was named so because “it really is the sound that we have always wanted,” according bassist Tim King. The album delves on a common rock vibe, but adds an extra element with a heavier sound. “We finally got it right on this one,” explains King, “We managed to encompass all classic rock stuff, but get the heavy sound with down tunings and more distortion. We went back to square one, and back to what we wanted to sound like.”

There is a dark side to SOIL that really comes through. Without this darker element the album would be a standard rock record. Their extreme metal influences, however, have added a biting edge to the new music.


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The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada

by Chris Fox
February 2010

They’ve never read the book or seen the movie, but THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA will show you what it means to stick to your guns and play heavy music. Still touring on their third release, “With Roots Above and Branches Below,” this sextet will be rolling through Wisconsin later in February, and they plan to bring their abrasive sound with them. As Mike Hranica (vocals) explains, “we are metalcore, but not in the traditional sense. That just happens to be the closest to what we sound like. We are not screamo, but rather a post hardcore mix.” There is a development over their three albums that progressively gets angrier. “Simply, it’s maturity,” over three albums, explains Hranica, “it was easy to get better cause we started out so bad.” As they come into their own with their music they are learning about their sound, “doing what we do there really isn’t much of a change. We are just getting stronger with what we do.”


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Cold

Cold

by Chris Fox
February 2010

COLD will be heading through Wisconsin in early March. After a five year break, COLD plans to release a new album in May under the name “Epic.” There have been numerous lineup changes, band personnel issues, and label dramas and Scooter Ward (vocals) explains that it was a needed vacation from the band. They plan to come out with guns blazing in promotion of the forthcoming album on tour with Nonpoint. “We are in the same place when recording and playing live,” so they really can’t wait to hit the road.

The quintet pride themselves on writing soulful rock music. “It is rock from the heart,” explains Ward. They digress on style and allow the music to flow into whatever form it chooses. “We really don’t play for any specific style. When writing heartfelt music like this it just pours out… it’s really easy coming.” This emotional drive to their music has shown through, with songs like “13 Ways to Bleed On Stage,” upon listening you really get an understanding of what COLD is all about. “It’s definitely not forced, if we have to force a song it doesn’t happen.” The development of the band has been a long process but they are happy with what they have come to. “It really is how long we’ve been playing together that affects our sound… we really have come a long way.”


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Theory of a DeadMan

Theory Of A DeadMan

by Chris Fox
January 2010

Interview with Tyler Connolly (vocals and guitars)

Canadian rockers THEORY OF A DEADMAN roll through Wisconsin in support of their special edition release of “Scars and Souvenirs.” After lots of success in the states both touring and through various compilation albums the band has developed as musicians, and find themselves “growing on all sides,” according to Tyler Connolly (vocals and guitars). Several video game appearances, work with the WWE, and showcases in movies, such as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, has launched THEORY OF A DEADMAN to chart topping success.

Their most recent album has presented a more mature writing style. Connolly explains, “it is now a more thought out process… before it was just whatever came out first.” The evidence is apparent as Connolly’s lyrics delve into broader terrain, and it exposes the musical talents of THEORY OF A DEADMAN. They effectively step away from angrier content and create songs that are very dark as well as songs that are just for fun. As the band matures they are devoted to “maturing without getting grey,” and they have learned the value of a great album with lots of promotion. “Simplicity is what we do,” explains Connolly, “we simply want to make playing (for us) and listening (for the crowd) a good night out.” They plan to break the cycle of their 3 years, one album trend, and hope to put out a new record within the next year.


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Iranian band Ahoora

Ahoora

by Chris Fox
January 2010

Interview with Milad Tangshir (guitars)

The up and coming band from Iran, AHOORA, brings out their newest release, “Awkward Diary,” amongst seemingly endless turmoil in their own country. Their indie metal musings have developed from years of struggle, and the loss of a dear friend in the June massacres. As guitarist Milad Tangshir declares, “we sit where Muse meets Iced Earth,” and seven years of playing together has developed AHOORA into a melodically wandering, yet precisely heavy group. Tangshir shares some comments and thoughts about the national metal scene as well as the development of his Iranian forbidden band.

Maximum Ink: As simply as possible, how would define the sound of AHOORA?
Tangshir: We’re an indie rock/metal band from Iran. You could say throughout the years we’ve mixed aspects of Prog/thrash metal with alternative modern rock.


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Unearth

Unearth

by Chris Fox
December 2009

East coast hardcore bands are a quickly growing force, and one of the heaviest, UNEARTH, makes their way through Wisconsin. Coming off their previous tour with thrash titans, TESTAMENT, Trevor Phipps (vocals) feels the band is only getting started on their contribution to the heavy metal world. Still out promoting their latest album, “The March,” this quintet thrives on the stylings of their local scene in Massachusetts and the metal influences of the 90’s.


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