Sunday, July 19, 2015

Album release: Destroyer of the Icon

After nearly a year since we started the recording process, we're proud and excited to finally unveil to the entire world our debut album: "Destroyer of the Icon".

We can now rest on our laurels for a brief moment and pat ourselves on the back after this accomplishment. It's difficult to express with mere words everything I'm thinking as I type this, but it's hard to imagine that over two and a half years ago I would envision forming a band from the ground up as an outlet for the death metal, black metal, and grind side of my songwriting, being primarily inspired by bands such as Behemoth, Morbid Angel, Decapitated, Nile, Pig Destroyer, etc. It's also hard to imagine that said band would also go on to play as many shows as it has, sharing the stage with many local and national bands thus far in our relatively short time together as a band, let alone finally releasing an album of original material.

Throughout the ups and downs we and all bands alike experience, we persevere and push forward always striving towards bigger and better things. This is a great accomplishment for us not just because it's our music, but the mere notion that a lot of bands will come and go without as much as getting out of the garage to play a show in their home town.

Instead of  rambling on too much about every single minute detail of what transpired during the recording, I'll summarize by saying that perhaps the part about the whole ordeal that we're proudest of is the fact that we kept it relatively raw and completely devoid of programmed drums. In other words, it sounds exactly like a real band, played by human beings. Not to criticize bands that choose to use those tools, but it was of paramount importance that the recording truly reflected how we really sound as a band, and we feel that we surpassed even our own expectations.

Without further ado, it is now available on our Bandcamp page for streaming and digital download. Physical copies will be available within the next few days, be sure to pick one up from us at a show or just hit us up! Check it out now by visiting

Now that we've got that out of the way, we have been relatively busy with plenty of other things outside of the recording process leading up to this.

May 30, 2015: we rented a minivan, crammed all our gear and ourselves inside and set about on our maiden voyage as a band to the S.F. Bay Area for not just a guerilla promo blitz at Rasputin and Amoeba Music in the city and in Berkeley but also our maiden performance in the region at Burnt Ramen in Richmond. In spite of three of the bands dropping off the show within the week, we still played there with our pals from Obastra, Hemotoxin, and The Know Nothings. It was a fun-filled trip to say the very least, and it was refreshing to receive a great response from a crowd completely unfamiliar with us and our music. We hope to be back up there soon!

June 13, 2015: we were asked to open for the mighty Goatwhore, Black Breath, Ringworm, and Theories alongside our pals Catharsus from Visalia at Strummer's. It was a kick-ass show with a lot of friends in attendance, and dare I say that we all felt like rock stars after a bunch of people requested we autograph the demo CD's and show posters we were handing out! One of the major highlights of the night was the current bassist of Goatwhore, T.A., commenting to me on how much he really enjoyed our music, in particular Thine Enemies Vanquished and Codex Gigas. It's not every day you receive hefty compliments from anybody in the touring/headlining bands, let alone have catching your set, so I feel very proud of that.

Another interesting tidbit about this show: I was on standby to host Theories for the night in the event they decided to not make the drive to L.A. after the show. It would've been fun to have them crash at my pad, but in retrospect I'm kinda glad they didn't take me up on the offer because the air conditioning in my apartment was acting up that weekend, and I can't imagine they would've gotten a good night's sleep with our summer weather here in Fresno.

June 20, 2015: we decided kinda last minute to play with our pals at a backyard pool party, hosted by our buddy Vince from Mystism. Another fun night to hang out with our buddies, although the only downside was Alfred had to work really late, so we had to do the set the best we could as a four piece.

Coming up this Saturday in Bakersfield at Babylon (no relation to the Babylon in Fresno), we were hit up by my buddy Eddie from Zombestial. We've always been wanting to get down there as well as explore uncharted waters for us there and elsewhere, and we're excited to be sharing the stage with two bands from North Hollywood (Leprous and Social Overload) and two locals (Meta Tempest and Rock N' Roll Is The Devil's Music). Major props to Johnny from Fiend and Goreshack for recommending us on this one!

Well there you have it, folks. I'll return and report later after we play in Bako, and we leave you with the simple instruction once again to check out our new album on Bandcamp. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. So check it out, and let us know your thoughts!


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Long time no see!

What's happening, Amentheans? It's been close to a year since I last signed on to elaborate in depth on the goings-on of the Underworld.

First off and most importantly, we've managed to stay quite busy ever since Dave joined the ranks, accumulating a lot of cool shows and stage time under our belts as well as setting the wheels in motion for the long-awaited recording process. Not that I'm making excuses for not posting anything on here, but I assume that anyone who's been following us on our other social media outlets has been relatively kept up to date with our shenanigans. Where to begin? I'll summarize the best I can the shows we played and other occurrences that weren't covered in previous posts.

After my 30th birthday bash, we played at Strummer's for their one-year anniversary party on July 13, 2014. I have no clue what it was, but the planets were definitely aligned for us that night, and I felt that it was probably one of our better performances and crowd responses ever. In spite of all the odds against us (an all-day mixed genre show on a Sunday night in the Tower, with us being perhaps the only really heavy let alone death metal band on the bill), it turned out to be a really solid show with a packed house. I couldn't believe my own eyes!

August 21, 2014: our maiden performance at the famed Workshop in Ceres, CA, and our first out-of-towner with Dave. It was for Ismael's birthday, and the venue was exactly the way I imagined it: like playing in an auto shop. It's as DIY as it gets, and I'm glad that our pal Brian Mohler (ex-Artery Eruption and Devouring Humanity) knew Ismael from way back, so I was able to name drop and be in good graces with the people in charge (don't you worry, a future show with Amenthes and Aborticide will happen soon enough ;-) ). Since Alfred had school that night, we drove up in two vehicles: Dave and I in his truck, and the others with Alfred. Dismembered Carnage opened up the night nice and brutal, Autopsy style. Our homeboys Incisus took the stage next and metlted our faces off (they were also nice enough to let us use their guitar cabs, and I returned the favor by spotting Codie my amp at the last minute when his wasn't working). Accidentally Murdered up next, straight up killed everybody there. In my opinion, they stole the show! They were definitely a tough act to follow, but we did our thing. Luckily, we didn't make everyone run in horror, so we did our job lol (note to self: play with the drums on the floor, it'll make it easier for everyone to hear each other and stay in time). This was also the weekend where Cemetery Rapist was supposed to do a mini West Coast tour, and this show his first stop, but more on that in a second. The fun didn't end there, though. On the way back, Dave and I felt the truck was driving weird, so we pulled over at a 76 station right outside of Ceres to look at the tires, and sure enough the treads on the front passenger side were coming out. Great... It gets better: the store had just closed, and Dave didn't have a tire iron or jack in his truck. We had to call the other guys to turn around and come help us, and after nearly an hour of scrounging around for stuff to use in conjunction with Alfred's tire iron and jack and struggling to get the wheel off, we finally did it. We decided to reward our small victory a few miles up the road at the Denny's in Turlock. It was a long night!

August 24, 2014: we set up a show for Cemetery Rapist at Infoshop as a stop on his mini tour, but he ended up cancelling his tour due to prior commitments, so we opted to go on with the show for Pete's birthday. The lineup included Ent, Moral Sacrifice (their last gig, and with Nick Elliott filling in on vocals), Evisceration, and yours truly. It was a Sunday, and we didn't have too big a turn out, but we all still had a blast enjoying each other's company. In a way, it felt like a giant open practice with close friends.

August 31, 2014: we're back at it again, this time at CYC, opening for Full of Hell and Noisem along with Keeper (their first show), Field (their first as a two-piece), and Maggot Colony. There was already a weird vibe in the air with everything going on leading up to the show. Buddah got pulled over literally around the corner from the venue and his truck impounded for expired tags (ouch!), and to make matters worse there was a creepy guy strung out on something that was weirding out our homegirls Audri and Vanessa (Alfred's girlfriend). He even tried to come up to all of us huddled together and call us a bunch of Satan worshipers... Oh, the characters you meet in downtown Fresno lol. Anyways, we did our set the way we always do, trying our best to maintain composure in spite of the downer moments that transpired earlier. All that aside, we made the best we could out of the situation and still enjoyed ourselves, not to mention rubbed elbows and made connections with Full of Hell and Noisem (way to go Pete for smoking them out! lol).

September 6, 2014: the fourth show within a span of three weeks, this was September to Dismember part 4, hosted by Kris Devold at Fulton 55. We played alongside Inside the Sun, Cursed, Blind Disciple (their last show, with current Gristle vocalist Abraham filling in for Jake last minute on a couple songs), Spirit Descending, then us. We did our thing and gave it our all, even though there was an unspoken vibe we were all feeling that we needed to either take a small break from shows or do something to switch things up.

After that show, we put our foot down and began recording what we initially planned as our EP. In the meantime, we end up doing two more shows for the remainder of the year: November 14, 2014 at the Guzmán Residence (the site of our second show ever... the backstory for another occassion) for Vince's birthday bash with his bands Fatal Rebirth, Mystism (from the ashes of Moral Sacrifice), and us closing the set. It was a house show, but we had a great time and made a lot of friends there, not to mention got fed really good by Vince's parents.

We go back into show mode on December 1, 2014 at Infoshop, opening for Plague Widow and Leucrota alongside Wallflower and Fiend. It was really poppin' for a Monday night, and we had a killer set and time with everyone there.

Fast forward to January 13, 2015, after the holidays are over with. We're back at Strummer's, and this time we're opening for Incantation and John McEntee's wife's band Funerus (not to toot my own horn, but I feel like I had a minor part in making that happen, as I had hit up Numbskull and mentioned the idea of booking them, since they were going to be passing through). There was a minor confusion as to who exactly was opening the show, and it ended up being Cursed, much to their chagrin. Added to that, the sound person for Incantation took forever to get everything dialed in, which caused domino effect of people running late. Notwithstanding, we blazed through our set and tried to keep the energy high. Another awesome night for the books!

Following that, we were suddenly faced with setting up a last-minute show for Bay Area doom metallers Castle at Audie's on January 21st. Luckily, we got Beastmaker (they were a killer choice, if I must say so!) to open the show, and we agreed to play as well despite being the odd man out soundwise. For all intents and purposes, it was pretty dead that night (surprise for a Wednesday night in Fresno). All that aside, what made my night was chatting it up with Mat, who it turns out is from the same region of Canada as one of my favorite bands, The Tea Party. If that wasn't enough, he actually knows the dudes and has jammed with them all back in the day. What are the odds of that?!?

One week later on the 28th, we're back at Audie's, and this time it's a combined metal and burlesque showcase featuring Gale Force, Jeslen Michelle, Mystism, and us. Surprisingly, the venue was packed! They might not all have been there for us specifically, but we made sure to get rowdy for the new crowd. A killer time was had by all, and we minus Alfred ended the night at Denny's. Luckily this time, we didn't have to change any tires in the dead of night out in the middle of nowhere lol.

After a small break in the action, we reconvene and hit the studio again, deciding to record a couple more songs and shoot for a full-length instead of an EP.

March 12th, we're back at Strummer's, although in a much different setting: playing a free show on the bar/restaurant side opening for Inanimate Existence and WRVTH. We had no idea how to set up in that corner, but after the first two songs, we managed to work out the bugs and finish the rest of the set on a high note. We were also fortunate to have a few homies we hadn't seen in a while in attendance that night, and received some positive feedback.

On the horizon, we have a couple of shows lined up: April 19th at Infoshop with Cease, Evisceration, Obastra, Devilkin Assailant, and Silent Uprising for Fresno Death Fest, followed by April 25 for Metal In The Park VII in Visalia (our first one, and I'll also be pulling double duty with Azazel!)

I promise I'll try to do better at keeping up with this bloody thing.

Until next time,

Friday, July 25, 2014

Pierce's Dirty 30th at Fulton 55

I figured it's time to shed some post-show perspective on not only this show, but also the behind-the-scenes goings on in The Underworld leading up to it.

It would be untruthful of me to say that the preparation for this show was the typical walk in the park. It's a whole different ball game when it's you yourself booking and setting up a show. Not that's it's an impossible feat by any stretch of the imagination, but it certainly requires a lot more than simply showing up and playing. Being that I was turning thirty this year (and Alfred twenty-one), I wanted to do something special to commemorate our milestone birthdays. If I recall correctly, the thought to even book such a show didn't even cross my mind until right after an Azazel practice a couple months prior; and knowing how I am, once I get an idea in my head, I absolutely HAVE to do it somehow.

So fast forward past getting the venue and date secured as well as the lineup, and we're now going through our routine of practicing and composing new material. Another factor on our minds was what to do about our bass situation, as Travis had informed us prior to  that that due to his current work situation and schedule, he may or may not be able to participate. About a month away from the big day, we still hadn't seen nor heard from him about what's going on, so we decided to start taking matters into our own hands.

When I attended a Memorial Day BBQ with a few friends and band colleagues, one of them in attendance (Junior from Cousin Fister/Thrawtle) told me about a buddy of his that plays bass and loves metal. He got us in contact, and we hit it off right away over our mutual love for Decapitated. He dropped by to meet Pete and I during one of our one on one practices and was sold on the music and everything we're doing. He later told us about his past band My Sorrow, at which point I became starstruck, as both Rich and Tricky from Azazel have told me many great things about that band, and that he was the bassist and vocalist. At that point, I knew we had a seasoned veteran on our hands and he would definitely be the perfect fit for the band. We immediately began putting him to work and getting him up to speed with the songs. He picked it all up quick and is now rockin' them like a beast!

Come the day of the show, Alfred and I do our last run through of the songs with Dave to iron out any last minute questions before we hit the stage that night. Anyone that knows me knows that my mind is always racing a million miles an hour when I'm in show mode, trying to maintain that perfect balance of saying hi to everybody and also ensuring that everything runs smoothly. 

We minus Buddah report to the venue first to load in and soundcheck, and after hearing everything come through the monitors and front of house, we knew it was going to sound massive and couldn't wait to take the stage!

With our soundcheck and load-in complete, Hymns To The Stone gets their stuff underway, and I meet up with the guys in Azazel for a last supper of sorts just a stone's throw away at Fajita Fiesta. All the grubbing and laughs out of the way, we head back to the venue, wherein Incisus are arriving to load in and get situated as well.

The show kicks off with Hymns To The Stone bringing the hammer of doom upon us, getting things nice and heavy and setting the tone for the night. Azazel takes the stage in full thrashin' fashion, lots of circle putting going on and keeping the crowd pumped. Incisus follows, delivering a lethal dose of melodic brutality (I'm really happy I got these guys on the show, as I explained to their bassist and main man Hector that they're the ones who inspired us to update our logo and all that, so this was our way of returning the favor... Not to mention they're hella cool dudes! We're looking forward to tearing it up with them again next month at The Workshop)!

Finally, it was our turn to take the stage. We decided to do an epic boxer's intro sort of thing with music going over the P.A., I mean for an occasion like this, why not? The intro we chose is "Oden's Ride Over Nordland", which is the intro piece that's on Bathory's Blood Fire Death album. I've always had a huge fascination for not just that piece, but also for when bands do those kind of intros, just as Metallica does with Ennio Morricone's "The Ecstasy of Gold". Even Pete's mom had a lot of great things to say about our use of the intro, that it was a really great entrance and really built up the anticipation for something big.

With the Quorthonian intro of epic proportions concluding, we take the stage and begin our militaristic war drums and blackened doomy riffing with The Summoning before launching full speed into our set with Icon. We'd rest in between songs for a minute with Buddah's random comedy outbursts, contrasting it with our brand of brutality, and we had an awesome night!

I think it's safe to say that all parties involved had an awesome time, and we continued the afterparty at Zamore mobile pizzeria in front of Strummer's.

An incredible bookend to my twenties, no doubt about it. There's no other group of people I'd rather be doing this with! As an added bonus, we even got the soundboard recording of the whole show, so you might be getting to hear a live track in the future... Keep your eyes and ears peeled, my beloved Amentheans!

July 13th, we're playing at Strummer's 1-year anniversary party, so don't forget to come out and get your Sunday Funday on with us!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Initiation ov Al-shred at Spinnaker Lounge 5/17/14

Our apologies in advance for the major delay in posting about all the gory details surrounding our first show with Alfred.

Getting to the point now, we prepared and toiled in tireless anticipation for the show. Not wanting to make our return to Modesto with the same set from last time, we made it a point to bring in two brand new songs into our repertoire, Transmigration and Thine Enemies Vanquished.

Transmigration started off as a riff idea that I had in mind when Alex was still in the band, but unfortunately did not see the light until after the fact. With it, I was eager to incorporate the juxtaposition of crushing and fast death metal riffing with the blackened flourishes and put some hills and valleys with tempo and mood changes in there as well. The latter is what resulted in the trade-off solo section working really well, something that we've only done previously with Moments. It might rear it's head again on future songs, but we'll have to wait and see...

Thine Enemies Vanquished was another one of those ideas that started off as a spontaneous bout of inspiration in the form of a random riff/melody you hum in your head. Luckily, it came to me not only as I was on my way home from work, but only a mere couple hours before band practice, so I was able to show it to the guys while it was still relatively fresh in my mind. From there, we played around with other riffs that flowed with the first one and structured it accordingly. Originally we wanted to do another trade-off solo thing, but that didn't seem to work right. When we did that lead guitar melody a couple bars then harmonized it, we knew it would work a lot better, and we're quite pleased with results. Sometimes you have to adapt to the song, and not the other way around. The song title idea was originally inspired by a quote in Conan the Barbarian when he is asked what is good in life. The same also inspired an Amenthes t-shirt that's currently in the works. When I pitched the idea to the guys, Buddah suggested we reword it somehow, since Crush Your Enemies was already in use by Chimaira, unbeknownst to me. Nevertheless, my imagination kicked in once I started looking closer at the artwork that's going to be used for the shirts, and realized that a caption in the past tense would be more appropriate, and everyone approved. Yay!

So moving on from the behind-the-scenes of the songwriting, we also were eager to make subtle improvements to the overall presentation of our show, thus we invested in a new customized drum head for Pete with our logo all nice and beveled. The way I see it, it's a lot easier than having a team of people deal with putting up a giant backdrop or banner with our name on it, not that we're opposed to that in the future should the need arise.

All the practicing and preparations lead up to the day of reckoning. Travis was not able to participate due to prior work commitments, so we had to soldier on without our bottom end. We arrived at the venue and took in the atmosphere of the gig. Alfred and I went to the taquería next door for a little pre-show grub, then we all took turns watching and supporting the other bands and babysitting our gear. On a side note, the latter is probably one of the most useful tidbits of band-related advice I've ever received from anyone: watch your gear like a hawk at shows, especially out of town. To say we stuck out like a sore thumb on the lineup is a major understatement. The rest of the bands played punk and rock in varying degrees, so we were a little skeptical of the response we would receive from the crowd. We already gave ourselves the clichéd football team pep talk of going in and playing our asses off no matter who or how many stuck around to watch us, after all we were to play last.

The moment of truth arises and much to our amazement, we didn't scare everyone away! By everyone, I refer mainly to the members of the other bands that passed along the good band karma and stuck it out through the night to watch our set. It was obvious once we blazed through Icon that we were not the type of band they were expecting to hear. We continued through our set, and afterwards chatted it up with the promoter and people from the other bands (Broken Note Undertone, Dying Image, and Broken Trojan... Gotta love that name!), and we were truly amazed and touched to receive such a great response from everyone that was there to get crazy with us. We felt extremely proud and accomplished with Alfred on our team and we can't wait to head back up to the 209 in August to see our friends there for our first appearance at the Workshop in Ceres.

Prior to that, though, we will be playing at Fulton 55 on June 28th with Azazel, Incisus (Manteca, CA) and Hymns To The Stone for my 30th birthday. It's going to be a brutal one for sure, so we hope to see you all out there!

Stay Brutal \m/

Friday, April 18, 2014

The New Blood ov AMENTHES

It's been a long time coming, but we decided to break the news last night on the identity of the "new guy" that we had been mentioning in posts for the past few months, who is none other than Alfred Lopez (a.k.a. Al-Shred, Jared Leto, Orlando Bloom, Johnny Davy, etc.), effectively completing the two-axe attack that AMENTHES is intended to be!

You may remember him from other local bands such as Atomic Violence, Desecrator, and Dead Castle, where he also lent his talents and creativity in making awesome extreme metal. We are without a doubt excited and proud to have him aboard, and look forward to raising the brutality everywhere possible with him in our ranks. He will be making his live debut with us at Spinnaker Lounge in Modesto on May 17, and locally on June 28th at Fulton 55. We hope you all can come out to meet him and see him tear it up with us on stage!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Reflections on Soulfly and our 1 year anniversary

If you read our Facebook post earlier, we mentioned reaching our 1-year mark as a band this past month. What better way could we have celebrated than by sharing the stage with one of our idols, Max Cavalera, and Soulfly?

It truly is remarkable to think and reflect on how it was a year ago this month that Pierce and Pete jammed together for the first time in Pierce's garage, which would later be christened HQ. They set the tone by jamming first on assorted Behemoth riffs, which Pete later told Pierce that he had never heard anybody local play anything by Behemoth. They also played around with a few original riffs of Pierce's, which would later evolve into World Unknown. They knew in that moment that what they were doing was magic and they were onto something great.

Prior to that, Pierce had been contact with both Buddah and Pete discussing his idea and concept for a new death metal band involving their talents, with the main influences such as Behemoth, Decapitated, Nile, and Pig Destroyer being the sonic blueprint. How the name AMENTHES was chosen is another story in itself. 

Pierce, who is an unabashed fan of Behemoth, was listening to them while fantasizing about possible band names. In keeping with his affinity for apocalyptic themes, he was initially interested in the name Eschaton, which unfortunately was already being used by other bands throughout the globe in diverse variations. So scratch on that. Later, their song "Transmigrating Beyond Realms Ov Amenti" came on. Being among his favorite songs, he was interested in doing a little more research on what exactly Amenti was. His search on Wikipedia directed him to an article on Duat, which according to Egyptian mythology is the realm of the dead. It is also the realm of the god Osiris and residence of other gods and supernatural beings, with Amenthes being one of the alternate names. Whoa! The name just had a quality of something like Behemoth and Nile written all over it. Eureka! Also adding to the excitement was that the name wasn't being used.

So with all the preparations made and things being underway, the initial songwriting continued between Pierce and Pete, wherein Buddah was not able to be present due to a conflicting work schedule, but they persevered and didn't lose sight of their goal, with Pierce meeting up with Buddah to fill him in on the goings on. A short time had passed, and once the music had been written for World Unknown, Unrealistic Moments, and The Dead Lights, Buddah's schedule  finally allowed him to be able to practice with the band, and again with his presence confirming that it was meant to be.

They then decided to start recording their music with the help of Buddah's friend and ex-bandmate from Throne of Agony, Lance Slusher. It was around that time that Alex and Travis came into the picture, effectively making Amenthes a five-piece band. They immediately started playing shows, with their first one being at the Babylon. While a little nerve-wracking as most live debuts go, the crowd was very receptive and responded well. Other shows followed, including a couple pool parties and a trip down to Merced before the band decided to finish the other imminent song ideas before continuing with shows, being Destroyer of the Icon, Codex Gigas, and Barbed Wire Fistfuck.

Once those songs were ready, they began playing another string of shows, local as well as Merced and Modesto, receiving a great response every time. At the end of the year, Alex officially resigned from the band in pursuit of other interests, effectively making the band a four-piece.

2014 started off on the right foot with a couple of very important shows, arguably the most prestigious yet of our career, opening for Fallujah in Visalia and for Soulfly at Strummer's.

We've already covered details about the show with Fallujah, so we'll move right along to cover some of the highlights from Soulfly. 

What more can be said that hasn't been already? We came away from Fallujah confident in our ability to carry on as a four-piece band, and more than anything it was a night none of us were expecting. 

We rolled in as Soulfly was doing their soundcheck, and ten minutes later we got to load in and do our soundcheck. It felt surreal to be on that stage once again, as it had been a quite a while for all of us in our respective other bands and was also Buddah's first time performing there. One of the most noticeable changes made after the switch to Strummer's was a designated bar area fenced off for 21+ patrons with a wristband as well as the barricade at the front of the stage (which we believe was Soulfly's). The venue was awesome when it was the Starline, but they definitely upped the ante as Strummer's. It appears that Numbskull Productions is in charge of things there, and they've done a great job at bringing some awesome shows to town. They are very awesome people to work with, and we really felt like a major band on that stage. Anyways, so we loaded in and soundchecked early, then had ample time to relax before it was showtime. During the wait and anticipation, Buddah managed to get his Max Cavalera LTD guitar signed by the man himself thanks to Audrii (as well as Soulfly's setlist signed by the band at the end of the night). 

Then came the moment of truth. As we walked on stage with Iron Maiden's "Hallowed Be Thy Name" playing over the PA, we could see the venue had packed up quite nicely. We started with our instrumental intro, then let rip the way we always do. It was obvious a lot of the crowd wasn't expecting what they heard, but they loved every minute of it. We genuinely had a great time and came away feeling like conquerors! 

Throughout the night, Azazel and HateFX played their sets and kept the energy high before Soulfly took the stage. Although Pierce didn't get his Arise CD signed by Max, he was fortunate enough to interact with Tony Campos and talk a little bit about Asesino as well as meeting Marc Rizzo in the hallway and later being asked to go on a beer run by him. When Marc Rizzo asks you to get him a beer, you do it!

And then, Soulfly took the stage and tore it up! They played a lot of their stuff as well as a few Sepultura classics. Another cool moment was at the end when the band minus Max did a little jam of Iron Maiden's "The Trooper" before calling it a night. It was truly an awe-inspiring evening, one that we won't forget any time soon!

And on that note, we look forward with our sights set on the future and great things which shall soon become a reality. We have some blistering song ideas we've got brewing, and we're also working with another guitarist who at the moment is looking very promising as an addition to the band. No names will be mentioned at this time, but you can rest assured that he will help us to raise the brutality to another level!

On behalf of AMENTHES,

Friday, January 24, 2014

Gearing up for Soulfly at Strummer's

In some ways, it seems like this week has been dragging on; in others, I feel like I haven't had a moment to catch my breath. I suppose the emotions are a mix of excitement and nervousness, a lot like the countdown for any show, no matter the venue or lineup.

If you ask Buddah, the guys from Azazel or myself how significant this show is for us, prepare to get your ears talked off! To simply say that the work Max Cavalera did with Sepultura was very influential on thrash and death metal would be a gross understatement. That era of Sepultura is easily up there in our top 5 bands and greatest influences as musicians.

I still remember hearing my older brothers listen to and seeing the album covers for Chaos A.D. and Arise when I was around ten years old, although it wasn't until I was seventeen/eighteen that my curiosity really drove me to see what they were all about. At the time, I was taking guitar lessons and was really all about Randy Rhoads, and I remember reading an interview with Andreas Kisser in Guitar World saying how his favorite albums are Master of Puppets and Diary of a Madman. I figured, if he's a fan of Randy, he's probably pretty good. If I recall correctly, it was a school night, and I was killing some time before I had to go to bed and took a look at the Arise CD. It looked horrific, surreal, and dangerous, and even in their band pictures inside the sleeve they looked like a legitimately rough bunch of dudes that would smash your face in if you so much as looked at them weird. Even reading prior to that that they're from Brazil, and all came up from poverty. These guys didn't need to pretend to be hard, they were the real deal. That alone was enough to draw me in, since it was the very antithesis of the then current trend of nü metal, which I personally never got into. Once the music started playing, the thunderous sound byte making ominous sounds like the very mouth of Hell was opening wide to devour you and everything in it's path. Then suddenly, out from the speakers bursts Arise, kicking ass and taking names in such a dark and nihilistic way... Sold! From there I started checking out the other albums, championing the span of Beneath The Remains to Chaos A.D. Although I was bummed to find out Max had quit the band and formed Soulfly, my inner metalhead was definitely more than satiated with my discovery of Sepultura when it seemed like the goings-on in Metallica, Megadeth and Pantera at the time were anything but great.

Fast forward twelve years, I almost couldn't believe it when Buddah told me that Soulfly was coming to Fresno, and to Strummer's of all places, as they had come a year ago to the Rainbow Ballroom with Five Finger Death Punch. I'm still pinching myself over the fact that I get to open for them with both of my bands (I hope I have enough energy to do double duty)! It's a trip and a half to be kicking off 2014 opening for big national bands, and there is nothing about it I would change. Even if I wasn't playing, just to see the show itself would've been awesome! 

Two days left, and I still have more preparations to go as far as promo materials and practice with Azazel. Stay tuned, Amentheans!

On behalf of AMENTHES,