Monday, January 19, 2009

Paradox - 1998 Demo

In the Mainstream Metal Shop, after a long night of fucking with Ryan from Night World, I happened to come across a singer wanted ad looking for someone who sounded like Hypocrisy / Carcass / Samael, which in 1997 was pretty unheard of. Samael and Hypocrisy were pretty outside the realm of the fatso death metal scene and I was interested in who these people were that would be looking to play music in that vein.

I called up the number and he invited me to come check out their band. I showed up and was surprised at how cohesive they were. I wanted in. They asked me what I thought and told them they sounded like this band called At The Gates, a band which they weren't familiar with. They were tuned to B, yet were playing melodic thrash metal which I'd find out was due to a heavy Megadeth influence. The only problem was that I was already supposed to be in a band with a friend named Adam Berg, who was playing guitar and keyboards. The band I was working on with Adam was pretty similar to Emperor and the first Covanent record, but we didn't have our shit together as much as these dudes did.

After they couldn't find anyone else, they finally called me back to be their vocalist since they'd signed on to play the Milwaukee Metal Fest and hadn't found someone yet. I went with them to Jack Koshick's apartment to pick up the tickets we had to sell and talked him into putting us on the Mortician show he was booking. We played that show with Night World and Cyanosis. I remember being excited for that show like it was my graduation from med school. After we played, I walked off the Rave bar stage and did a victory lap around the bar like a total jagoff 18 year old rockstar. For being a total loser 18 year old, it seemed like every ten feet I met a new girl. If I wasn't already, I was hooked on being in a band and how cool it made you feel afterwards. I lost my virginity because of that show.

We then opened up for Morbid Angel, where we invited two members of Night World, whom we'd been sharing a practice space with, on for a song which resulted in their band breaking up... then we played Metal Fest, which was pretty much the point of me joining in the first place. After Metal Fest, the bass player and I were kicked out and the remaining members started a band called Dead By Morning, whose demo I will upload and cover more thoroughly later.

Here's the 4-track demo recording we did in 1998, which was only released as a limited promo cassette for labels at Metal Fest.

Invoke The Flood Demo

So, what happens when you put Shawn Page (Wings Of Scarlet, Shit Outta Luck), Jerry Hauppa (Forever Is Forgotten, Wings Of Scarlet, Concentric), Brad Clifford (Poison The Well, Endthisday, Coma Eternal) in the same room and tell them they don't have to play shows with Midian anymore?

They turn into Invoke The Flood.

This band bridged the gap between metal and hardcore, literally, as several of the bands members were members of the death metal / bar metal scene in Milwaukee. The stagnation of the bar scene and the quality of Milwaukee's hardcore scene was strong enough to gain the attention of the best musicians who were tired of the rut that Milwaukee had fallen into.

The Invoke The Flood demo was recorded but never released, if I remember correctly. The copy of it that I have was scammed from Tim Bleske who did the mastering on the record after Shawn finally received a mixed copy years after the band broke up from the studio that they'd recorded at.

End This Day - Only The Tears Of Angels...

End This Day... I can't say I was ever a huge fan, but I'm sure some of the people who will read this have heard of but never actually heard them. Here's your chance. This is mp3'd from a copy of the demo that I found at Record Head and purchased for like a buck. 

Here's their Lifeforce Records bio because my bio for them will end up saying something about how I thought their lyrics were silly and how I believe this record spawned a lot of bands who all sounded stupid not being able to play At The Gate's ripoff riffs correctly:

Aaron Cosgrove - vocals
Noah Nickel - bass
Brad Clifford - guitar
Joe Dalen - guitar
Bill Kurth - drums/ vocals


endthisday formed in Wisconsin in November of 1999 with the goal of showing audiences in the hardcore scene that metal has a place on the dance floor. Blending the melody of European metal with the energy of American hardcore in a unique way, endthisday forges a new path for metal in the hardcore world. Combining blistering speed picking, massive breakdowns, catchy sing-alongs, and other well-rounded elements into their music, they create levels of intensity rarely achieved by others.

endthisday recorded their first demo CD in March of 2000. For the next year, they played a number of shows throughout the Midwest in support of this CD, sharing the stage with a number of large national acts, and gaining the attention of hardcore and metal audiences everywhere. In this time, they sold every one of the 500 copies produced with absolutely no distribution or touring, except for a weeklong stint with Undying in the summer of 2000.

With the addition of new members in 2001, endthisday quickly rose to a newfound level of maturity, creativity, and raw energy. The music became more dynamic and intense, and powerful live performances turned more heads than ever before. In July of 2001, endthisday returned to the studio to record their highly anticipated second demonstrational CD, "Only The Tears of Angels Will Reveal Our Sorrow." Since then, they have have played a handful of shows around the Midwest, done a brief tour of the East Coast, and winter tour of the Midwest and Southeastern United States, allowing them to sell over 800 copies of that CD with no distributional assistance.

endthisday signed with Germany`s Lifeforce Records, and released their debut full-length cd, "Sleeping Beneath the Ashes of Creation" on August 20th. This release sold 1,500 copies in its first two weeks alone, and is rising to the top of metal charts around the world. A summer tour in 2002 helped turn even more heads to endthisday´s sound.

Endthisday broke up in 2002.

Nuclear Powered Satan - Unreleased 2007 Recordings

It's 1999. I meet Jon Engman and his drum machine. We put together a handful of songs with the help of a guitar effects processor, some shitty Radio Shack mics, and do the demo tape circuit. We spend equal amounts of time on finding amazing samples as we do recording music. We call it all Nuclear Powered Satan and we give it a story line: a corporation decides that it's more profitable to just kill people than to obey laws, making it a terrorist organization for the new millenium. We book one show and break up before it happens.

Fast forward to 2007. Jon's moved on to bigger and better things as the drummer of Foetopsy and then Brodequin. Tim and I had just finished the Die Alone full length (see below). Tim's home studio conveniently hosted a couple nights of marijuana / alcohol induced songwriting and the product of it became a new Nuclear Powered Satan record. We book one show and this time pull it off, with Case from Shit Outta Luck playing bass and all of us on one practice as a full band.

We'd all discussed figuring out a way to release the recording, but it never happened and we all went back to doing our own things. 

So, this is the official release of the full live drum NPS recording.

Die Alone - Discography

Die Alone started in late 2001 and officially broke up in 2008, after at least a year of inactivity. The band started out under the shadow of the At The Gates-clone metalcore scene, but quickly evolved away from that and incorporated elements of black / death metal and proceeded to put out a few demos before releasing a full length record on Corrosive Recordings.

As a member of the band, it sucks to try and write a decent explanation of the band that doesn't come off like some egotistic label produced PR release, but what we attempted to do was to bring real metal out of the era of fat guys in Packer jerseys. We were influenced by Immolation and Gorguts most obviously, but generally we listened to a lot of 90's era black/death metal and that shaped what we sounded like.

Our first vocalist, Art Henke, had vocals that were definitely hardcore influenced and he was never as metal as Tim and I were. Our first demo CD, "These Are More Than Words..." was a polished version of what we were doing, and I can listen to it and still be proud of what we did. The first few years of our existence consisted of us playing shows where people stood watching us with no idea what was going on. Looking back, I'd like to think that was because we were doing something outside of the box, but more than likely it was because we were playing through shit equipment in a room that makes bands that were as noodly as we were sound like a bunch of slop. Whenever we had the opportunity to play in a full sound environment with good stage (holy fuck?!) monitors, we came across better. Unfortunately, those types of shows were few and far between, often at venues (like the Rave, Vnuks, the Rock Shop, etc.) that couldn't get DIY kids to attend.

After some petty inter-band drama, Art left the band and was replaced by Mark Fisher (x-Shoot The Hostage). This allowed us to move even more solidly into being a death metal band and added a beefiness to our sound. Those years were awesome, even though we continued playing shows with barely any acknowledgement and I still believe that our full length record "The Arcane Suicide Movement" was put together extremely well. Eventually as time went on, we all developed other things in our lives that consumed our time and we slowly quit being a band. In retrospect, it took so much work to put together the material for that one full length that I don't think any of us had any urge to start over from scratch. I couldn't imagine at this point in my life being able to sit down and work on one song for months at a time like we did for Die Alone and I'm proud of what we did in that band.

So without any more nonsense, here's the complete studio recordings of the band: