Within The Ruins
Westfield MA | Rock
Recognizing the talent and passion of Massachusetts natives, WITHIN THE RUINS, it's no wonder Victory Records added them to its growing roster. This quintet is armed with a unique take on blending technology and metal together to write music that sets their band apart from the numerous metal bands today. WITHIN THE RUINS have mastered their technique of bringing breakdowns, riffs, tempo and a dash of personality together in order to form one cohesive entity.
The development of WITHIN THE RUINS first began in 2002. That was when founding members Joe Cocchi (Guitar) and Drummer (Drums) began making take a more serious approach and started heading out on the road, doing DIY tours from 2006-2009. At that point in time the lineup was comprised of Tim Goergen (Vocals), Mike Beaujean (Bass), and Kyle Marcoux (Guitar), in addition to Cocchi and Drummer.
As things progressed for the band, January of 2010 brought change when Jay Van Schelt (Guitar) was brought in to replace Marcoux; this change refueled the band to write their best record to date. It would be easy to attribute their unique sound to the countless hours WITHIN THE RUINS dedicates to practicing each week. In order to perfect their technical styles, the members practice every day. "You do it long enough and you're going to see results," noted Cocchi. "We constantly try to take our music to the next level, challenging ourselves as well as the listener."
This mindset helps WITHIN THE RUINS stay focused as they devote most of their time to evolving their sound, growing as musicians and building their fan base. Relentless practicing to hone musical skills is one thing, but WITHIN THE RUINS also feels that touring makes up another important aspect in their quest for musical recognition. They have already toured with fellow Victory label mates EMMURE, CARNIFEX, and WRETCHED, as well as AUGUST BURNS RED and SHADOWS FALL.
Along the way, their fan base has spread from Massachusetts to California, leaving their mark on each state as they pass through. "It's different everywhere, that's why it's such an experience," Cocchi said. "We just like to have a good time and talk to people at the shows." A testament to their incredible work ethic in regards to touring, WITHIN THE RUINS have successfully completed 3 tours this year so far, played a whopping 165 shows in 2009, and have four headlining tours under their belt.
There's no doubt that they have worked steadily to expand the reach of their fierce, progressive rock and technical metal thus far and they show no signs of letting up. WITHIN THE RUINS is currently preparing for their second release on Victory Records, Invade, which is slated for release in late August 2010. "This is some of the most powerful and mature material we've ever written," say members of their newest creation. They are also quick to note that "it's heavier, faster, and contains more meaningful lyric content than our last album."
Tim Goergen - Vocals
Joe Cocchi - Guitar
Andrew Tate - Bass
Drummer - Drums
Indianapolis IN | Rock
Warped time signatures, percussive mathematics, spider-fingered fretwork, dazzlingly atmospheric keyboards and immediately arresting vocals collide within THE CONTORTIONIST, who have achieved a career defining milestone with a “sophomore slump” defying feat of agility dubbed Intrinsic. The Indiana based prog-metal alchemists conjure the kinetic texture of RUSH, the cinematic musicality of DREAM THEATER, the heavy but heady metallic might of jazzy death wizards CYNIC and the studied experimental precision of BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME while simultaneously fashioning an overall sound uniquely their own.
In a short amount of time, THE CONTORTIONIST has enveloped audiences and nearly swallowed them whole. They’ve toured with a wide-ranging number of acts including PERIPHERY, ALL SHALL PERISH and THE ACACIA STRAIN. The band headlined the inaugural edition of the Summer Slaughter Survivors Tour, as well.
With their earliest self-released work, THE CONTORTIONIST remade the rules within emerging genres like “deathcore” and “djent” as they evolved beyond scenes and categories, even as they were integral enough to be instrumental in defining them. The band teamed with Ken Susi of UNEARTH for their marvelously refreshing, conceptually driven debut, Exoplanet. With album number two, THE CONTORTIONIST entrusted Eyal Levi (DAATH, JOB FOR A COWBOY) and Jason Suecof (TRIVIUM, DEVILDRIVER) to help them capture their at once complex yet defiantly easy-to-connect-with esoteric material, which shatters the boundaries of conventional heavy music note-by-virtuosic-note.
In popular culture we often hear space referred to as “The Final Frontier.” And while it’s true that the vast majority of our universe remains unknown and deserving of further study, much of the inner workings of human beings beg further contemplation and discovery. How wonderfully appropriate, then, that having delved into deep space with their expansive sound and contemplative narrative on the genre-challenging and wholly impressive Exoplanet, THE CONTORTIONIST turns inward with the stunningly mind-bending follow-up, Intrinsic.
Whereas the first album explored the idea of earth’s destruction following the inevitable collapse of our star and the ensuing search for an inhabitable planet to call home, Intrinsic dives deep inside the mind. Moving across several operatic sections, the record transports listeners on a journey through the apparent holographic reality we call “experience,” through our very consciousness and metaphysical archetypes. Toward the album’s conclusion the band ultimately imagines advancements in neuroscience that would broaden and challenge who we are. All of the music, of course, captures these themes.
Canadian thrash architects VOIVOD would surely be proud of the band’s science based subjects. Like IRON MAIDEN before them, THE CONTORTIONIST is the kind of band that can be enjoyed for the basest of reasons but can also send astute listeners running to the library, like all of the generations of people who wanted to read more about the origins of “The Flight of Icarus” or “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Lyrical inspiration and reference points came from a stack of research, which included books like Antonio Damasio's The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness and Simon Young's Designer Evolution: A Transhumanist Manifesto. Immediate standout cuts “Holomovement,” “Causality” (about a person having a near death experience brought on by an obsession with lucidity in dreaming and astral movement) and “Dreaming Schematics” (where scientific minds develop procedures to strengthen and multiply synaptic networks) are epics. These songs and the rest of the album’s material inspire food for thought and aesthetic pleasure in equal measure.
THE CONTORTIONIST continues to be a study in contrast. In their quietest, most ambient moments, the band is intimately melodic. Alternately their heavy parts are as alarmingly bombastic as possible. An emphasis on songwriting and structure has resulted in a series of musical journeys that are constantly climbing new summits. There is only one song on the album with anything like a “repeating chorus.”
At the same time, the band is always ever careful to tastefully balance technique with purpose. They aren’t shredding for shredding’s sake. Each section of every song is rooted in logic, meaning and reason.
THE CONTORTIONIST has succeeded at creating intelligently tasteful metal that is as memorable and melodic as it is creative and dynamic. Within their formula, a listener paying close attention is as likely to discover elements akin to MINUS THE BEAR as MESHUGGAH.
Just as different genre-pushing bands broadened their own minds, the men in THE CONTORTIONIST are happy to lead fans through the gateway of heavy music down pathways of new music and self-discovery. With fervent attention to every detail of their composition and presentation, the band’s future in the pantheon of heavy music is assured. Intrinsic is the next step in what will become a landmark catalog. THE CONTORTIONIST opens minds from within and without.
Robby Baca - Guitar
Jonathan Carpenter - Vocals, Keyboards
Joey Baca - Percussion
Cameron Maynard - Guitar
Christopher Tilley - Bass Guitar
I Declare War
For Seattle’s I Declare War, one of the new heavyweights in the deathcore scene today, there are conflicting stories as to where the band’s name actually originated from. All five members can agree that hip hop was the influence, either based on the Jay-Z tour or the Pace Won album, both of which bear the same name. The fact that the deathcore band’s name is inspired by hip hop is not ironic at all, as I Declare War will concur that their diverse musical influences help keep their sound unique and fresh.
After a few lineup changes while growing the band, they eventually evolved into their current lineup as members were introduced to each other through the local Seattle music scene. As other bands began to disperse, the I Declare War lineup was solidified and grew stronger with each lineup addition. Guitarist Chris Fugate had the ultimate experience, beginning as a fan of the band who was eventually asked to fill in on a brief tour, and later asked to permanently join the band.
While on tour in 2007, the band crossed paths with well-known death metal band Whitechapel and formed not only a mutual respect amongst each other, but a lasting friendship. Two years later, Whitechapel’s Alex Wade approached I Declare War to join The Artery Foundation for management and become part of the yet-to-be-launched Artery Recordings roster. “Being signed to Artery Recordings was the best thing that could have happened to us. They’ve been great to us along with everyone at Razor & Tie, and I’m extremely excited for our future,” said bassist Brent Eaton. “We feel really connected and close to everyone there,” agreed guitarist Evan Hughes.
Jamie Hanks - Vocals
Gordon McPherson - Bass
Ryan Cox - Drums
City In The Sea
Formed in summer 2009, City In The Sea quickly established themselves in the Arizona scene. The band performed with national artists Greeley Estates, Impending Doom, Oh Sleeper, The Word Alive, Miss May I, and more. In 2010 they joined Powerline Management’s roster. On May 29, 2010, the band self-released their debut EP, The Long Lost. Later that year the band parted ways.
In early 2011 the band reunited with new bassist Dan Marinaro and drummer Eric VanAcker, previously of The Rendering performing with that lineup until November 2011. Eric parted ways to resume performing with The Rendering, while original drummer, Conor White returned to the band.
Todd Christopher -Vocals
Jeffrey Christian - Vocals/Guitar
Dan Marinaro -Bass
Conor White -Drums