Act of Defiance

Chris Broderick: Guitar
Henry Derek: Vocals
Shawn Drover: Drums
Matt Bachand: Bass

In a time of endless sub-genre classifications being thrown at bands Act Of Defiance cut to the quick, offering 100% in-your-face, uncompromising metal. "If you invited fans of all kinds of metal - from thrash to Scandinavian metal to modern American metal - and had them all in a mosh pit, Act Of Defiance would be their soundtrack," asserts guitarist Chris Broderick. With a hefty resumé that chronicles time spent riffing and shredding in Jag Panzer, Nevermore, and a seven-year stint in Megadeth, his pedigree speaks for itself. Furthermore, joined by powerhouse drummer - and fellow Megadeth alumnus - Shawn Drover, bassist Matt Bachand (Shadows Fall/Times Of Grace) and vocalist Henry Derek (Scar The Martyr) the band are a truly formidable metallic behemoth, and their debut album, Birth And The Burial, is ten tracks of armor-plated, state of the art heaviness.

Following Broderick and Drover departing the Megadeth fold in 2014, tongues inevitably started wagging and rumors began piling up on message boards, but fans were thrilled to soon learn that the two would be joining forces in their next musical endeavor. Having a deep-seated respect for each other, they share a very complimentary writing style, instinctively getting where the other is coming from. "Shawn knows metal inside and out. He's always been a metalhead, so we come from the same musical background, and we get that world. We didn't really talk about what we might do next until after we had both left Megadeth, and we were like, well, we came up with all of these great riffs for Megadeth that were never used, so we decided to use some of those for the basis of what we were going to do with Act Of Defiance. Out of that spawned a burst of creativity and a lot of newer material, and it was all really exciting and what we really wanted this band to be." Drover is very much on the same page, believing the two have a special chemistry that goes beyond their musical collaborations. "Having the same vision of what we want to do musically, from a business perspective, and in terms of what we want to achieve with this band, is a really important factor," he says. "It means we can concentrate on making the best music and we can and look at the overall picture, instead of squabbling about who should get more songwriting credit and unimportant crap, which often leads to the demise of so many bands. As far as we are concerned, the body of music we create is what matters."

While Bachand is better known for his work on six rather than four strings, coming into the band he stepped up straight away, impressing Broderick and Drover with his adaptability and playing style. "I'd met Matt many times before and he's a great guy and an all round great musician. He plays bass like a bass player, which was awesome for me, because when I demoed the songs it was pretty much laying down the bass just so it had some lower notes and then moving on!" he laughs. "But he came in and he spent the time and made them into really nice bass lines that added an extra dimension to the songs, which not all guitarists can do, and he really gets what we're trying to achieve with this band." The final piece of the puzzle fell into place with Derek, who was recruited following an extensive search. Determined that the band needed to be fronted by a vocalist who was not limited to the standard practice of screamed vocals or clean vocals, they demanded versatility, and Derek delivered. "We started from a list of I'd say 30 vocalists, and we worked that down to a shortlist, and we sent everyone on that a demo to lay some vocal tracks over, and when they all came back we knew Henry was our guy," Drover enthuses. "He can do the super heavy, growling vocals, he can do the really melodic clean vocals, but he can also do everything in between, and he has the ability to really build and shift within that range," adds Broderick. "The other really cool thing I really like is that his really heavy singing still has pitch to it. There are these really melodic lines even in his heaviest vocals."

It takes only one exposure to Birth And The Burial to become abundantly aware that this is not the sound of a bunch of guys screwing around. Kicking things off with first single "Throwback" they throw down the gauntlet, the track erupting in a cascading lead before launching into a breakneck thrash attack, sounding very much like four guys ready to fight, its massive chorus only upping the ante. The merciless intensity displayed is a mode they return to often, "Thy Lord Belial" "Dead Stare", and "Disastrophe" particularly upping the adrenaline and sure to cause mosh pit carnage. However, groove and dark melody are as important as flat out riffing, kicking up plenty to inspire mass headbanging and fist-in-the-air excitement, and they also have their more brooding, atmospheric moments, "Poison Dream" and "Obey The Fallen" possessing a somberness alongside their compelling sonic violence. Fans of Broderick's previous work are aware of his incredible talent when it comes to shredding, and on Birth and The Burial he unleashes some of his most breathless and compelling soloing to date, finding the perfect marriage between technicality and melody. "I really loved the luxury of being able to look at the rhythm behind the solo and have it support the kind of soloing I wanted to do. What I really like to do is listen to the rhythm and imagine what I want to hear, whether it's a harmonic, rhythmic kind of sixteenth note kind of thing, or a melody that is really haunting and eerie. After I flesh some of that out I let my inspiration take me as I'm creating the solo. I've never been one to typically improv a solo and say that's it, and I wanted every one on this record to really have a life of its own."

Thematically, the band explore their own personal experiences, focusing on some of the harder truths, the aggression of the music the perfect vehicle for expressing such sentiments. ""Poison Dream" is about somebody being consumed by a dream of fame or power or money, and how they will sacrifice anything to get that, while "Legion Of Lies" is about a person who is constantly casting out negativity and betrayal and trying to deceive those around him, but we hope that fans will take these lyrics and put their own personal meaning to them. You never want to make them so specific to any particular situation, and I think a lot of these experiences are really relatable." The album title is lifted from the anthemic closing track of the same name, focusing on a person burning their bridges with friends and those they have worked with in past, and asking them to look for forgiveness before it's too late. "The line 'you reap what you sow, the birth and the burial' - to me, that really sums it up, because what you do in life will reflect in the time that you die, and I thought that was really cool in the way it tied into the record."

With recording split between three studios in three different states, Broderick handled vocal and guitar production at his own Ill-Fated Studio in LA, Zeuss (Rob Zombie, Queensryche, Revocation, Municipal Waste, etc.) worked with Drover tracking the drums in Dexter's Lab in Milford, Connecticut, while Bachand laid down his bass at ManShark, in Southampton, Massachusetts. While the band had a lot of work to do, when they headed into the studio things ran very smoothly. "We had pretty much everything demoed by the time we started recording. We would change things as we were doing the final takes, but for the most part we knew exactly what we were playing, and from there it was a case of making sure we got really good takes," Broderick says. With artwork courtesy of Travis Smith (Avenged Sevenfold, Strapping Young Lad) and their logo and emblem the work of Van Williams (currently of Ghost Ship Octavius) the band focused on ensuring every element of their presentation had meaning to it, wanting to offer fans the proverbial full package, and they have every intention of being around a while. "I want Act Of Defiance to be a hard working, heavy metal road-dog band, and we really do have what's almost a blue collar sensibility and perspective," Drover states plainly. "We know we are going to have to earn this and that we can't rest on what any of us have done previously, and that is something we are more than willing to do. Believe me."

Ezra Haynes: Vocals
Michael Stancel: Guitar
Greg Burgess: Guitar
Corey Archuleta: Bass
Brandon Park: Drums

With change comes new ideas, and "Elements of The Infinite" is the culmination of a flurry of new ideas within Allegaeon. It is, in essence, an album with a chip on its shoulder, a point to prove, and a big step out of the shadows from its predecessor. With two new members, the band is in a very different place than they've ever been, and the music reflects that. Guitarist Greg Burgess adds: "It is material that stays true to where we've come from, while exploring some new territory. We've had the opportunity to do some things we've wanted to from the beginning, but haven't been able to until now. We're very proud of this record, hopefully it will live up to what our fans have come to expect from us."

After having spent some time in drummer-limbo, the band enlisted Brandon Park as their new permanent drummer in 2013. Additionally, the departure of Ryan Glisan led to the addition of guitarist Michael Stancel. The re-tooled Allegaeon line up is fresh, hungry, and ready to solidify the band's place within the elite, virtuoso-filled world of extreme technical death metal.

"Elements of the Infinite" was recorded, mixed and mastered by Dave Otero at Flatline Audio in Colorado Feb-April 2014. Otero's work has been more prominent in the last few years - some fans may have heard his work on the latest Cattle Decapitation album, Cephalic Carnage, and more. Otero's efforts here, along with the band's new material, has led to Allegaeon's most realized and mature release to date. Musically, fans will be treated to orchestrations that provide significant depth to the sound. The orchestrations were composed by guitarist Greg Burgess along with Joe Ferris (monumentalaudio.net).

Lyrically, the band has gone full-tilt with their space and science themes. Vocalist Ezra Haynes has penned songs that discuss both theoretical and practical science topics. Anyone who may be watching "Cosmos" with Neil de Grasse Tyson will surely catch references to Dyson Spheres, the high probability of alien life in the universe, humanity's eventual exodus from earth, the golden ratio, and much more. It's as fun dissecting the lyrics as it is the complex and challenging music.

Vocalist Ezra Haynes adds: "I can honestly say that Allegaeon is revamped. With the addition on Brandon Park and Michael Stancel we have created the most aggressive album in Allegaeon history. It's faster, darker and carries more depth than anything we've done before. This is the most excited I've been about releasing an album. I really do think the listeners will be pleased and we are eager to get out there on the road and present it to the world."

"Elements of the Infinite" will be released on June 24, 2014 in North America, and June 23 in the UK/Europe and June 20 in the European G|A|S territories.

History:
Allegaeon was formed in 2008 by founding member and guitar player Ryan Glisan. Soon thereafter, classically trained guitarist Greg Burgess joined, followed by vocalist Ezra Haynes and bassist Corey Archuleta to round out and form what people have come to know now as the Colorado Kings of Melodic Metal. In 2008, Allegaeon released their 4 song, self-titled EP and quickly gained attention from the local, national and international metal fans as well as Metal Blade records. In 2009, barely a year after releasing their first EP to the world, Allegaeon agreed to a deal with Metal Blade Records and thus began their relationship and Allegaeon's entry into the ever expanding metal community.

2010 brought Allegaeon's debut album Fragments of Form and Function (FOFAF). FOFAF was recorded in Denver at Flatline Audio with Dave Otero (Cephalic Carnage, Cattle Decapitation, Vale of Pnath) and was released on July 20th, 2010. Between 2010-2011, Allegaeon had a slew of singles that played in such heavy rotation on the Sirius Liquid Metal Station that they cracked the stations top 20 most played bands list. Metalstorm.net lists Allegaeon's debut album, FOFAF, as the #4 rated death metal album of all time (by the websites rating standards). FOFAF was critically acclaimed by many and catapulted the band out of obscurity and into the ranks of metals elite new bands.

In January 2012, the band traveled to Southern California and entered Lambesis Studios with Daniel Castleman (As I Lay Dying, Impending Doom, Carnifex, Winds of Plague) to begin work on their follow up record titled Formshifter.

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