Double Door Welcomes
Kill Devil Hill
Bible Of The Devil, Earthen Grave, Admiral of Black
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pmDouble Door
This event is 21 and overhttp://www.doubledoor.com/event/143899/
REX BROWN – bass
VINNY APPICE – drums
MARK ZAVON – guitar
DEWEY BRAGG – vocals
It’s not easy to say what catches the listener’s attention first on Kill Devil Hill, the debut album by the newly formed band of the same name: the strong guitar hooks, the killer grooves, the dynamic production or the potent vocal melodies. Rex Brown, bassist of this supergroup and erstwhile member of Pantera and Down sees Kill Devil Hill in its entirety as an extremely exciting new band “To me, this band is a musical adventure trip,” he
reckons. Brown knows what he’s talking about, after all he was involved in some of the most important rock and metal recordings of the past 30 years. So if Brown can hardly contain his enthusiasm, there must be something special to the Kill Devil Hill phenomenon.
The self-titled debut album has been scheduled for release on May 22nd on SPV Records. in a number of different formats (CD, LP, iTunes) and presents a band which forms an amazingly homogeneous unit of masters and fresh talent. Along with Rex, Kill Devil Hill consists of drum monster Vinny Appice (formerly drummer with Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven And Hell), guitar virtuoso Mark Zavon and Dewey Bragg, a formerly unknown
vocalist who, you don’t have to have second sight to predict, is at the beginning of an outstanding career. There can be no doubt that the future of this exceptional group is as promising as the sound on Kill Devil Hill, their debut CD.
In 2009 Vinny had found the perfect guitarist in Zavon, who was also looking to start a new band. Zavon played a demo he had recorded with vocalist Dewey Bragg, and Vinny was floored. “Dewey has a fantastic sound, and has the perfect voice and image for this new band.” Dewey is also a master of melody, with the gift of enhancing even the most jagged arrangements with his haunting vocals.
Rex Brown and Vinny Appice have been friends for many years. “Vinny is a brilliant drummer, and of course, I was immediately interested when he asked me whether I wanted to play bass on a demo tape he was working on.” said Brown. Brown was sent “War Machine”, an aggressive up tempo tune which really gets down to business, and is the opener of the new CD. Rex’s bass was the missing piece of the puzzle. His “on 11 at all times” bass style was a perfect fit, and completed the powerful rhythm section.
The CD’s strong numbers such as “Hangman”, “War Machine”, “Rise From The Shadows” and “Up In Flames” feature contemporary and classic metal elements in equal measures,
combining old-school and new perfectly. The great potential that this new band has is obvious, that special spark which draws the listener in and keeps them listening is unmistakable. “This is a phenomenon which we also noticed during our first shows in front of a live audience.” says Brown. Kill Devil Hill played their first gig back in April 2011, followed by a 5-week tour in October to test audience reactions. Without relying on the familiarity of Black Sabbath or Pantera covers, the band was able to win over audiences after just the first few songs. “We’ve never experienced that with a band at such an early stage.” Appice and Brown agree.
Kill Devil Hill’s strength is clear, they are an outstanding band who have written a brilliant album featuring powerful songs, and will be a musical force to be reckoned with for years to come.
In July 2010, Earthen Grave closed the Great Performers of Illinois festival at Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s famed Millennium Park, where Rachel received the 2010 Great Performer of Illinois award. The band was featured on NBC’s Today Show and live in studio on WGN’s nationally televised Midday News. Earthen Grave has shared the stage with such luminaries as Megadeth, Black Label Society, Mayhem, Macabre, Anvil, Machine Head, Pentagram, Novembers Doom, Raven, Skindred, and Nachtmystium and played at Indianapolis’ Templars of Doom III festival, Milwaukee’s Rave, Wisconsin’s Brat Stop and Vnuk’s, New York’s Piano’s and Europa Club, and Philadelphia’s Mill Creek Tavern, as well as at Chicago-area landmarks like House of Blues, The Metro, Double Door, Reggie’s Rock Club, Shark City, Chicago City Limits, Abbey Pub, and Pearl Room.
Earthen Grave boasts an undeniable collective metal and musical pedigree. Ron was a member of the seminal and seismic doom pioneers Trouble, who are widely regarded as one of the most important unsung American metal bands. Jason is a gifted guitarist and composer who has lived the music, both as a member of the critically-acclaimed The Living Fields and as founder of Deadtide.com. Scott’s dedication has manifested as a drummer in numerous metal bands, booking shows and running radio station Rebel Radio. Tony has been in and around the metal scene for many years, and has worked with such bands as Trouble, Prong and Ministry. Mark has performed and recorded with several bands including Trifog. And while Rachel had never been in a metal band per se, her status as an internationally-acclaimed classical violin soloist has taken her all over the world as both performer and music ambassador. While on tour for classical performances, Rachel often visits rock radio stations to perform metal songs and discuss the genre’s intensity and compositional complexity.
Earthen Grave emerged late in 2008, as Jason was working on another project. He recalls, “I had just finished writing The Living Fields’ new album and was on a Saint Vitus (the pioneering ‘80s doom metal band from Los Angeles) kick, and I just started writing these doom riffs. I was wondering who I could play this stuff with, so I reached out to Scott and asked him what he thought, and things just snowballed.” Enlisting Ron in their project, the trio soon had their first jam. Jason says, “The first rehearsal was tough, but after we sorted out some issues with downtuning, things really jelled.” The band put out an ad looking for a vocalist, and Mark responded the very next day. He recollects, “I saw Scott’s name in the ad, so I knew it was serious. I knew of Ron from Trouble. The minute we played for the first time, it felt right. I knew immediately that I wanted to be in this band.”
Then Scott, who had known Rachel for many years through the local metal scene, invited her to a rehearsal. Rachel brought along her new instrument, an amplified six-string Viper, an extended-range cousin of the electric violin. She says, “I’ve been listening to metal for most of my life. And for fifteen years I had been playing metal on acoustic violin. But the first time I jammed with Earthen Grave, it was so much more intense than anything I had previously experienced – playing metal loud felt amazing.” Jason adds, “We knew from that rehearsal that we definitely wanted Rachel in the band. She brings a completely different dimension to the music. Violins have often been a part of metal, but usually playing parts underneath or above the band. This time, an electric violin will be woven into the DNA of the band as a core instrument.”
Tony was the final piece. As he puts it, “I went to practice with them, and immediately I could tell they had something really interesting happening. Yes, the doom thing is there, but with a fresh twist, with different melodies and tempos. And what Rachel brings is just totally new.” He continues, “But what made the decision to join easy for me is the integrity of the people in the band, and the love with which they play.”
The band is dedicated to exploring new possibilities for the genre. Jason says, “It’s not about being the heaviest band or the slowest – it’s about having good songs and playing them live.” “Scott, Tony and I played doom metal before it was even called that,” Ron continues. “And for Jason, the music we pioneered was his influence. We’re bringing the strands of the music together - and with Rachel using the violin as a core component of a metal band, we’re taking the genre on a new journey.”
Earthen Grave has become a band to be reckoned with for the purest of reasons. “We all have a deep passion for music and for metal,” Ron concludes. “That’s the basis of every note we play.” With their collective experience and talent, this band is dedicated to leaving their mark on the metal world.
1572 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL, 60622