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Bludgeon with finesse
Progressive metal band Exterminate All Rational Thought
By EA Poorman
Fort Wayne Reader
Sometimes I enjoy a good aural assault. Old school headbanging. No mid-song interludes with acoustic touches, string sections and a singer doing his best “When The Children Cry” schtick before the band kicks it back in for the big finish. No. For me, my money's on the band that commits to sheer adrenaline from the time the needle hits the vinyl till side 2 flips me the bird and punches me in the neck on the way out the door. That's what I want in a metal album, and metal bands in general. There're some local boys and girls that can do this, but for the life of me I can't remember any of their names to save my life. There is one I do remember and after listening to their new-ish e.p., Lining The Streets, and I don't think I'll forget them anytime soon. Exterminate All Rational Thought are a four piece instrumental progressive metal band from the Fort (with the exception of one Ohio ex-patriot) that take their music very seriously.
“This band basically started when a previous band that Cody (DeMille, E.A.R.T. guitarist) was in broke up in 2008", says Peter Lock, another guitarist for E.A.R.T. "Cody and former bandmate Andy Cecava found a new drummer Matt Belcher and added myself on guitar. We also found a vocalist named Joe Savarino. With this lineup we recorded a 4-song EP and played at least 100+ shows including a short tour of the east coast. In the middle of the tour, our drummer quit and we had to return home. EART then gained Ron-Jay Gage as a new drummer and soon after, the bassist and vocalist both quit the band. We decided to remain an instrumental band from that point on and just fill in the empty bass player slot. Jamie (DeVinney-Stoner), whom I had known since middle school jumped on board."
Wow. Did you catch all that? Keep up, buttercup.
"We played with this lineup for another 6+ months and then decided to call it quits with drummer Ron due to creative differences. We then spent about a year and 1/2 trying to find a new drummer. Fast forward to summer 2011. We run into Lucas Sigg, who has previously tried out as a vocalist (but is mainly a drummer) the year before. We ended up hitting it off really well with him. We practiced and got him caught up to the rest of our music and wrote a few new songs. Then in Feb 2012 we booked some time at a recording studio and recorded our 2nd EP Lining The Streets. We have been playing shows to promote that album since. "
So, E.A.R.T. have gone through a few band members, to put it mildly. But, in the process of finding just the right mix of members that click in a band, you've gotta break a few eggs, as they say. E.A.R.T. coulda made omelets for the better part of Allen County with that amount of eggs. A glorious feast that would've been.
I have my own idea of how I would describe Exterminate's 'sound', as it were. But I prefer to put the band on the spot and make them describe what it is that they do. "Generally speaking, Progressive Rock. We basically try to write music we enjoy ourselves without any sort of specific genre in mind. We just try to play what comes natural to us. What we really like about music is that it's all open to your own interpretation, everyone is going to hear it in their own way. We really try to embrace that concept and let the listener decide for them selves how they want to classify it."
Fair enough. What about influences? Progressive rock is a pretty broad spectrum of sound. It goes from the influential to the completely pretentious. Are E.A.R.T. more Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway or King Crimson's Red?
"King Crimson, Zappa, Mars Volta, Between The Buried and Me, Foo Fighters, etc. There's really a little bit of everything in there: Jazz, classical, blues, folk, etc." King Crimson. Excellent.
Lining The Streets — Exterminate's excellent 4 song e.p. that they recently released digitally and on sweet, red vinyl with 'made-to-order' album cover art — is a classic piece of progressive instrumental music. Set up into 4 parts, starting out with 'The Formula', then moving into 'Part l, Part ll and Part lll', it's a story told with heavy guitars, pounding drums and teeth-chattering bass. It's old school metal, with a progressive twist. I asked Peter about the process of making this excellent mini-album.
"Lining The Street is E.A.R.T.'s 2nd EP, but our first within the current lineup. We recorded it at Off The Cuff Sound with Jason Davis here in town in Feb 2012. Jason's studio is based around a 24-track analog tape machine. Other than the mastering process, no computers were used in the making of the record. The tape gave our music a more natural and old school feel. We just wanted the album to speak for itself and give our friends and family the best possible format of what we are as a band. A limited number of the records even have hand designed artwork from a member of the band. No two copies are alike. It was an expensive process, which wouldn't have been possible without the huge support we got from our Kickstarter fund. We thank all of our donors tremendously.”
So, is Lining The Streets a concept record? "In a way yes. It all goes back to letting the listener decide what the music is about. We came up with a batch of songs that we felt worked really well together and seemed as though they were telling a story when played in a specific order. As far as an actual story line behind the record, we never really came up with anything. After putting the music together, we realized that each song on the record was written during a different era of the band(and plays in reverse chronological order), from the very beginnings of EART before it was a complete band (Part III), until literally the days before going into the studio to record the album (The Formula). Totally unintentional, but still a cool concept."
Say some young skallywag wants to find more out about these purveyors of progressive metal? Where can they go? " We just got a new website up and running and we're pretty excited about it. www.earthought.com. The new EP Lining The Streets is on iTunes and Spotify. You can also download it for free or whatever price you choose at eart.bandcamp.com." There you have it, no go to it you scamps and get some metal in your ears!
It seems these four guys have finally found the right mix of musicians and personalities to pull off the vision that Exterminate All Rational Thought has been seeking all along. They've got gigs, they've got new songs in the works and they've got the drive and youth to make something happen. Oh, and they've got one crusty sailor willing to spread the word and let the world know that E.A.R.T. are worth seeking out.