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Unearthing The Metal Underground: The DeLand Rock & Metal Festival

Photo of Everthrone

Band Photo: Everthrone (?)

Each week in Unearthing the Metal Underground, we'll be putting a few quality underground bands in the spotlight in an attempt to get the word out about them. This week we take a look at some of the bands that took part in the recent DeLand Rock & Metal Festival from November 2014. Our report for the festival can be read at this location.

The DeLand Rock & Metal Festival – or “DRMF” as it is affectionately known by the festival's community – is one of the most diverse metal festivals in the United States. This past year there were days dedicated to death metal (or any style with a death style vocal, including old school death, deathcore, hardcore, melodic death and folk) and another day themed by power metal (or any power, traditional, hard rock act), the second of which is headlined by festival promoter Camden Cruz’s own…Seven Kingdoms. Immersed in an infectious sense of community and a plethora of local Florida acts (including the now defunct Massacre), there were also some out of town acts that really brought the “thunder” to the entire event.

Of three of those out of town acts, two of them had never once played a live show together. In fact, those two acts, Judicator and Project: Roenwolfe (both anchored by guitarist/songwriter Tucson, Arizona’s Tony Cordisco), had never met as a band ever until 45 minutes before they hit the stage back to back on the Friday night kick off show.

Judicator

Formed as a project in 2012 by Cordisco and vocalist John Yelland (Disforia), not long after the two had met at a Blind Guardian show, the band quickly released the debut album “King of Rome” (a concept based on the final days of Napoleon Bonaparte’s last campaign and subsequent defeat at the Battle of Waterloo) on October 30th of the same year. The band centers its attack on a plethora of old school speed/power metal riffs accented by Blind Guardian infused vocal tracks.

After the album was well received by reviewers and fans alike, Cordisco and Yelland decided this would be more than just a project that paid homage to their favorite bands. In June of 2013, the second album “Sleepy Plessow” was issued. The album was a departure from the speed and riff nature of the debut, focusing more on atmosphere, melody, slower tempos, complex vocal arrangements and tighter production. Guest vocalists from underground acts were brought in to play various characters in the story of Frederick the Great of Prussia.

Pleased with the improvement, the duo decided it was time to take Judicator to the next level, blossoming into a full and professional band, complete with bassist Joseph Palomares, drummer Jordan Elcess and keyboardist Tyler Sherrill. In the summer of 2014, the band recorded “At the Expense of Humanity.” With a successful crowd-funding campaign to defray the costs of production, the album is now scheduled for release on March 28, 2015. Pre-orders for the album can be made at this location and the band’s activities can be followed on Facebook at this location.

Project: Roenwolfe

Formed in 2011 by guitarist/composer Tony Cordisco (Judicator) and vocalist Patrick Hoyt Parris (ex-Theocracy), Project: Roenwolfe is a collaboration that seeks to defy the constraints of any one genre. The sounds combines elements of power, thrash, progressive and melodic death metal and represents the vision of what metal is to its creators with the hopes that listener will benefit from the effort.

In 2012, the duo released a self-titled debut demo, which was met with phenomenal reviews. A single for the track “Roanoke” followed in 2013 along with the debut full length release “Neverwhere Dreamscape.” With melody and aggression colliding, the album is filled with a plethora of headbanging riffs, catchy songwriting and threash aggression. Guest stars include Judicator/Disforia frontman John Yelland, ex-Seven Kingdoms and current Soulmass frontman Bryan Edwards, who lends his distinct death growls, and Imagika/Dire Peril vocalist Norman Skinner.

“Neverwhere Dreamscape” can be purchased at this location and the band can be followed on Facebook at this location.

Everthrone

South Carolina’s Everthrone was formed in 2005 under the monikor Merzah, in which the band released two highly praised EP’s “In the Trenches” in 2007 and “Saturn Dreaming of Mercury” in 2011. It wasn’t until 2012, when the band changed its name to Everthrone, that it took its unique style combining elements of traditional progressive/power with that of Amorphis and 80’s pop acts like Tears for Fears.

In 2013, the band issued its “Everthrone” debut release “Evil Tongues,” which was produced by Jaime King (Between the Buried and Me/Epidemic). The album marries the unlikely and risky combination of forward thinking heavy metal arrangements with synth-pop, making it feel seamless and natural. Rather than cow-tow to the flavor of the week, Everthrone dares to care more about mastering songwriting. The talent shown on “Evil Tongues” is as limitless as its genre-unifying ability. Follow Everthrone on Facebook at this location.

Check back every Monday as we delve into different scenes or genres to unearth some new underground metal bands.

CROMCarl's avatar

Carl Frederick is a staff writer for Metal Underground.com. From the early to mid-90's, Carl published his own fanzine called C.R.O.M. In 1997, he released a compilation entitled "CROM: The Resurrection of True Metal," which featured songs from bands from around the world, including the first U.S. release of any kind for bands like Italy's Rhapsody (n/k/a Rhapsody of Fire) and Brazil's Angra. Follow Carl on Facebook and Twitter: @CROMCarl.

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