Interview with Dave Muntean of Nucleus

Nucleus have teamed up with Macabra to bring us brand new music fresh off of their 2016 Full lengths Sentient (which came in at #6 on our Top 15 last year)  and …to the Bone. Both bands bring their own brand of twisted death metal on this split entitled Fragmented Self. These new tracks are almost definitely the best either band has put out to date. We dug them so much we hooked up with Nucleus guitarist/vocalist, Dave Muntean and conducted this interview in space while orbiting Ceres.


fragmented self

album art by Dan Seagrave

First and foremost, how are you doing? Now that Sentient has been out for over a year how do you feel about the success and feedback received on it?

Dave: Doing great! The response to Sentient was better than we ever expected. At that point we were still used to just selling copies to people in Chicago and maybe mailing a handful out of town, so it’s very cool to flip that and have out of town sales grow bigger than local.

Your full length was released through Unspeakable Axe Records, how did you get hooked up with them and do you plan to continue to work with them?

Dave: I believe it was Bill Hansen, who does a radio show (KFAI Roar of the Underground) up  in Minnesota, who heard or EP Hegemony and sent it along to Unspeakable Axe. Eric from Unspeakable Axe contacted us interested in doing a release. We are already working on the next full length for UAR. Really happy to be on the label, really solid set of bands on there.

How did you end up working with Macabra? Do you have any previous connection with that band?

Dave: Mark Riddick(Who does all the instrumentation for Macabra) sent us an email. He really dug Sentient and was interested in working with us. It was originally going to be something like 1 song each, maybe a cover too, and then sort of just expanded into a 3 song each thing. In that process I had the idea of the story that bridges the 3 songs together and made our side a little concept, which then turned into being a prequel that sets up our next album. That’s why the songs flow into each other, they’re meant to be one continuing story. So the next album is now going to be a concept album too.


On Sentient I know that some of the songs were influenced by books and movies, for example Cantos is based off of the book Hyperion by Dan Simmons. Are any of the songs on the split based off of anything or are the songs related in anyway? I was sorta getting that vibe from the lyrics.

Dave: The songs are one continuous story, but unlike a lot of the songs on Sentient its not based on any one book. I kind of scrapped together some ideas from multiple books and other media I like, which kind of expanded as it went. I already have the outline for the album that follows it done. I actually ended up writing all the working song titles and track order before I even started writing it. So when I go into writing each song I have an idea of what its about and a framework of how it sound based on the theme and its place in the track listing.

What is the current progress on the next full length and/or anymore new Nucleus music?

Dave: The album is mostly done writing. One full song left to write, and two half songs, the rest is all finished at least in a rough draft state. We always make small changes here and there once we actually learn it together at practice. We’ve finished learning the first track on the album together already, minus the lyrics. After hearing that I’m super excited to finish the rest of it and get to recording, but that’ll take a bit of time.


In the track “Fragment,” there are some almost black metal sounding vocals, as well as  doom metal like chanting in there as well. Then in “assimilation” there is once again a doom metal vibe going on. This is more prominent than what was heard on Sentient, is this something you think we will be hearing more out of Nucleus?

Dave: If you are talking about the high wails in Fragment, I actually did the same vocals for 2 lines in the song Starflyer on Sentient. That mostly came from me joking around at practice trying to do Burzum screams. I definitely plan on having the chanting type vocals continue to pop up occasionally. I think we’ve always had a bit of doom stuck in once in a while, with small sections on multiple songs on Sentient. Assimilation ended up how it was mostly because it felt right for the section of the story that progresses through the 3 songs. The layout of the lyrics was set out and going really slow for just felt right for what that was about. We might not have a full out song like that often, but definitely sections within songs could hit a similar style.

Once again there is another excellent album cover for you guys done Dan Seagrave, how involved in the creative process were you on this? Tell me anything interesting about it.

Dave: Macabra’s album art for To The Bone… was the artwork done immediately after ours by Seagrave. The split art was just a combination of the two ideas merged into one. Dan Seagrave actually posted a photo of all 3 side by side, with the split art in the center, which is a pretty cool image to look at. When we did Sentient, we gave him free reign, mostly just gave him the album name and the general theme. I tend to like to let artists do whatever feels right with as little input from me as possible, I feel like we’ve gotten some cool things that way.

 What is your favorite Seagrave album cover?

Dave: Trying to not put one over another based on how much I like the music, haha, but one of my favorites are Malevolent Creation – The Ten Commandments. Just the whole world just ripping itself apart in front of the figure at the center.  Although I have to say Sentient came out so good, its definitely one of my favorite pieces from him, which I’m super proud of.

 What are you currently digging as far as music goes (current favorite album of the year?) are there any books, shows, or movies you’ve been enjoying lately?

Dave: I’ve been really bad at keeping up with new stuff this year, but I have been jamming the new Undergang which just came out, the new Ascended Dead, and the killer demo from Mortiferum.


I have a never ending list of books I want to read, a whole bookcase of just Sci-fi. I’m trying to push my way through the Culture series Ian M. Banks, while jumping off between books to try and read some random other ones, like The Library at Mount Char which I just finished recently.

 Any more big plans for Nucleus this year?

Dave: We have a few shows lined up yet to be announced, as well as playing the Full Terror Assault open air fest in Illinois in September. Other than that we are trying to lay low and work on the next album so we can record it as soon as possible. It’s very close to finished writing, and we’ve already started learning the songs at practice. Really excited about whats done so far!

band promo John Mourlas
Photograph by John Mourlas

 Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the wise?

Dave: Hey, he tried to preserve himself from the inevitable death due to the Rule of 2 and the apprentices lust for power, tried to be all buddy buddy, go at it as two masters. Shoulda slept with one eye open.


Stream the full split here

Nucleus bandcamp

Macabra merch

Interview with Dave Muntean of Nucleus

Of Flesh and Worship

glacial tomb

Glacial Tomb – Cognitive Erosion 

I heard about this band quite awhile ago and anxiously awaited to hear it for a few reasons. One of those reasons being that this band features current/ex members of Khemmis, Abigail Williams, and Cult of the Lost Cause. The other reason being that the band is based out of Denver, Colorado which holds a heavy music scene that has been killing it lately all across the board with the various sub-genres of metal. Glacial Tomb  fit nicely into the Denver scene because they manage to pull from several sounds and mold them together seamlessly. The music holds influence from black metal, doom metal, sludge metal, and there is even a hint of grind in there. If I had to compare them to another band I would have to go with Inter Arma just on how well they pull from many sounds and make them work together.

I think the riffs hit with the force of a hammer on anvil. This is definitely the case in the track “Of  Flesh and Worship.” The vocals howl like a wounded animal. The music definitely reflects the panic I would have if I woke up within a Glacial Tomb. My personal favorite track on Cognitive Erosion, is the closing track “Burial Shroud.” This track features abusive riffs, punishing drums, and a doom section. Glacial Tomb  is another band that can go on the list of promising bands from Denver, Colorado.

I urge you to give them a listen here


Of Flesh and Worship

Attalla – Glacial Rule


Attalla – Glacial Rule (2017)

A glacier is a slow moving mass of ice. They are massive, dense, and move very slowly under their own weight. If that’s the case then Attalla have chosen the perfect name for their new full-length Glacial Rule.

The opening track is “Butte Des Morts” which is a lake in Wisconsin ,which is where Attalla are from. This translates to “the hill of the dead” it would appear that Attalla have found the best way to be inspired by their surrounding area, and that is by creating songs with massive riffs. “Butte Des Morts” is a fantastic opener. The first riffs are huge. The band has a lot of groove in this track where the drums work perfectly with the riff. It is guaranteed to get some people moving. My first impression of this band is they sound a bit like The Sword’s early work but perhaps a bit slower. The vocals are very stripped down and work great for this band. They have some grit in places and are very polished at other times. The more this album plays the more I like the vocals. The second track, “Ice Harvest” is the longest on the album and features some impressive lead work. Throughout the whole album there are just massive slow moving riffs that work well with the glacial theme. The album is full of groovy moments and shows a band that are on the same page. The band were once again clearly inspired by their homeland with “Devil’s Lake” which is another banger of a track as well as a shorter and faster one on this album. It is the perfect lead into the closing track. Which is the title track “Glacial Rule,” another massive track. These riffs have a “prehistoric might” and are the best on the album. The ones that come before just add to the journey of coming to the end of “Glacial Rule.” This album is a journey through an icy landscape that will be seen and felt. It is welcome to multiple listens. This album should call to fans of doom and massive riffs.


Glacial Rule releases on March 24th check it out on Bandcamp or at the Obelisk 

Check out Attalla on Facebook 

Attalla – Glacial Rule

Abusement Park: Top 15 of 2016

This is one of my most favorite times of the year. It allows us to take a look at all the great releases that have come out this year, and this year there have certainly been a ton of them. What I look at the most in my end of the year list is albums that demanded repeat listens. The order is not the most important thing but I suppose they are ranked. I also think the best part about this list is, literally none of these bands created this music to make this list, or any list for that matter. However, these 15 albums made my list so lets see them.

starspawn15. Blood Incantation – Starspawn (Dark Descent Records)

Who doesn’t love some really weird sci-fi Death metal? From the buzz that this album created when it dropped, it would certainly seem like very few people do not. I think this is an excellent death metal album and garnered many repeat listens. It’s drenched in atmosphere and it will certainly leave you feeling like the stargate. Favorite Track: Virtrification of Blood (Part I)

sewercide14. Sewercide – Immortalized In Suffering (Unspeakable Axe Records)

It should be no surprise that early into this  list there is a release from Unspeakable Axe, they without a doubt were the best label this year. Sewercide are a disgusting Australian death metal band. I’m pretty sure the band members recorded this in the dankest of places. It’s filled to the brim with sweet riffage and the vocal delivery is just superb. Favorite Track: Megalithic Tomb


13. Mizmor – Yodh (Gilead Media)

Yodh by Mizmor is like one part black metal and one part doom metal. It seeps emotion and bad feelings. It also literally screams feelings of catharsis. The one man behind Mizmor makes you feel with this one. There is so much to take in with this album.  It is so good instrumentally, but the vocals really steal the show. They bring so much to this album and it becomes apparent from that first scream in the first track. That scream quite literally put a smile on my face when I heard it. I just knew I was in for a treat with Yodh. Favorite Track: i – Woe Regains My Substance

ustalost12. Ustalost – The Spoor of Vipers (Sibir Records/Gilead Media)

Ustalost is a solo project for W. Skarstad of Yellow Eyes. I could probably leave it there and not have to explain how good of a black metal album this is, but I’ll elaborate a little bit. This is progressive black metal that goes all over the place. It has incredibly dark moments as well as some bright spots. It features the use of synths pretty heavily. The bass work on this also takes it to another level. Gilead Media will be releasing the vinyl next year as well so scoop that up when the time comes. Favorite Track: IV

21002 [Converted]11. CTHE’ILIST – Le Dernier Crepuscule (Profound Lore Records)

This is another one of those albums that made a buzz this year, and with good reason. It quite literally sounds like the source of all your fears got ahold of some instruments and created death metal that is not of this world. This album is incredibly unique and technically crafted. The vocals do not sound human at times. I’m still not certain that playing this album at the wrong time will not summon a Lovecraftian horror into your home that will drag you into the depths of the unknown to never see what you once loved ever again. You just have to hear it for yourself. Also the slap bass, I gotta mention that. Favorite Track: Voidspawn

chasms_150010. Lycus – Chasms (Relapse Records)

Alright! We’re in the top 10 and to start it off we have the most astounding funeral doom album of the year. Lycus really impressed me with their last album Tempest, and they have impressed me further with Chasms. This is slow dreadful doom at it’s finest. Chasms is surrounded in thick heavy atmosphere. If you aren’t careful this album could crush you under it’s weight. Favorite Track: Obsidian Eyes

khemmis9. Khemmis – Hunted (20 Buck Spin)

Hunted by Khemmis is what Decibel Magazine deemed to be their album of the year, and while it may not be our #1 it’s certainly one of our favorites. It has been a wonderful year for doom metal and this album is a big reason why. Khemmis released their debut Absolution last year and I personally think Hunted is an improvement. The vocals are more triumphant and the guitar melodies hit harder. Khemmis also added elements from funeral doom that I just love. They are present in tracks such as Candlelight. It’s hard not to feel victorious after listening to this one. Favorite Track: Hunted

gatecreeper-sonoran8. Gatecreeper – Sonoran Depravation (Relapse Records)

I have been following Gatecreeper since they dropped their four song demo tape back in 2014. After a handful of some great splits, the wait is finally over and we have the full length. I got exactly what I expected and exactly what I wanted out of this Gatecreeper full length. It’s filled to the brim with GED Riffs that get you hyped up. Honestly when I listen to this I want to punch holes in things. Gatecreeper play music that shouldn’t be trifled with. They wear their Swedish death metal influence on their sleeve proudly and they should. Favorite Track: Rotting As One

north light the way7. North – Light The Way (Prosthetic Records)

The first thing I want to say about this album is that it is beautiful. It has incredible atmosphere and it is just powerful. This album is completely immersive, and is a pleasant listening experience. It would be hard to find a more recent Post-metal album better than this one. I will also say this is one of my biggest surprises of the year. I had not even heard of North until I cam across Light the Way, but I’m glad I found it. This album has gotten many plays this year and I imagine I will keep returning to it. Favorite Track: Earthmind

nucleaus sentient6. Nucleus – Sentient (Unspeakable Axe Records)

If you have been reading everything I have written so far you may remember that I said everybody loves  really weird sci-fi death metal. Nucleus have made some really good, really weird sci-fi death metal with Sentient. The science fiction theme really works for the album since it sounds like it was brought here from the future, but also brought from the past. Nucleus have a brand of death metal that is very much old school and technical, but still very modern. I love the sideways riffs and the sporadic soloing. The subject matter of the songs are great too with subjects like the film Cube and Dan Simmons Hyperion. Favorite Track: Swarm

take over self title5. Take Over And Destroy – Take Over And Destroy (Prosthetic Records)

Take Over And Destroy have always had a sound that is hard to pin down. This album makes it even harder to pin down. They have influences from all over the place and it shows in the music. The one thing I know for certain is this is the catchiest metal album released this year. Every single one of these songs has the ability to stay with you. Each song is pretty unique from one another as well, but the whole package works as an incredible listen. The heavy riffing John Carpenter soundtrack band have delivered once again. Favorite Track: changes day to day but lets go with Bring Me the Rope

scorched-echoes4. Scorched – Echoes of Dismemberment (Unspeakable Axe Records)

Oh yes Echoes of Dismemberment, the album that has as many riffs as a Hallmark store has greeting cards. I love this album, it’s my favorite death metal album of the year without a doubt. I just keep going back to it. Much like Gatecreeper I’ve been following Scorched from demo to splits and have been anxiously awaiting a proper full length. When the full length arrived I got what I wanted. This album features flawless drumming, and groovy riffs. Steve Fuchs and Nick Carucci assault the whammy bar like it wronged their families and I love it.  The horror movie theme is done so well with the album cover, the synth music, and lyrical content. Listen to Scorched. Favorite Track: Dealings of A Gruesome Kind

spirit adrift chained to ob3. Spirit Adrift – Chained to Oblivion (Prosthetic Records/War Crime Recordings)

Nate Garrett appears to have been the bringer of Riffs and Doom this year, having released an incredible EP as well as full length this year. Spirit Adrift bring top tier emotional doom that feels and sounds like a cathartic release. There are guitar melodies that sing, heavy riffs, and vocals that work with the music to perferction. The improvement from the EP Behind – Beyond  to Chained to Oblivion, make this album worthy of spot alone. The entire album creates a cohesive experience. There is not a single track that should go unheard, in fact its best to listen to it all in one go. The resurgence of doom metal lately has been incredible and Spirit Adrift have added to that with this one. I hope the bringer of doom and riffs brings more of both soon. Favorite Track: Chained to Oblivion

haunter2. Haunter – Thrinodia (Unsigned)

This is what I personally believe is the best black metal album released this year and if you have a label you need to listen to this album and sign Haunter. This album has incredible atmosphere. The production is polished at times but still incredibly raw. It’s hard to ask more out of black metal. Most U.S. Black metal is rooted somewhere in New York, but Haunter reside in San Antonio, Texas. They put a unique spin on their brand of black metal. There are plenty of riffs to go around, and very impressive bass lines that can be heard. It’s exceptional black metal and you just need to give it a listen. Favorite Track: Apnoeic (Polarized in Retrospective Contempt)

inter arma paradise1. Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows (Relapse Records)

Here it is the Abusement Park album of the year. Paradise Gallows was my most anticipated release of 2016 and it delivered. It not only delivered, it exceeded my expectations. Inter Arma have a spotless history of releases, and just when you think they couldn’t possibly get better they do just that. This album is about as heavy as holding onto a boulder while sinking into the ocean at times. Then at other it manages to be as beautiful as a cloudless night, sometimes both at the same time. There are amazing riffs at every turn. Inter Arma manage to bring a plethora of styles from doom, sludge, and post-metal. They then put their own progressive spin on it and have composed a modern day masterpiece and I really mean that. They try a lot of new things on this and they all worked. It’s almost unfair, but I’m thankful for this album. Favorite Track: An Archer in the Emptiness

I’ve had a great year running this blog for the first time, and have had some incredible guests on here as well as support. So as a bonus here are some #1 picks by people I interviewed, celebrities, Abusement Park season pass holders… whatever you want to call them!

Andy Leemont (Take Over And Destroy): Grave Pleasures – Funeral Party 7″

Stoney Bass (Anvil Eater Records): Vermin Womb- Decline, and Blood Incantation –  Starspawn

Young Cubs/Night Rambler Records: Downfall of Gaia – Atrophy

Steve Fuchs & Matt Kapa (Scorched): Blood Incantation – Starspawn

Dave Muntean (Nucleus): CTHE’ILIST – Le Dernier Crepuscule

Slade Williams (Pavel Chekov/Celestial Corrosion): Death Fetishist – Clandestine Sacrament

Brandon Kellum (American Standards): The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation, and Oathbreaker – Rheia

A.L.W. (our editor): Brujeria – Pocho Aztlan

Jeff Owens (Goya/Spirit Adrift): Leonard Cohen – You Want it Darker (as Jeff put it “heaviest album of the year, in one way, if not another”)

Nate Garrett (Spirit Adrift/Gatecreeper): Vektor – Terminal Redux, and Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows. (It also just occurred to me that Nate had something to do with 3 albums on our list. If we gave out awards he’d be our dude of the year or something what a year for that guy am I right?)

Now time to look forward to 2017


Abusement Park: Top 15 of 2016

Pavel Chekov/Celestial Corrosion: An evening with Slade.

Slade Williams has been playing with Dallas, Texas power-violence/grind/Dallas warpcore band Pavel Chekov for a little while now. They have been gearing up for some new stuff as well as a December tour. Slade also has a little doom metal project called Celestial Corrosion, so let’s start out with that.

What inspired Celestial Corrosion?

Slade: My main musical influences for CC are Hooded Menace, Fuoco Fatuo, Evoken and Hell. But when it came to the mixing and stuff I really dig the production style of Temple Nightside, Abyssal and Irkallian Oracle. I’ve still got a bit of improving to do, but I’m really happy with how the demo came out.

How different is the approach to writing this slow stuff compared to the speed of the usual Pavel Chekov stuff?

The writing styles between the two are honestly pretty similar, just write cool riffs while not dragging them out to where they’re boring. The second song on the demo was originally going to be around 10 minutes but I listened back a couple times and edited it way down because I felt it dragged on way too long. The writing styles are similar, but way slower.

Is everything 100% you?

Yes and no. The logo was done by Parker Turney, he’s a crazy talented dude who actually was the original guitarist of Pavel Chekov, he has a new grind band called Vault Dweller that should be releasing a demo soon also! Then to finish it up, Stoney of Anvileater records helped me by putting together a layout for the tape that he’ll be releasing, give him all of your money, he deserves it for how cool of a dude he is to work with. The music is 100% me, this whole project has been a personal goal of mine, to write record and mix an entire demo by myself. For now CC will remain a solo operation while I sort my life out. I would like to be able to play shows and stuff, but we’ll see how it pans out.


I wholeheartedly agree with the Anvileater records statement. I like Stoney so much that I gave him a season pass to Abusement Park for life. Keep an eye on the Anvileater facebook for news regarding the Celestial Corrosion tape.

Anvileater bandcamp and store


Is this your first shot at this type of music, or have you been in other doom bands?

This is my first shot at doom, I’ve always wanted to play it, but I’ve never been in a band playing it.

Is this also your first attempt at mixing, recording etc?

Not really, I’ve been going to school for audio engineering so I’ve done all sorts of projects for class. Along with that, Alan and I usually tag team the tracking whenever we record for Pavel releases, so I’ve had a good amount of practice for the short time I’ve been doing it.

What are the meanings behind these two songs?

The first one is about the decay of the astral body after death, while denied ascent, the spirit seems to fade slowly with no hope of reach a higher sphere. The second is loosely based on the mythological idea that the universe was created through the sexual relations of the gods and how after creation, nature has the incredible driving force to spread and thrive all on its own.

Can we expect more Celestial Corrosion in the future?

I’m planning on trying to write more in the coming months, so you can definitely expect more music, but I’ve got a lot coming up with the new year so I’m not sure when it will happen. My plan is to at least have another release out by the coming summer.

Give the demo a listen/download here. It’s one of the best doom demos you’ll here this year!


Speaking of Pavel Chekov…. Is there anything new in the works for that band?

So we recently sent off three tracks for a comp coming out through Mind Ripper Collective, we’ve finished tracking instruments for three upcoming splits, and we have our west coast tour on Dec. 8th.

Also you heard it hear first people, Pavel Chekov will being doing splits with Concussive, Bandit, and TBA (Ft. Worth, TX). Be on the lookout for those! 

I’ve also always wanted to ask, why Pavel Chekov (of all people)?

Because he is the best Star Trek character! We all are big sci-fi fans, especially Alan, and we just we liked the name a lot.

I’m friends with you dudes on Facebook and it would appear that the drummer Alan is leaving the country. Will this be the end or a hiatus?

This will be a hiatus. Alan continually talks about how he’s going to try his best to come back so we can still do small tours over breaks and such. Todd and I are super stoked that he has the opportunity to go to school out there, but we don’t really have any plans to flat out call it quits.

You guys are doing a tour to close out the year. Are there any dates you’re extra excited about, or bands you’re excited to play with?

I’m really just excited to see friends, we’ll be playing with our friends in Saintbreaker, Concussive, Ingrown, Woundvac, and we’ll hopefully get to see all the non-band friends we’ve made as well haha. One thing I’m super stoked for is our Oakland show, we’ll be playing a split set with Concussive and ending the night will be fucking Godstomper and I’m so excited, they’ve always been one of my favorite PV/grind bands.

Since 2016 is almost over, what’s your favorite album of the year?

I can’t pick a favorite but some of my favorites this year are Skáphe – Skáphe2, Lycus – Chasms, Temple Nightside – The Hecatomb, QRIXkUOR – Three Devils Night, Uškumgallu – Rotten Limbs in Dreams of Blood

You have been given 48 hours to kidnap the greatest actor of all time, Steve Buscemi. Who do you call, how do you catch him, and where do you take him?

To catch Steve Buscemi I call Maximillion Pegasus from YuGiOh to use his millennium eye to trap his soul into a playing card, then I take him to Caesars’ Palace, I then place the card with his soul and four decks of cards into a shuffling machine and leave him to be lost in the wasteland of greed and excess.


If you are located around the west coast, see if Pavel Chekov are playing a show around your area and go see them! They will have a tour tape, sick shirts, and a split 7” with Endless Swarm.


Smash that like button on the Pavel Chekov Facebook for future updates

Give them a listen on their bandcamp as well for all the anti-fascist blastcore.

Also drop Abusement Park a like as well. We’re low-key doing a little giveaway at the end of the year.



Pavel Chekov/Celestial Corrosion: An evening with Slade.

Unspeakable Axe Records Showcase

Unspeakable Axe Records have been without a doubt my favorite label of 2016. They have put out excellent releases such as Ripper – Experiment of Existence, Nucleus – Sentient, Scorched – Echoes of Dismemberment, 4 Doors to Death, Sewercide – Immortalized in Suffering, And Voidspawn – Pyrrhic. Those are all just from this year Unspeakable Axe Records have been putting out great releases since 2013 and their releases just keep getting better.


Hemotoxin – Biological Enslavement

Biological Enslavement is one of those great releases from earlier this year that I haven’t been able to get until now. Hemotoxin have a brand of technical Death/Thrash metal that tends to teeter back and forth between the two genres. I think I hear just a bit more Death metal in the music at times but that may just be me. Either way this album can be and should be enjoyed by both. The riffs pack a punch and when I mentioned the band being technical earlier, I do not mean senseless guitar wankery. The musicians in Hemotoxin are incredibly talented especially the two guitarist, Michael Chavez and Michael Rohwer share the lead work and create some very impressive solos on this album. I really enjoy the third track “Minus Human”, it has a very interesting jazzy intro that totally caught me off guard after the aggressiveness of the first two tracks. There is  sweet fretless bass in that one as well. I would have to recommend this band to fans of Atheist and the Spiritual Healing/Human era of Death. The vocal delivery of Chavez really reminds me of Chuck Schuldiner. I think this is a very solid release. If you are a human or just a recreation I think you should Hemotoxin’s Biological Enslavement.

Give it a listen here


Mortal Scepter – As Time Sharpens the Sentence

This Mortal Scepter EP takes us back a bit further into the Unspeakable Axe catalogue. As Time Sharpens the Sentence came out in 2015, and is a French thrash release that I definitely missed out on last year. I think I would go ahead and include this one in the blackened thrash category. The vocal delivery is very raw in the production which just gives me that vibe. The production itself is pretty raw to begin with but the guitars sound great and the riffs are relentless right from the starting gates with “As Time Sharpens the Sentence” it even has one of those crazy old school Megadeth sounding guitar solos. I think I would compare Mortal Scepter overall with early Kreator though. I will say that people who really like their production might have issues with the drum sound on this release at times, but I think the sound fits the vibe of the EP very well. It’s an incredibly raw and relentless blackened thrash metal EP that might be a bit different than what people are used to currently, even though it takes plenty of influence from the old school.

Give it a listen here


Omnivore – Omnivore

To cap off this Unspeakable Axe Records showcase we go back just a little bit further to 2014 with the Self-titled album by Omnivore. This album goes fast and does it well. It sounds like it’s heavily inspired by Sepultura. After an intro track we hear the voice of everybody’s favorite vigilante Rorschach and then blistering riffs of “Dead” straight to the point song title. Omnivore really do have the Ricky Bobby mentality of “I wanna go fast” for most of this release which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They slow down a little bit on two occasions, “I hope the war comes” has one of the head nodding mid-tempo riffs before going back to tearing things up. The second occasion is in the track “Nothing More than Dust” which is the longest song on the album the slower section is towards the end with an interesting acoustic section. The Sepultura comparison must be a good one because the album closes with a true to form cover of “Arise”.    This album is a very solid debut that thrashes from start to finish with some real percussive riffs.

check it out here

I hope this inspires you guys to check out Unspeakable Axe Records. They have had an amazing year of releases and have an amazing back catalogue. I look forward to 2017 from them. (Hint: the Maligner is going to be really good)


Unspeakable Axe Records:









Unspeakable Axe Records Showcase

Take Over And Destroy at the Park


I would like to welcome Alex Bank Rollins and Andrew Leemont of Take Over And Destroy to Abusement Park. In 2014 they released our personal album of the year Vacant Face. They are currently on the cusp of the release of their self-titled full length album. Which is due out on Prosthetic Records October 7th. Let’s get this thing started!


The first thing I want to ask about is the history of Take Over And Destroy. I have been listening to you guys for a while and do not know a whole lot about how you started. How did it go from Drone Throne to TOAD? 

 Alex – They were two separate projects that started around the same time. In 2006 Andy and I were playing in a band together. I started playing drums in Drone Throne as a side project. Andy wanted to branch out from the band we were currently doing, and started recording his own material in his bedroom under the moniker TOAD. It started out as a gloomy punk band. Once he recruited members for live performances, the sound changed and morphed into something different.

 What are your major influences musically or even non-musically? 

Alex – We are influenced by people who create their own sound. We want to be a band that when you hear us, you immediately know it’s us. Bands that have their own identity are inspiring to us. From Queen, to Queens of the Stone Age. From The Ramones to Rocket from the Crypt. From Nirvana to Nick Cave. From Danzig to Devo. 

It’s inevitable that we’re always inspired by the films that we watch.

Not too long ago you guys announced the new LP was going to be self-titled, what made you guys decide that this one was going to be self-titled?

Andy – The concept of the album is that it’s a collection of singles. We thought it would be appropriate to play the self-titled card at this point in our discography.


Before the new material was even recorded you guys hit the road with Lament Cityscape to get the songs ready, did the songs change at all from road to studio? 

Alex – Not really. We just got tighter as a band playing these songs. The structure of the songs never changed.

Andy – It’s a perfect thing for a band to tour right before recording. Especially since we recorded it live.


Are there any songs on the album that were not played on the road? 

Alex – No, we played every song on tour at least once before we returned home and entered the studio.

Andy – We always switch the sets up live from night to night. We’ve always done that, but we made sure to integrate every song from the new album.


When I saw you guys, y’all played a cover of “Tired of Being Alive” by Danzig, which was awesome. At any point did you think about recording a version of that?

Alex – Thanks! It’s always fun to play, and having CT from Rwake join us on stage for the cover in Little Rock was a real pleasure.

Andy – We planned on recording it for a 7″, but those plans fell through.

Check out the cover


Once again you guys recorded with Bob Hoag, how would you describe y’alls relationship?

Alex – Andy and I have known Bob since 2006. We’ve been working with him ever since. We all have similar interests, so we’re always talking about current and past pop culture stuff. While working in the studio together, we can easily get distracted and go down the rabbit hole, but we try and stay on schedule. There’s been plenty of overnight shifts where we’re making up for time and finish up while the sun is rising.


Andy – He’s like an older brother, and another member. He’s very generous with his creativity. We love Bob.


On Vacant Face he wrote and performed “The Fly Is Awake” did he contribute in any similar ways for the new LP?

Alex – He played virtually all of the organ and keyboard on the new album. Aside from myself playing the keys on Out of Frame, Bob played the rest. Andy wrote keyboard parts for the album and presented them to Bob, who then enhanced, altered, and executed them. Getting the right sound and tone for each keyboard part was a joint effort.

Andy – We hope to take him on tour with us one day.


This is the third time you have worked with Branca Studios, first being a t-shirt and then the cover for the split with Gatecreeper. What is it like working with him? How did the album cover for this one come about, especially the reversible cover? I think it’s a very cool idea and looks freaking sweet.  

Alex – Thanks Eli! It’s great working with him. We speak the same language (well, not really… he’s from Barcelona and English is his second language.) But he gets where we’re coming from. Working with him is easy because we can reference something and he immediately gets it. We’re happy to see him getting the recognition he deserves.

While discussing ideas and concepts for imagery to represent the new album, we were in our practice space. I have a framed poster of The Shining hanging up, and it hit me; we need an album cover that when flipped upside down, new images emerge. Much like the album you see certain things at first glance, then when looking closer more is revealed. While discussing it with him we referenced the collage style of The Beatles “Revolver” and Roky Erickson “The Evil One.”  The back side of the album is another reversible collage.

Andy – We gave him the pitch that this album is a collection of singles. We wanted it to look like a collage with the color scheme of the Misfits “Earth AD”

take over self title


Did you guys try anything crazy new on this one? The last album Vacant Face was insane. It had the gothic vibe as well as a song featuring a literal axe.

Also specifically for Andy, did you do anything different vocally? Because the “cleans” in “By Knife” sound gnarly.

Alex – We still have the same mindset that we’ve always had. We still believe that song structure is the most important thing. When we write it’s crucial for us that everything is fluid and flows as one. If it sounds good, and feels good to us, we hope that it will translate to the listener.


Andy – I did more crooning, weirdo clean vocals. I was more comfortable doing that on this album. It’s easy for me to scream and growl, I feel like our listeners deserve more than that. We implemented more rock and roll vocal harmonies on this album. Our producer Bob, and guitarist Nate [Garrett] did some layered harmonies on a few of the singing parts I wrote.

There’s a part in our song “Love Among the Ruins” where we did group vocals and we all shouted in key. That was a new thing for us, and is definitely a favorite moment on the album for everyone. Looking back, we wish we did more of that.


I remember hearing some pretty sweet guitar work in the new songs live. I also love the final result in the solo for “By Knife”. Are there any solos that you’re extra proud of, and what was your approach to them?


Alex -Thank you very much. The solo in By Knife is a double header. I play the first half, and Nate plays the second half. I tend to play more bluesy, melodic solos. At a really early age my Dad showed me Black Sabbath, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Moody Blues, Iron Butterfly, and the list goes on. For me it was never about how many notes you can cram into a solo, it’s more about the feel and emotion of it. In my opinion playing less notes, and the spaces in between notes can be more effective than shredding scales up and down the neck.

It’s not exactly a solo, but my favorite moment of guitar playing comes at the finale of the album. We close everything out with our song “Night Work Begins.” There’s an instrumental section at the end that has a real magic to it. I remember playing it in the studio and having chills sent down my spine. All the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up, and afterwards it was hard for me to talk. I was just kind of silent, shaking my head.


I have to say these boys know how to close an album.


So as mentioned above you guys toured before the album was recorded, what are the plans for after the album releases?

Along with that I have to ask, will there be a new guitarist to replace Nate Garrett who has quietly departed the band?

Alex – We are doing a few out of town dates in November. A double feature showcase in California. We’re playing in Los Angeles on November 19th, and San Diego November 20th. There will be more to come.

This is a transitional phase, and we will be playing with a new guitarist.


Take Over And Destroy are recent signees to Prosthetic Records. I have to know how that came about because you’ve been basically DIY for so long.

 Alex – We were approached by Steve Joh who is currently working A&R for Prosthetic Records. Steve is well respected in the music industry and we hit it off with him right away. We were in talks with him for some time and decided it was the right move.


Fellow Arizona heavy hitters Gatecreeper are also releasing an album on October 7th but through Relapse Records, the same day the new Take Over album drops, was that planned?

 Seriously though the Arizona heavy scene has to be one of my favorites. Who are some other bands you guys think needed to be signed pronto?


Alex- It was not planned. Complete coincidence. After we announced the release date for our new album we received a text from one of the Gatecreeper guys saying theirs was coming out the same day.

Woundvac is a great band playing in Arizona right now. They play heavy and tight grind that has brutally catchy riffs.

Our friends in Spoiled play some wild tunes that are punk in nature. It’s fast, short, and to the point. They have the attitude of the 90’s. Arizona is a better place with Spoiled.

Warhead are a bunch of speed punks that will punch you in the face with their fast riffing. They’re young guys that are tight and determined. They rehearse at our space a few units down from us in Tempe and we like hanging out and headbanging with them in between jams


And finally you guys have been described as “An American rock & roll band from the 1970’s trapped inside of a Scandinavian metal band from the early 1990’s, scoring a John Carpenter film.” If you were going to be cast in a John Carpenter movie what role would you want in which movie?


Alex – I’ve always had an affinity for Kurt Russell’s character R.J. MacReady in The Thing. Cold, isolated, self sufficient, and lacking trust with an unsure fate.

Andy – I’d want to be Arnie Cunningham in Christine. Harry Dean Stanton breathing down my neck about a car that I love more than anything in my life. Love has a veracious appetite.  …or Jeff Bridges in Starman. Being an alien in a dead man’s body, and ultimately ending up in Arizona.

I would definitely be Nada in They Live. I am always in need of bubblegum.

Once again the new Take Over And Destroy LP arrives on October 7th out on Prosthetic Records. It’s going to be one groovy album for fans of catchy riffs and interesting songs. Do not sleep on it!


Pre-order CD and Vinyl here on Prosthetic Records!

Give the new songs a listen here! The nightwork officially begins October 7th!

Brought to you by Take Over And Destroy and Abusement Park

Take Over And Destroy at the Park