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Monday, April 27, 2009

Years of Fire Get Masochistic

Posted By on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 10:04 AM

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Cleveland extreme-metal quintet Years of Fire, who describe themselves as “100% American Made Heavy Metal,” will introduce their debut album The Masochists at a release party at Peabody’s on Saturday. Fear of Drowning, Solipsist, Cholera and To Envy the Horrid open the show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $6.

The Masochists seems like an appropriate name for a disc by this band who, their history suggests, must be masochists — or deeply committed — to endure and survive. The group has a stellar Cleveland metal pedigree: It was formed in 2005 by guitarist Jason Hager and guitarist/producer Cole Martinez, who had both just emerged from the short-lived Shenoah.

Hager had formed Shenoah following his departure from Chimaira (which he co-founded after a stint in Ascension) in 2002. They were joined by drummer Brian Hanculak, former Ringworm/Shenoah bassist Ben Hollowell and ex-Ascension vocalist Chris Wood, and recorded Visceral Departure for Thorp Records in 2006.

But Thorp Records became inactive, and Wood lost his voice and was replaced by Kent Young of Columbus-based Buried by Angels. Cole Martinez moved on to focus on his Lakewood-based recording studio, Conquistador. Other personnel changes followed, with Warren Hughes joining on lead guitar, Scott Dall replacing Hanculak on drums and Kris Heming replacing Young. Then last March, the band got thrown for another loop when Young died of respiratory problems at the age of 28.

Now, with Martinez producing, Years of Fire has created an album that reflects Hager’s extreme metal roots in Ascension and Chimaira. Chugging chords, rampaging rhythms, bellowing vocals and speedy, spiraling guitar lines combine to create a sound that’s intensely aggressive and blood-coursing. —Anastasia Pantsios

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