Band of the Week: Sunless Sky

Meet the Band: Juan Ricardo (vocals), Dave Kirk (lead/rhythm guitar), Jocko Jermann (bass), Rob Brandt (drums), Harry Hillock (rhythm/lead guitars)

round and round: The band came about two and a half years ago. They did one show with a previous drummer. After that show, Brandt replaced the original drummer and started pushing the group to record. Given that the guys are all veterans from the local metal scene, it wasn't a hard sell. "We all have been around and we go back several years," says Brandt, who stopped drumming for about 15 years to raise his kids after drumming with a couple of different bands in the '90s. "Once I joined, I realized we have something special. Juan is a very charismatic front man. He sings the song and plays the party and does everything we ask him and need him to do. It's a blessing."

alles gut: When Brandt started shopping for labels he happened upon the German imprint Pure Steel Records and the band signed a contract after a bit of negotiation. It's a good fit, especially since the band has an old school sound that's inspired by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. "I don't think we have an '80s sound," he says. "I like to think we've added some '90s and 2000s influences of other bands and created something new. I think it will hit well in Europe and overseas."

why you should hear them: Recorded at Brainchild in Lakewood, the band's debut, Firebreather, lives up to its title and features scorching guitar riffs and powerhouse vocals. "We had a good time recording," says Brandt. "We're not really technical. We're just trying to get a good rhythm and melody across." Since wrapping the album, the band has been in a writing mode and has been playing the new song, "Black Sympathy," at live shows. It's part of a trilogy that includes "Warlords," a track on Firebreather.

Where You Can Hear them:

Where You Can See them: Sunless Sky performs with Rattlehead and Hessler at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 24, at the Foundry and with Black Death Resurrected, Arecibo, Wixor, Disobey and Dose at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 26, at the Agora Ballroom.

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About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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