Toledo, Ohio - they called themselves DAMIEN. Influenced by some of the greatest bands of their day, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, UFO, Scorpions, Michael Schenker, Ronnie James Dio and Iron Maiden (to mention a few), this group of eager metal-heads joined forces to create their own unique and intense brand of heavy metal. Early on the band shuffled some members, but one by one the pieces fell into place and eventually the final lineup would include: Chuck Stohl (lead guitars), Randy "Wolf" Mikelson (lead vocals), Kevin "Killer" Kekes (bass), Fritz Adamshick (rhythm guitars), and Johnny "Evil" Cappelletty (drums).
They were the perfect blend of talent and skill, each filling a specific role in the band, and together forming the one and only, DAMIEN.
With the lineup solidified, the band regularly blew away club audiences with their live shows and established a cult following in Toledo. The word about DAMIEN continued to spread like wildfire and lead to their being signed by New York's SELECT RECORDS. In 1987 the band went into the studio and finalized the 10 tracks that would eventually become their debut masterpiece, "Every Dog Has Its Day". The album was well received by metal fans across the globe and two years later in
1989 they created yet another killer album entitled, "Stop This War". The band shot videos for each album that got regular airplay on MTV and HeadBanger's Ball, exposing them to a larger audience and allowing them to headline their own tours. The band was featured in many of the top metal magazines at the time. DAMIEN members parted ways in the early 90's but re-united in 2004 to headline a few reunion concerts. To say DAMIEN has seen it all would be an understatement. From the heyday of the club scene of the mid-1980's, to record deals and tours, to broken promises and hard knocks on the road, the band soldiered on, cementing a legacy as proud working-class underdogs. Trends changed, time rolled on, and the business of music went down a rabbit hole, but DAMIEN's reputation as rock-solid purveyors of crushing, high-grade melodic heavy rock and roll has never faded. From the loyal Midwestern fans who supported the band when they came up, to the legions worldwide who hunted down their out-of-print early releases and discovered them in the Internet age, the name DAMIEN was synonymous with class,
power and timeless heavy metal might. When the original lineup reconvened a few years ago for a triumphant hometown reunion show, The wheels were set in
motion for a new chapter in DAMIEN's life.vocalist Randy V, guitarist Chuck Stohl, bassist Kevin Kekes, and drummer Johnny Cappelletty - convened with producer Randy Wilson at Ape Studios in Toledo, Ohio for the initial sessions that would become Beyond Apathy, The first new music from the classic lineup in nearly two decades. Beyond Apathy was crafted in the studio, from the ground up, with the attention to detail and care for the craft that comes with age and wisdom. DAMIEN did this album on their own terms, on their own dime, and with the sacrifice that comes from pursuing any creative endeavor when you've already got a busy life in full swing. Randy worked from the west coast, where he has established himself as an author (his controversial The Coven of Celsius debut turned heads several years ago), and flew in to finalize arrangements and lay down tracks. Kevin, Chuck and Johnny contributed ideas and woodshedded new songs under Wilson's watchful eye, allowing these tunes to grow organically into the new collection of classics that the album became.From the midtempo stomp of "Alive" to the full-throttle "With a Smile," to the surprisingly sinister and murky "Justine & Juliette" and "The Shaman," Beyond Apathy takes DAMIEN down some darker paths, without losing the band's knack for hooky songs, soaring choruses and dazzling guitar work. The results are heavy as all hell, miles beyond any weak nostalgia trip, but spawned proudly from the band's classic metal roots. It's the record they had to make, because it's the one they wanted to make, and its power and conviction bleed through every note. From Black Sabbath and Judas Priest to Metal Church and Armored Saint, the best heavy metal has come from workingman's towns, from blue-collar roots, out of garages with oil-stained floors, played by dudes who dreamed big, but knew in their bones that there was no shortcut to doing the hard labor and creating a body of work to be proud of. Beyond Apathy was created not to rehash former glories, and not to cash in on any trends, but to satisfy the lofty standards of four creative forces with no agenda but the music, and no goals but the perfection of their own craft. DAMIEN Dogs worldwide, rejoice, for the newest chapter in the saga of this never-say-die band may be their strongest yet.
DAMIEN's metal music features an awesome blend of power and speed that can't be ignored. Their songs are intricately constructed with thoughtful lyrics and ballsy choruses that are infectiously catchy. The band blazes on all cylinders with world-class guitar solos, crunchy rhythms, thunderous bass lines, and pounding drums that is heavy metal at it's best.
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