When you’re in a band, starting at the bottom and perhaps still learning your trade, few things are more rewarding than gaining the respect of your peers. If one of those peers happens to run a record label and wants to sign you, then all the better.
That’s pretty much, in a nutshell, what happened to Denver metal-heads Arise in Chaos, who recently signed with Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s EMP label. For a thrash-based metal band, to be under the wing of a member of one of the genre’s “Big Four” (completed by Metallica, Anthrax and Slayer) has to be a great feeling. And they have their manager to thank.
“We hooked up with a gentleman by the name of Thom Hazaert,” says guitarist Adam Landreth. “Within a month of taking him on as our management, we were in touch with David Ellefson. The rest is history. We had two guys fly down to Arizona and track the vocals for our new record with David. He was just so excited about our music, specifically our first single, ‘The Divine.’ Immediately after they came back, David turned around and signed us. We just went back, completed the album, and it's coming out on May 13.”
Landreth isn’t the most emotive of speakers. That’s not a criticism; it’s just his way. His delivery is deadpan during the interview, but when he’s talking about the fact that his band now has a direct connection with Megadeth, his excitement works its way out.
“It is a big deal,” he says. “We had not previously worked with Ellefson before any of this happened. Obviously we knew who he was, but we hadn't had any contact with him until last year. Essentially, our hard work let us be a little bit lucky.”
They deserve it, too. The men of Arise in Chaos have been working themselves to the bone since they formed in 2010, though there have been a number of personnel changes in that time. Two originals remain: vocalist Dustin Lei and drummer Jeramy Matheson.
“It started as a fairly normal thrash band,” Landreth says. “I joined the band about three years ago. They had actually lost both guitar players at the same time, and I had known the guys for a long time. The sound is still technically metal or death metal, but it has a lot of thrash in it. There are a lot of fast riffs. I think now we encompass a little bit more melody, to try to give it more flavor so it's not just a five-minute song of thrash guitars.”
The band’s first album, Civilization Decay, came out three years ago, and the sophomore effort, Terminal Cognition, comes out on May 13. That night, there will be a CD-release show at Summit Music Hall. For Landreth, it’s all a part of Arise in Chaos’s natural evolution.
“The band has grown a lot,” he says. “We played with a lot of nationals — Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, All That Remains, Death Angel, bands like that. We've built a pretty good local following. The real drive of the band just seems like this group of people is motivated to make this album work and go on to bigger and better things.”
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And that seems to be exactly what they’re doing. They’re already names in the blossoming Denver metal scene, they’re one of the first bands signed to EMP, and they’re determined to keep working their collective asses off.
“We're planning on some more touring in the fall, possibly into the winter,” Landreth says. “After that, we'll probably start writing the next album. We'll definitely try to keep ourselves on the road as much as possible for the next year, just to do the real support of this record.”
Arise in Chaos, with Dead for Denver, As the Sky Darkens, Artemesis and the Panoramic at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 13, at Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake Street, 303-487-0111, $10-$12.