Metal heart

Walk Away Alpha

Josh Mathis, Eric Iglesias, Donovan Spellacy and Trent Odneal form Walk Away Alpha, a metal band that tries to bring light to dark places.

Josh Mathis, Eric Iglesias, Donovan Spellacy and Trent Odneal form Walk Away Alpha, a metal band that tries to bring light to dark places.

Photo/Anna Hart

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“It’s stupid—there’s this connotation with metal that you have to be born in a demon lair, and be into skulls, flames and the devil to be a metal musician,” says Donovan Spellacy, guitarist for Walk Away Alpha. “But in our music, we try to bring light into dark places.”

While metal might not be the first genre you think of when searching for social criticism, existential questions or observations on the human condition, these are the subjects you’ll find in Walk Away Alpha’s lyrics.

Founded in 2004, Walk Away Alpha is a four-piece metal band whose aggressive rhythm and vigorous electric guitar-driven sound unites with lyrics that ask you to question the status quo, find your purpose, and stare into the face of your mortality and yourself.

Since guitarists Trent Odneal and Spellacy formed the band, Walk Away Alpha has seen its share of members come and go. But they’ve had their current lineup for two years, adding Josh Mathis on drums in 2010, and Eric Iglesias on vocals in 2012.

The change of members over time has also contributed to a change of style in the music.

In its early years, Walk Away Alpha was a five-piece progressive rock band. But after the departure of three of the members in early 2008, Odneal and Spellacy were left to their own devices and began reinventing the group with a harder, heavier sound.

“We just got tired of playing the same old riffs and chords,” says Odneal.

Transitioning to metal afforded Walk Away Alpha the opportunity to venture into territory that allowed them to explore more harmonic, rhythmic and technical complexity in their songs, while keeping mindful of the line between enhancing and detracting from story told between the melody and lyrics.

While fans have sometimes compartmentalized the group under the label of “Melodic Deathcore” or otherwise, the music of Walk Away Alpha isn’t molded to fit the form of one sub-genre or another. Instead, it encompasses elements of the whole gamut of metal, and takes inspiration from a wide span of its musical history, from older bands, like Pantera and Deftones, to more current ones, like All Shall Perish and Between the Buried and Me.

Sometimes, there’s an age disparity between the band and the teens who come out to see their shows. Some audience members aren’t even old enough to have seen Pantera. Nevertheless, Walk Away Alpha continues to use their music to bridge the gap.

Over its 10 year span so far, Walk Away Alpha has performed countless shows in the Reno area and all over the West Coast, as well as three national tours. They have also come out with an LP and shared the stage with well-known bands like Norma Jean, All Shall Perish, and Born of Osiris.

This past May saw the release of a new, full-length album, titled Destroyers of the Earth.

Jamie King, a producer who has worked with metal bands like Glass Casket and Scale the Summit, mastered the tracks for Walk Away Alpha, and thanks to his connections, Destroyers of the Earth features talent from one of the band’s biggest influences. The track, “Divinations” contains a guitar solo written specifically for the album by guitarist Dustie Waring, from Between the Buried and Me.

While Walk Away Alpha is currently playing local shows in Reno, as well as continuously searching for a label to sign with, their main focus now is writing music for their next album.