The wreckoning crew
I am sitting in a cheap folding chair freezing my ass off inside a rented storage shed staring at the walls while Dead Wreckoning jam during a rehearsal. Crushed cymbal and metallic shocks and surges of guitar reverberate throughout my head. On the walls, a graphic mélange of evil horror-film heroes and porno starlets reach into my psyche and tug on something. There’s some kind of deep philosophical simpatico among the images that obviously leads down a long, wicked path. No time for that. To my right, the metal heads are rocking hard, churning out an explicit, moshpit soundtrack.
Formed in 2007, Dead Wreckoning, a metal/screamo act, is composed of 23-year-old Kyle Arnett on drums, 26-year-old Zach Alkine on rhythm guitar and 26-year-old lead guitarist Jeremy Spencer. Up front, mutton-chopped 25-year-old Colt Steele Adams sings lead and 29-year-old bass player Ron Gregory, known as “The Lurpy One.” He also apparently answers to “Sea Bass.”
The sound is typically swampy, heavy and pissed-off. They change pace all the time, jumping around the time signature, keeping things from getting staid. Unlike many small metal acts of this sort, Dead Wreckoning’s sound feels polished. During the entire 40-minute set I listened to, they didn’t have a single noticeable screw up. They practice at least four days a week.
It was not always so.
“We went out to Pyramid Lake for a three-day weekend when we first got started playing,” says Adams. “We played about 10 minutes before people started screaming at us to get off the stage.
“We drink less now,” he says.
The group is, at heart, a screaming metal outfit, and they’ve got some pretty good chops.
“Swamp Thing” sounds like something that might have actually been composed in a swamp. It lays out the thick heavy distortion, the driving bass and Metallica-style gallop picking on guitar.
As they play, the band assumes an ‘80s butt-rock metal stance, with Adams crouching over the mic and the guitar players banging their heads in unison.
“Hellbound” is another track with gallop picking and a heavy thrash factor. The band changes pace even more with this one, though, and halfway into the jam, Adams actually alternates between talking and singing.
Dead Wreckoning warned me about the aptly titled “I Wanna Die.” It actually turned out to be one of their best. For it, Adams channels Tool’s Maynard James Keenan in the first part, while a sinister bass pipes into the mix from an amp rooted in some vast underworld hell. “Rhinopion” has a cool drum solo, and Adams gets a good vocal workout out of it, but in addition to being the name of one of their songs, the “Rhinopion” also happens to be Dead Wreckoning’s very own mythical creature, a combination of a scorpion and a rhinoceros. A hell-born mascot of sorts, though apparently, so much more. In one place, the lyrics on the song say, “Rhinopion, I am your loyal servant.”
The band swears that they don’t play Dungeons and Dragons.