Carrying a blowtorch
Local death-metal band World Of Lies really wants to ignite a scene here in the valley
Death metal is an extremely aberrant form of music, characterized by abrasive vocals, occasional blast beats, nauseating guitar riffs and double-bass-drum workouts that world-class runners might envy. For a long time, it has existed in the underground, whether via tape-trading communities, Web collectives or suburban word-of-mouth circles. But the subgenre has never received the proper respect and admiration that related forms heavy metal, power metal and speed metal have.
Though such bands as Morbid Angel, Deicide, Entombed and Napalm Death did much to elevate and increase visibility for death metal, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that bands took the subgenre to a whole new level, perfecting their craft while incorporating elements of groove with hyper-speed precision.
If you’ve been to any death-metal show at PoundSF in San Francisco’s Bayview district, or in the greater Bay Area or Sacramento Valley, chances are, you’ve been handed a flier or demo by World Of Lies’ frontman, Tony Avila.
Avila’s band, Sacramento-based World Of Lies, has gone through several incarnations, borrowing members from such local bands as Sons of Chaos, Shrine Of Scars, KnifeThruHead and Cowboy Killer. Its current lineup is Avila and Paul Suchoski, both on guitars and vocals, and Dan Van Kuren on drums. Avila is the band’s one consistent member; Suchoski was World Of Lies’ bassist in 2001, but he was then on loan from Sons of Chaos.
The band formed in 2001, and Avila thinks it has played around 50 shows. “We started sending CDs off and promoting the band at the end of 2002,” he said. “At the end of 2003, we recorded a new album worth of material plus some oldies but goodies.” That new CD, still not titled, is all done, save for a few minor studio tweaks. World Of Lies has been promoting its current CD, Material God, in the meantime, and Avila hopes to get the financing together in time for a summer release. “We just hooked up with a really good artist, as well,” Avila said, “and he is gonna do a cover for us.”
In addition to opening for numerous local and semi-national acts, World Of Lies was fortunate enough to land a gig at San Francisco’s prestigious club PoundSF, which plays host to such national acts as Kreator, Nile, Immolation, Amon Amarth, Incantation and Goatwhore. “The show was great,” Avila mused. “We got to play on the stage where we go to see all the other bands we like.” He added, “That was the last show with our bass player, Kevin [Ryan], and we are currently looking for a replacement. But we will continue to move forward with or without one.”
Death-metal bands, especially local ones, don’t make a whole lot of money. Avila, however, seems undaunted by the less-than-appreciative clubs that host the genre. “We play to please ourselves and those who like our music,” he explained. “Music was made to come from the heart, to say what you feel and play how you feel. This music comes off aggressive because we are. Money is not the goal. We give our hearts and soul to our music and don’t need money to make us happy.”
Apart from The Distillery and Capitol Garage, which host infrequent metal and hardcore shows, there are very few local clubs that understand the music, let alone give the bands any stage time. “As far as the music scene goes,” Avila said, “I would really like to see Sacramento become one of the places touring bands come to [rather than pass through]. Over the years, we have lost just about every place to play—and this has hurt the scene.”
It hasn’t stopped Avila, though. “I will still drive to San Francisco to see a show,” he said, adding, “but we really need to do something about getting something going on here.”
You can find World Of Lies’ on the Web at www.worldoflies.com.