By Noe Gutierrez
Each week Coachella Valley Weekly will provide you with an update on several of our favorite artists and what they are up to.
CALL UPON YOUR GODS
Only a year after forming, Melodic Death Metal deities Call Upon Your Gods will be releasing their first full-length album POST OBLIVION on Monday, April 13, 2020. To counteract the pandemic, the band has decided to offer the album as a digital download for FREE through a “limited release” to Metal heads around the world! The band plans to have the album available on major platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music as well as offer physical copies in the near future.
Band members RC Torres (guitars), Joe Lynn (vocals), Justin Cira (drums) and Woody (bass) have plowed through the last year performing live throughout Southern California. Their scheduled May 26th gig at The Rainbow Bar and Grill in Hollywood with Taipan has yet to be postponed but the band remains persistent.
The first two releases from the new album are the songs “Weight Of Your Cross” and “Stand Infinite.” Immediately out of the gate, CUYG establishes a certain Metal posture that is commendable. RC Torres guitar work is magnificent. Torres holds his own here as the lone guitarist. Engaging in the proper amount of crunch while peppering each song with fascinating fretwork and melodious solos. Lynn’s Death growl vocals continue to amaze us all these years later. He has reached a level of maturation and poise in a genre that is highly marginalized around the world. You’ll remember Lynn and Torres from arguably the valley’s first big die-hard Metal band Remnants of Man. Both Wood and Cira are bandmates in another powerhouse Coachella Valley Metal band In The Name Of The Dead. Wood’s bass playing is set in stone and goes without saying while Cira provides the framework through his dynamic drumming. Together, Wood and Cira have put an edge on CUYG that sets them apart from the others.
Coachella Valley Weekly spoke with Torres and Lynn about Post Oblivion:
CVW: As a band, how are you guys coping with the pandemic?
Torres: “We just want everyone to know that we are all in this together, and we hope everyone is doing their best to help prevent the spread by staying home.”
CVW: Why did you decide to release the album now?
Lynn: “We had planned to release this album right about now when the world was still in order, we planned to release a hard copy to promote and sell at shows the way our other bands had always done in the past. When the ‘shelter in place’ began it felt right to release the album digitally so anyone at home would have access to it and to top it off, we thought giving it away for free would help relieve the stress from our friends, family and fans during the pandemic.”
Torres: “Releasing the album for free is our way of saying we appreciate everyone who has supported us along the way, and we hope that this can be another small way to help ease the time during quarantine.”
CVW: RC, you’ve been working on this music for some time now. What can you share about your journey in this band?
Torres: “For me personally, this album was a true labor of love. Everything was done DIY. It was written during the past four years which were a very difficult and transitional time for me. A lot changed in my life from five years ago, and to cope, I turned to the one thing I know; writing music.”
CVW: Anything else you’d like to say to our readers and your fans?
Lynn: “All we ask is that you share it with anyone who’d care to hear it. We can’t wait until this thing is over so we can all get together and rock out live!”
Torres: “We hope everyone digs it, from home of course.”
Weight Of Your Cross (Official Video)
Stand Infinite (Official Video)
We haven’t heard from bandmaster James Johnson and Rival Alaska in quite some time. On April 6, 2020 they released the single Car Ride (Daydream). The band includes Johnson (Vocalist/Guitar/Programmer), Max Powell (Bassist/Programmer) and Hugo Chavez (Drummer/Technical) and John Clark (producer/synth/lead).
The single is idealistic with its intro of keyboards leading into a bass drum beat that could conceivably be imagined under the Gobi Tent at Coachella, kaleidoscope in tow. You can make no bones about the running bass line. At the 3:00 mark, a surprising new melody is gifted by virtue of the listener’s patience. With no noticeable lyrics, I’m not sure this an instrumental given the phantasmic vocalizing.
Rival Alaska is an American Indie-Rock group formed in early 2012 with original members Powell and Chavez and Johnson. The secured group is an idealistic trio of ‘been there, done that’ musicians who continue to amplify opportunities with fresh musical perspectives. Their debut full-length album Vinyl Image helped earn them support slots for singer-songwriter Andy Grammer, Alternative Rock band Fishbone and vocalist Jacquie Lee.
CV Weekly briefly spoke with Johnson:
James Johnson: “Car Ride (Daydream) is one of our first singles to be released in over a year. We have continued to collaborate with our previous member John, and involved a lot more of our synthesizer dream-state to this project. We are expecting to release more tracks this summer and fall for a total of four by the end of December. Car Ride (Daydream) holds a lot of the true sounds we are aiming to release in the up and coming seasons. We hope you enjoy the new single!”
Listen to Car Ride (Daydream) on Spotify below:
The CMFs are well known for their high energy music and live shows, but did you know Joseph Vaughan, Jasyn Smith and Matt King have a seriously deviant and warped sense of humor? There’s really no way to describe their videos so you’ll just have to visit their YouTube channel, link below. We caught up with King to give us more about their non-musical sides.
King: “Having been exploring our talents playing shows across the valley for many years now, we decided to try our hand in some sketch comedy. We would always joke around about dumb ideas for sketches, and even used to do our own little comedy radio show just to make each other laugh. It was the same concept, but strictly audio, and we did those a few years ago. Recently, we decided to buy a green screen, a mixer, and a laptop, and we started revisiting those sketches and adding video. We already know we can make music, so we wanted to try a new adventure in making comedic videos. It’s been a blast creating them and we picked a perfect time to start uploading them, with everyone being trapped at home and whatnot. Check out our YouTube channel for sketches, jam videos, and more!”
You can reach Noe Gutierrez at:
Phone: (760) 485-0948