These US power/thrash veterans probably don't need much introduction... But what can be said about their new album? Well, for sure you can't expect another "Kill To Survive" after 23 years. "Dead To The World" contains more mellow and classic US power metal, but that's how MELIAH RAGE have been playing in the recent years, even though they can still thrash with machine-gun guitar attacks. Mike Munro is gone (however sang on one of the songs) and Paul Souza stepped in again to deliver some of the darkest lyrics in band's history with a voice that showcases a wider range. It's hook-filled album with great melodic lines and with crunchy riffs, played by seasoned musicians delivering their goods with confidence. Still most comparable to METALLICA, but fans of METAL CHURCH, WARGASM and XENTRIX should dig it too!
Boston based MELIAH RAGE was founded in 1987 under the leadership of guitarist/songwriter Anthony Nichols. The band, consisting of Mike Munro on vocals, Anthony Nichols on guitar, Jim Koury on guitar, Stuart Dowie on drums and Jesse Johnson on bass, forged a distinct sound of aggressive, heavy rhythm with searing melodies and catchy arrangements. A three-song demo was recorded in 1987.
Although determined in his mission of metal, Nichols had spent a brief tour with the seminal Boston hardcore band, GANG GREEN. The association with the band would eventually pay off however, as it led to MELIAH RAGE's official launch. The manager of GANG GREEN took them in and had two major labels look at them within a month. MELIAH RAGE signed to Epic Records after only 8 shows. A band playing this style of music signing to a major label for their debut was unheard of in 1988.
The group recorded their first album, entitled "Kill To Survive", released in 1988. The debut melded the band's various influences, and was quite different from anything released at the time. Rather than relying on 2-dimensional, lightning riffing, the band used a more melodic, mid-tempo rhythm, injecting haunting lyrical material that revolved around the frailties of humanity, hypocrisy, corruption, abuse. The video for "Beginning Of The End" aired on MTV worldwide.
In 1989 the band embarked on a three month US tour with heavyweights METAL CHURCH. The Detroit show was recorded and the live EP "Live Kill" was released later that year. The band also hit the stage with the likes of SLAYER, TESTAMENT, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, MANOWAR, OVERKILL, MEGADETH, MORBID ANGEL and others that and the following year.
In 1990 the band returned to the studio and recorded their second album "Solitary Solitude" which to this day is considered an underrated classic. A video for the song "The Witching" was shot and aired on MTV's Headbangers Ball. A five week European tour soon followed and MELIAH RAGE seemed to be on their way to the top of the heavy metal world.
Unfortunately, the musical tide was changing. The early '90s hit and MELIAH RAGE, like so many other bands of the time, was dropped in favor of the Seattle sound. After some time off the band re-grouped with the addition of then drummer Sully Erna (future GODSMACK vocalist) and bassist Keith Vogele. The new lineup recorded demos, played some shows over a couple of years and searched for a record deal, but it was becoming apparent that there wasn't much room for this style of music in the early '90s. Meanwhile, Nichols also worked on a side project, CACTUS LAND, with Koury and vocalist Paul Souza. Despite not landing a contract, Nichols' collaboration with Souza would prove to be beneficial for the future.
In 1995 MELIAH RAGE reunited with Nichols, Koury and Munro, while drummer Dave Barcos and former WARGASM bassist Bob Mayo were recruited to record "Death Valley Dream". Released on indie Backstreet Records in 1996, the album was well received and laid the groundwork for a full re-emergence for MELIAH RAGE.
In 2002, after a long layoff, Screaming Ferret Wreckords signed the band and released the 1992 demos that had Sully Erna on drums. The record was called "Unfinished Business" and that led Screaming Ferret to ask the band to record some new material.
After the release of "Unfinished Business" Nichols set out to lead MELIAH RAGE into the new millennium. Jesse Johnson, an original member, was brought back on bass, while Barry Spillberg of WARGASM fame took over drumming duties. Munro declined an offer to rejoin the band, opting to spend more time with his family, so the vocal spot was still to be filled. As luck would have it, Nichols knew the man for the job: Paul Souza, his partner from CACTUS LAND.
In 2003 the new line-up recorded "Barely Human", an album that combined the elements of classic MELIAH RAGE with a lean, modern sound. Released in 2004 by Screaming Ferret Wreckords, "Barely Human" was a huge critical success, landing on many top ten lists, and yielded a music video for the title track which was also featured on the TV show "The Shield". The band played some small US festivals and began to build up a new following.
In 2005 Stuart Dowie was brought back into the drumming fold to record "The Deep And Dreamless Sleep", the band's 5th studio album, released in 2006 by Screaming Ferret. The album was a bit of a departure from previous material as it was a little more melodic on the vocal side. Later that year a video for the song "Undefeated" was released.
In 2007 the band added new bassist Darren Lourie to replace Jesse Johnson, who had retired from touring. MELIAH RAGE hit the road with old friends METAL CHURCH for a three week tour of the states. Dates included one-offs with OVERKILL and BELLADONA, and the tour concluded with a sold-out show at B.B. Kings in New York City with all three of the aforementioned bands. The band also made two appearances at Locobazooka Festival in Massachusetts: still in 2006 opening for ALICE IN CHAINS and in 2007 for HEAVEN AND HELL, QUEENSRYCHE, ALICE COOPER and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY.
Summer 2008 came and the demand for the original vocalist Mike Munro was becoming evident. After some talks, the band reunited with Munro and began to work on a record with producer Rich Spillberg. In 2009 "Masquerade" was released through Screaming Ferret/Metro City Records again. The record has the classic combination of heaviness and hooks that MELIAH RAGE is famous for and also features a guest vocal appearance by METAL CHURCH's Ronny Munroe on the song "Last Rites".
In 2010 MELIAH RAGE hit the stage with ANVIL at the House Of Blues in Boston and then a sold out headlining show just outside of Boston. However Munro became very dedicated to his church and started volunteering in Haiti. He subsequently felt these and other missions of goodwill would not allow him the flexibility of schedule to tour with the band.
In the light of these facts, in late 2010 MELIAH RAGE reunited with Paul Souza for the recording of their next full-length CD "Dead To The World", but also the band's first ever cover song, "Halo Of Flies" (originally on ALICE COOPER's 1971 classic "Killer" LP). This tune will be added as a bonus cut on the remixed version of the band's 2004 album to be released by Screaming Ferret/Metro City Records under the title "Barely Human Remix" in 2011.
Still in December 2010 MELIAH RAGE was approached by Metal On Metal Records and the agreement for releasing the band's next album was soon reached. The band continued tracking "Dead To The World" from January to May 2011. Their 7th studio album was released on July 28th and brings some classic US power metal mixed with a dose of thrash, with great melodies and crunchy riffs.
USA (Boston, MA), 1987
Paul Souza (vocals)
Anthony Nichols (guitars)
Jim Koury (guitars)
Darren Lourie (bass)
Stuart Dowie (drums)
• "'87 Demo" (1987)
• "Enter The Darkness" (1988)
• "Kill To Survive" (1988)
• "Live Kill" (1989)
EP - live, Epic
• "No Mind" (1990)
• "Solitary Solitude" (1990)
• "'91 Demo" (1991)
• "Death Valley Dream" (1996)
Full-length, Backstreet, Locomotive (2007 re-release)
• "Unfinished Business" (2002)
Compilation, Screaming Ferret
• "Barely Human" (2004)
Full-length, Screaming Ferret
• "The Deep and Dreamless Sleep" (2006)
Full-length, Screaming Ferret
• "Masquerade" (2009)
Full-length, Screaming Ferret/Metro City
• "Dead To The World" (2011)
Full-length, Metal On Metal Records