A LIFE ONCE LOST roars into Pittsburgh at the Garfield Art Works next Friday, December 14 with Revocation and Ken Mode. Bob Meadows, lead vocals, took some time to speak to Pittsburgh Music Magazine about the frustrations of the music business, playing Pittsburgh, taking and giving vocal lessons, their new release “Ecstatic Trance”, and the inspiration for the lyrics behind “Madness is God”, check it out by listening here…
A LIFE ONCE LOST has existed on the forward edge of modern metal, where progression and innovation collide with tradition, since its inception. From day one, the path the ALOL have blazed has not only been defiant but also their own.
A LIFE ONCE LOST was formed in ’99 in the Philadelphia suburbs by Doug Sabolick (guitars) and Bob Meadows (vocals). The nascent band immediately forged a noisy, high-impact wall of sound combining dissonant, modern aggression with the hallmarks of traditional metal. Almost as soon as ALOL had songs, the band started cutting their teeth in the Philly-area DIY circuit playing alongside their peers in Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Lamb of God, God Forbid, and more.
Early releases followed on Deathwish, Inc. and Robotic Empire, and ramped up to 03’s punishing ‘A Great Artist’, their first proper full-length. ‘A Great Artist’ saw them take hold of their dark, rhythmic sound and took A LIFE ONCE LOST from a Northeast favorite to a true national band. It was the catalyst that enabled them to get signed to Ferret Records and to then embark on their first national tour(s) alongside Between the Buried & Me among others.
Then ALOL released its’ sophomore album, the more refined ‘Hunter’, in ‘05 and moved to the forefront of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal. The band conquered America for the next 2 years touring as part of Ozzfest 2006, as well as direct support tours alongside Lamb of God, Clutch, Opeth, Strapping Young Lad, As I Lay Dying, Every Time I Die, High on Fire and more.
Their 3rd album ‘Iron Gag’, released in ’07, saw significant critical acclaim. That album had ALOL introducing traditional rock grooves and a more confident swagger into their already-explosive sound. The ensuing ‘Iron Gag’ tour saw the band crisscross North America and Europe, from Alaska to Mexico and London to Moscow respectively, once again alongside High on Fire; The Dillinger Escape Plan + new tour mates, Suicide Silence, and Job for a Cowboy.
At the end of the ‘Iron Gag’ World Tour in ‘09, they begin practicing again only to find fractures in the band. After a year plus of writing, Sabolick and Meadows were faced with their most difficult decisions yet. In order to realize their vision for the next evolution of A LIFE ONCE LOST, they needed to scrap almost all of the new material; cut ties with the other members, and start again on their own.
ALOL’s process was arduous, and required Bob Meadows and Doug Sabolick to rebuild everything from the ground back up. The writing process was intense while the two tried to meld a diverse range of influences – Killing Joke to Can, King Crimson to Kraftwerk, Fela Kuti and more – while respecting and remaining true to the sonic art that they had always traveled.
Three years in the making, A LIFE ONCE LOST’s new album ‘Ecstatic Trance’ (Season of Mist), is the product of that unwavering determination and raises their patented rhythmic attack to hypnotic new levels of precision and expression. Huge, jagged riffs and churning, syncopated rhythms are the blueprint for the emotive guitar-playing and explosive vocals of Sabolick and Meadows respectively. Dark washes of melody and ominous Hammond Organ tones color epic tracks such as “Madness Is God, “Something Awful”, and “The Blues”, giving their material a bold, raw sense of expression unlike any they’ve shown before. ‘Ecstatic Trance’ is one of 2012’s best metal albums, and proves that the path of A LIFE ONCE LOST is always moving forward.