Hear, see, taste Des Moines metal band Green Death
The Des Moines speed metal band Green Death has had a busy month. In late April the group released its second album, "Manufacturing Evil." In early May the band performed at Lazerfest and on Friday Green Death finally plays its own CD release show at Wooly's.
"We wanted to have enough time between when the album actually came out so fans could learn the songs and be accustomed to them before the CD release show," singer Sol Bales said. "We also didn't know exactly when it would come out, so we wanted to space things out so we had enough time to get everything set on digital. Trying to line it up for the week of a show is almost impossible."
The band's 2013 debut, "The Deathening," was culled from previously released EPs. Because of that, the album felt fragmented at times. For "Manufacturing Evil" the band did all the songs in one go, creating a more cohesive album.
Bales and guitarist Erich Tran started playing together in the late '90s in a band called W.A.D., then in 2001 started playing together in the thrash metal band Only with guitarist Mark "Sparky" Reinking. By 2012 the band's sound had evolved to incorporate more death metal and horror elements. After splitting with their original bassist, the trio refocused as Green Death, eventually adding bassist Parker Willis and drummer Ryan Berrier into the mix.
"With the first album, I think people were still trying to figure out what we were all about," Bales said. "This time around we tried to make an even better album, more put together."
"The Deathening" did debut at #68 on iTunes' Metal Album Charts in 2013, so there was interest in the band's new sound. "Manufacturing Evil" hit #17 on the iTunes metal charts, #34 on the Amazon rock/metal chart and was the #1 best-seller in Amazon's death metal and thrash and speed metal categories.
Green Death is also very multi-media focused, with "The Deathening" spawning a half dozen music videos. The first video from "Manufacturing Evil," "Through the Eye," came out about a month ago and the band plans to keep the videos coming.
"The number of videos we made was pretty ludicrous, especially for an unsigned band in this world," Tran said. "We look at it as we want to be the thrash metal Def Leppard. In their heyday that band would have six of seven hits off one album. We should do that, but obviously we won't have the same impact they had."
In 2014, "The Deathening" got a vinyl release thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. The album's cover, an illustration by German artist Eliran Kantor of H.P. Lovecraft's monster Cthulhu looming over Des Moines, was made for the big artwork that comes with vinyl. Kantor also illustrated "Manufacturing Evil," and another Kickstarter campaign funded a vinyl release for the album. Due to longer wait times for vinyl releases, the band is expecting to be able to have the albums in July.
Looking ahead, Green Death will open for Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach July 22 at the Val Air Ballroom and in September they're part of the lineup for the Full Terror Assault Open Air Festival in Illinois with Fear Factory, Obituary and fellow Des Moines band Superchief.
In addition to hearing the songs, watching the videos and holding the vinyl, fans can get a taste of Green Death as well. In 2014 Zombie Burger debuted the Green Death Basket, a burger with pulled pork, salsa verde, pepper jack cheese, pico de gallo, cilantro, mayo and a Green Death "fancy sauce." The burger is back and will be served through Thursday along with a "Manufactured Evil" shake made with devil's food cake batter, mint syrup and Oreo pieces, also available spiked with chocolate vodka.
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Wooly's, 504 E. Locust St.
Cost: $7 in advance, $10 at the door