Defenestrator: Face melting sound

by Brent Cole

Photo by Zachary Floyd

Over the years, the Bellingham metal scene has had its peaks and valleys, but things appear to be heading up with bands like Defenstrator leading the charge. Though it took them over half a decade, the band has hit their stride with the release of their self titled debut album and are ready to bring metal to the Bellingham masses.

The band formed in the winter of 2009 by guitarist Brandon Boyd and vocalist Christ Eddins, who named the band Defenstrator. “The band name was Chris’ idea; I didn’t even know what that word meant before we started,” stated Brandon with a laugh.

They soon added Michael Morgan on drums and Rafie Rodriguez on bass, playing and discovering the sound and direction the band should take.

But, within two years, the band’s revolving door of musicians started up with Chris leaving for “personal reasons.” The trio added Tyler Lee on vocals, though both he and Rafie would leave the following year. “The band took a major turn for the shred in 2013,” Boyd said, “when Trevor joined the band along with Chris coming back to his original spot on vox.”

Over the next two years, the band once again worked on their sound, playing shows and wood shedding when needed, all the while metal fans in Bellingham where taking notice of the band’s sound. Last year saw the band go through another, and hopefully final, major band shake up with original drummer Moore leaving and the band adding Eryk Fraser on drums/samples (Eryk and Trevor had played together years back in Bastard Son). This still leaves the band without a bass player, which Boyd covered on their latest release.

That lands us to the present day in Bellingham, where Defenstrator has become one of the kings of Bellingham metal scene, helping keep the sound alive locally. After six and a half years of existence, Defenstrator have released their self-titled debut full length. Released in late April, the 13-song LP finds the band at the creative high point, a textbook for blistering metal – melting vocals, shredding guitars and lightning quick drums with the patented double kick drums.

The band began working on the album, which was tracked, mixed, mastered and co-produced by Josh Wildhorn, in October of 2015 as the band painstakingly labored through and “intense” recording process, according to Boyd. “We spent 20 hours tracking drums, 35 hours tracking guitars, 8 hours tracking bass and 20 hours for main and back up vox.” The final mixes weren’t completed till a week before their release show on April 22. The album includes a dark and gruesome cover, fitting of the band’s sound, which was done by Nate Martin (602 kid).

While it’s been a long process getting to this point, Boyd is happy with the band’s current sound, which has changed and progressed over the years. “The music has transformed almost with every new song that we have written,” said Boyd, adding, “Each individual in the band shares the ideal of constantly pushing ourselves and each other to do something we haven’t done before. Especially now, with the current lineup, everybody is a songwriter with a great range of influences.”

With an album in hand, the band hopes to begin touring, according to Boyd, though nothing is imminent.  “We want to get on the road and do some mini-tours and be opening up for national metal acts that blow through our area.”

LIVE SHOW: See Defenstrator at The Shakedown on June 12. Follow them at facebook.com/DefenestratorWA.

Published in the June 2016 issue of What’s Up! Magazine