DIEHUMANE Feat. Former EXODUS Guitarist RICK HUNOLT And Ex-TYPE O NEGATIVE Drummer SAL ABRUSCATO: 'Shell Shock' Single ReleasedFebruary 10, 2023
DIEHUMANE, the new "avant garde alt-metal" band featuring Rick Hunolt (EXODUS) on guitar, Garret West on lead vocals, Sal Abruscato (TYPE O NEGATIVE, LIFE OF AGONY) on drums, Joshua Vargas on rhythm guitar, bass, piano, programming and Greg Hilligiest Jr. on keyboards, samples, additional guitar, will release its debut album, "The Grotesque", on May 5 in partnership with producer Ulrich Wild's label WURMgroup and The Oracle Management, the management company of COAL CHAMBER and DEVILDRIVER frontman Dez Fafara. The LP was produced and mixed by Wild.
"The Grotesque" track listing:
01. The Executively Dysfunctional
02. King Of Nothing (The Bruiser)
03. Standing At The Edge Of Forever
04. Shell Shock
05. The Death Knell
08. The Vanishing
13. The Descent
14. The Devil Sings
17. Stardust Blues
The second single, "Shell Shock", can be streamed below.
DIEHUMANE was founded in Galveston, Texas at the end of 2020 by Vargas and Hilligiest as a way to deal with the loss and isolation of that year. From there it snowballed into something massive, with West, Hunolt and Abruscato all joining the fold.
DIEHUMANE is a band that swims about as far away from the other fish as it gets. It combines elements of doom metal, jazz, industrial, blues and prog. Imagine if CELTIC FROST got into a car crash with A PERFECT CIRCLE, NINE INCH NAILS and TYPE O NEGATIVE while listening to PINK FLOYD on the radio. DIEHUMANE is heavily rooted in mood and atmosphere, from the brooding to the cathartic, from the hopeless to hopeful. Love them or hate them, it's a musical ride that you can only get from them.
Wild said: "I'm incredibly excited and honored to be part of DIEHUMANE's debut album. I'm always interested in artists who create their own genre-defying brand of music, and DIEHUMANE did just that with 'The Grotesque'. Their music is incredibly dynamic, and goes from hauntingly beautiful to absolute destruction with everything in between. A true musical journey."
Fafara added: "When I heard the record for the first time, I immediately restarted it for the second time. This is one of the most unique musical offerings in metal at this point — completely its own sound, lush and unforgiving in artistry. There will be big things on the horizon once the public gets attached to this band! Oracle is proud to represent DIEHUMANE."
Said Hunolt: "To be honest, being in a band wasn't even on my mind at the time a dear friend called me and said, 'Hey, I know these guys looking for a guitar player.' He sent me some raw tracks, and I listened for about a month before I replied, and it was the music that I was looking for. It gave me the ability to express myself musically and, even more important, was radically different than anything I have ever played. Music needs 'different' in order to evolve. [There's] so much talent in this band, and I can't wait for you to experience DIEHUMANE."
Added Abruscato: "I am looking forward to the release of this very different and unique album I had the pleasure writing/performing the drum tracks for. It's different from what I have done in the past and it's been fantastic to be a part of it with everyone in the band, Ulrich Wild/WURMgroup and The Oracle Management. I feel folks will be blown away."
Stated West: "I grew up listening to Sal and Rick. Then Dez took us into his flock with The Oracle and Ulrich (a powerhouse responsible for many of my favorite records) made it his mission to make us sound pristine. What we have here is something special. I just hope people find it as special as we do."
Said Hilligiest: "I want to thank Ulrich and Dez both for taking interest in us and helping us get it out there. I'm just happy to finally get it out to people's ears. We've been hearing this album in many different forms for two years now, it's time to let everybody else in the world hear it as it is meant to be heard. I hope you all like it as much as we do."
Commented Vargas: "Typically the formation of a project and subsequent creation of an album marks the beginning of something, whereas this one starts with the end, and actually ends with the beginning of something. All of these songs began as a way of dealing with complete and total isolation in 2020 and the loss of what life was before that year, and ends marking the beginning of something awesome, and the album sounds like exactly that. Recording began in a dingy townhome in Galveston, Texas and ended in fucking Hollywood. The musical journey we all took on this album is something I wouldn't trade for world. Big thanks to Ulrich Wild (WURMgroup) and Dez Fafara (The Oracle Management) for going on this crazy journey with us. I'm so happy with this album that I don't even care if anyone hates it."
Hunolt — the other half of the famed EXODUS "H-Team" who is on every studio recording from 1985 through 2004 and co-wrote some of the band's best-known songs such as "A Lesson In Violence" and "Deliver Us To Evil" — left EXODUS after the band's highly acclaimed 2004 reunion album, "Tempo Of The Damned". Following his departure, Hunolt was replaced by HEATHEN guitarist Lee Altus.
Rick discussed his exit from EXODUS during a November 2021 appearance on "Put Up Your Dukes", the podcast hosted by ex-EXODUS singer Rob Dukes. He said: "During the recording of 'Tempo', Gary [Holt, EXODUS guitarist] had just gotten clean a little while prior to that, and I was still using. But I've gotta say, Gary Holt — my hat's off to the man for… He never sweated me. Not once did Gary say, 'Dude, you're a piece of shit. I'm gonna fire you from the band if you don't get your shit together.' He never said nothing. He let it take its course, you know what I mean?
"I was a mess," Rick continued. "We all were, but everybody got better, and I didn't. I fell down the rabbit hole even worse, I think, because I was just so depressed. I couldn't stop. I don't know what was up… To the point where I was gonna lose my position in the band I'd been in for over 20 years — my best friends, my life. Yeah, it was dark as fuck.
"One day, after spending my life, giving everything that I had and the whole world to EXODUS, one day I woke up and I wasn't in EXODUS anymore," Hunolt added. "And that morning was, like… Dude, I can't even describe the emotions that I [was feeling]. I woke up and I wasn't in EXODUS anymore, dude. It damn near took me out, bro."
Rick revealed that he went through a particularly difficult period after splitting with EXODUS. "I had to reinvent myself at 40-plus years old, [with] two little kids," he said. "I ended up moving out of Oakland. I had to get the fuck out of there, 'cause we were living at the studio; it was bad. And then we moved in with my wife's mom and I got a job at the [discount chain] Dollar Tree and I ended up working there for, like, two or three years. I mean, I can go on and on and on. But long story short, I met a guy who knew who I was and offered me a job on his ranch. And the rest is history. He taught me how to live my life and make money."
Hunolt makes a guest appearance on EXODUS's latest studio album, "Persona Non Grata", which was released in November 2021 via Nuclear Blast Records.
Photo credit: Anthem In Art Photography
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