Sunday, April 26, 2009

regarding Cetus.

[My friends in Cetus asked me to write a bio for their new Web site. I finally got around to it today. Here's the uncut version. Is it lame that I quoted my own article?]

“The whole point was to have fun and play stuff we were excited by. It’s not stripped down… but there’s an element where we don’t use many effects. It’s a guitar in an amp. It’s raw and meant to be played live.” – Matt Hollenberg.

Gradually shuffling off their jokester persona DKD – “We just kept writing songs that were cool and not funny anymore” says drummer Matt Buckley – Cetus has emerged as a bastion of Pennsylvania metal/hardcore excellence. The group’s full-length debut, These Things Take Time, scored a nod on one of’s best albums of 2008 lists with the tag that it “grinds my bones, melts my face, and openly mocks my mother.”

With one other EP, 2004’s Archaic, a slew of stunning live shows, and dozens of other band credits that include Leavenworth, Forever I Burn, Ancestor, and The Prize Fight, Cetus continues to earn its place among the Philadelphia hardcore faithful. As the band’s pending five-track EP Centrifuge looms, Cetus is set to take its music to a new level: the gosh dang Internets.

“One of my favorite EPs ever is Is In Times of Desperation by All Else Failed, says Buckley. “It’s three songs long, but I still think it’s the best thing they’ve ever done. It’s an onslaught. It gets all the emotions you need from a heavy CD; you’re sweating by the end. Short and sweet, and you’re always ready to put it on again.” The same could be said of Centrifuge.

“We think we’re doing something really cool and that not a lot of people have heard yet,” says Buckley. “We want to play as much as possible in spite of what real life hits us with. I have to play live; I’ll be old as shit and still doing this. But even more than that, we need to get this music out.” The band has little pretensions of making music for cash, which why all five members agreed that a free online download would be the best option. hosts all five of Centrifuge’s songs. Visitors can download them for free; they’re not even expected to leave a donation. Just listen.

“Giving it away is the only way we can make sure it reaches its full potential,” says Hollenberg.

Regardless of how many downloads the EP nets, Cetus will continue to write, record, and play.

“We’re already ready for the next CD. We’re about to put this out,” says Buckley. “We wanna start recording by the end of the summer. Those songs are coming together pretty easily.”

The band’s songwriting process has sped up incredibly; complex songs are ready within weeks. Evolving from a groove or a riff to a full-on rockfest with lyrics that are both meaningful and esoteric.

“‘Clock for Chaos’ [from These Things Take Time] is pretty much about my frustration with people who take a very stubborn view with atheism, putting all their faith in science. I’ve actually had some people completely misinterpret that and think it’s a fairly Christian song. [Some people] took it the extreme and thought I was a fundamentalist,” says frontman Erich Kreibel. The band writes for essentially two reasons: 1) Because the members all love different types of metal and 2) Because there aren’t a lot of bands pushing themselves lately.

“Most metal bands to me are not fun or exciting or extreme. And that’s why we need to push ourselves, because I’m not impressed with a lot of what’s going on,” says Hollenberg. “After the end of the world, there will be cockroaches and metal bands going ‘chun-chun, chun-chun.’ I feel like people who take metal too seriously are missing the point. I mean, I take playing seriously, but I also do it for fun. It’s caveman Neanderthal stupid. It’s like a bad Schwarzenegger action movie or musical Red Bull.”

RIYL: Messhugah, Jesu, Deftones, Godflesh, Botch, Converge, Deadguy and zombie giraffes. That last one is not a band.

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