THAT LORD DYING has so quickly bulldozed their way to the top of Portland's metal heap isn't surprising. A tour with Red Fang and shows with Danava and Down surely didn't hurt. But the Portland four-piece was whipping heads around before that. Still nameless, and with only three songs, Lord Dying were essentially forced by the members of Red Fang to open for them back in 2010. That was it.
Right now the members of Lord Dying are sipping beers and talking metal—two of my favorite things. They're a motley crew. Guitarist/vocalist Erik Olson—who boasts some of the ruling-est metal pipes I've heard in years—is a hairy teddy bear of a man. Guitarist Chris Evans comes off as the stoic student of riffery. Drummer John Reid is the most talkative, and an unabashed Blazers fan. And bassist Don Capuano is the wily vet—a founding member of Black Elk, and the guy who jokes he was playing metal when the rest of the band was in diapers.
Their different musical backgrounds are what make Lord Dying work. "We kind of bang heads on a lot of stuff, but it comes together in our songwriting," says Reid.
The members are well aware of Portland's slow build into a "Metal Mecca." "None of this could have happened if we were anywhere else," says Capuano.
The band is releasing their debut full-length Summon the Faithless on venerable metal label Relapse Records. And in case you're wondering, this thing will peel paint from walls and strip skin from bones. The laser-precision of "Descend into External" can slice up eardrums, while "Perverse Osmosis" grinds slowly as the power of Olson's Godzilla-breath vocals threaten to destroy city blocks.
The members are as stoked as listeners are. Lord Dying is taking the upcoming year of touring and festivals seriously, getting themselves into shape. "That's just life—you gotta take care of yourself," Olson says.
Capuano cuts in. "And see how much Taco Bell we can eat. Nah, we're scumbags, but we're not that big of scumbags."