Metal - Boston, MA
In 2012 MELIAH RAGE founding guitarist/songwriter Anthony Nichols teamed up with THE BAGS vocalist/bassist Jon Hardy, to form MEXICAN APE-LORD, purveyors of raw and epic mountain metal. Nichols recruited producer Peter Rutcho (Metal Blade, Century Media, etc.) who recommended a monster drummer named Steve Fry (CROTALUS, GRAVEHEART). Lead guitarist Dan Dykes (TRIPHAMMER), who had just produced MELIAH RAGE’s Dead To The World record, completed the lineup.
The band’s debut album, The Late Heavy Bombardment, was released in 2014 on Unable Records and made a slew of top ten lists. Brave Words called it “a balls-out metal album” and True Metal Lives declared, “It proudly stands up and gives genre labeling the big middle finger.”
Friends since high school, Nichols and Hardy found success in different branches of the Boston rock scene in the late eighties. After signing to Epic Records in 1988, MELIAH RAGE went on to release nine albums and built a loyal following over the course of multiple international tours. THE BAGS won the Boston Rock ’n’ Roll Rumble in 1989, released six albums, and had their song “Cavemen Rejoice” featured on the PlayStation 2 game Guitar Hero. Playboy described THE BAGS sound as “Thrilling guitar-bash riffs that pound like the sound of a herd of giant woolly mammoths going over a cliff, with just enough melody rasping though shredded vocal cords.”
“I always had Jon’s voice in the back of my head,” says Nichols. “I like his style and creative sensibilities, and had long thought he would be a great vocalist/lyricist for the way I write music.”
Just days after completing work on The Late Heavy Bombardment, Nichols suffered a brutal wrist injury and was told he would never play guitar again. It took three surgeries and two years of intensive recovery, but he returned to writing music and gradually worked his way back into top form. That material became the basis for MEXICAN APE-LORD’s new album, Survival Cannibalism, to be released in October on Unable Records.
The songs on Survival Cannibalism were inspired by a true story of shipwreck and cannibalism that took place on Boon Island, Maine in 1710. “I wanted to get inside the heads of these tormented guys, whose suffering drove them to do the unthinkable,” says Hardy. “It’s an grim subject, obviously, but a great one for Tony, Dan, and Steve, because they are masterful at covering the full range, musically — from utter darkness to the thrill of cheating Death.”
As for making a record during the pandemic, guitarist and background vocalist Dan Dykes points out that there were pros as well as cons. “I used the downtime to record my parts at home, which seemed convenient at first, but sometimes meant pushing through the apocalyptic negativity of the situation to get in the right head space. I think a lot of that fear, anxiety, and dread found its way into the music. I hear an urgency - a doom-like, foreboding quality that I don’t think would be there if not for the crisis. It turned out to be a good time to make a metal record!”
Burn Pit (2021)
Survival Cannibalism (2020)
The Late Heavy Bombardment (2014)
Survival Cannibalism (2020)