The metal scene in Central Florida is strong to say the least, and we have a lot of really good heavy music coming out of our state’s little waistband. One band to look out for is Path to Prevail, a melodic death metal band from Brevard County. After being founded in 2005, the band went through many different members, until only one original founder remained. Fortunately, perseverance paid off for lead guitarist Erich Geuter, who remained motivated to keep the band going. Over time the band acquired its current members, including bassist Ian Merrifield, drummer Ed “Tommy” Beheler, rhythm guitarist Alex Verschoor, and lead vocalist David Marfitt. Together, their style is very similar to that of The Black Dahlia Murder, Cradle of Filth, and other death metal bands that use dark lyricism delivered with and brutally fast-paced songs. Catchy, complex guitar riffs and powerful progressions tear through each song, guided by Tommy’s lightning-fast feet pounding out tight double bass rolls.
Path to Prevail recently played at Mayhem Fest in Tampa, alongside a bunch of huge acts including Slipknot, Slayer, Motörhead, Anthrax, and many more. Unfortunately they were the very first band of the day, and many of the people who had come to see them were still standing in the line for general admission. The Livication crew was in that line, so we didn’t get a vide
o of their performance, but we do know that it was an awesome day for these guys, and they played a great show. When I came to see how it went, the Path to Prevail tent had a steady flow of people buying copies of their brand new EP that the band debuted just in time for Mayhem. The guys were scrambling around trying to find Dave so he could sign a CD. It was clear that the metal heads at Mayhem Fest were catching on to their talent, and even people who were out standing in the line were impressed with what they were able to hear from outside of the gates. Lead vocalist David Marfitt posted a recollection of the day’s events a few days later to give a perspective of how things are from the band’s point of view.
Their new EP, Piercing the Paradigm, is the first recording effort from the band, and has been highly anticipated by their listeners ever since they released a demo of their song D’ed Gein last year. Piercing the Paradigm showcases five of the band’s strongest tracks, which are usually the staples of their live set. The opening track Common Grave lets you know right away that this album is going to be heavy, and it’s not going to let up. The rhythms of the song regularly visit difficult patterns of galloping third notes that leaves you feel like you’re raiding the gates of hell on horseback, with David’s screeching banshee cries as your guide to Lucifer’s door. Basically, fucking brutal. There’s not really any other way to describe it. Every track on the EP is just as brutal, and not surprisingly with names like Pioneer The Apocalypse and Tonight We Dine In Hell.
The fifth and final track on the EP is perhaps one of the band’s most brutal, especially considering the story that inspired the lyrics. The cleverly titled D’Ed Gein tells a story of a brutal murderer and body snatcher by the name of Ed Gein. When his house was searched by police, Gein was reported to have human skullcaps for use as soup bowls, a vest made from a female torso, skull-topped bedposts, and other gruesome objects. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and spent the rest of his life in an insane asylum, but the title of the song implies a different ending for Ed, and that’s just what happens in Path to Prevail‘s video for the song. But I won’t ruin it for you, check out the video for yourself.
Here’s the brutal music video for Path to Prevail‘s “D’Ed Gein”
Path to Prevail‘s first EP is very impressive, but don’t think that they’re going to slow down after this. These guys have a selection of songs that aren’t on the EP, including a number of new songs that they have been playing at their live shows. On July 22nd they played a show in Cocoa, FL at The 321 Local – a local bar and venue that has contributed a lot of work towards strengthening the music scene and getting exposure for bands like Path to Prevail. Their performance was tight and energetic as usual, and they played two new songs – The Devil’s Bride, and Desecration of Royalty, shown in the video below. Their new songs are clear evidence that this band will continue on their path…to prevail in the Florida metal scene with their fast and heavy death metal.
Check out Path to Prevail‘s live performance of their new song, “Desecration of Royalty” - Live at The 321 Local in Cocoa, FL – 7/22/12
Live Video – Desecration of Royalty – @ The 321 Local – Cocoa, FL – 7/22/12
And no Path to Prevail show would be complete without a performance of my personal favorite song – D’Ed Gein. Guitarist Erich Geuter starts off the song with an impressive feat of guitar technique and dexterity, tapping out the beginning of the song on the fretboard with one hand, not having to strum a single note of the riff. This song is loaded with great guitar solos too, and Erich really gets to show off a lot of his talents in a live setting. Unfortunately I was standing on the opposite side of the stage, so it’s hard to see all the intricate details of Erich’s playing, but you can definitely hear them.
Live Video – D’Ed Gein - @ The 321 Local – Cocoa, FL – 7/22/12
Livication did an interview with Erich of Path to Prevail after their show on the night of the videos above. We asked him a few questions about the band’s recent achievements and their goals for the future, and more. Check out what he had to say in the video and transcription below.
Interview with Lead Guitarist Erich Geuter
You guys just played Mayhem Fest in Tampa, how was that?
Friggin awesome. It was killer, a great opportunity for us.
Were there any unexpected preparations you guys had to make for such a big show?
Oh, yeah. It took us forever to get our EP printed out and everything, and that was pretty much our deadline. We needed it done by Mayhem Fest, obviously, to get our EP out there so people could buy it and shit. We got the EPs literally the day before. So it was, you know, pretty close.
You guys recently released a video by the name of D’Ed Gein, inspired by the story a serial killer by the name of Ed Gein. What about his story inspired the song?
I’ve always been fascinated with old serial killers and stuff like that, and I bought a DVD a while ago all about American serial killers and he was in there and his story is just pretty brutal. I mean, a lot of people call him a serial killer, but he’s technically not even really a serial killer, he was more of like a grave robber, but he was totally brutal. I don’t know, death metal’s brutal. So you gotta write about brutal shit, and that’s kinda what we did. It’s just cooler than anything else, you know?
What bands are you personally inspired by that you feel come out the most in Path To Prevail?
Definitely number one – I cant get this band out of my head, I fuckin’ love them so much – is The Black Dahlia Murder. I love those guys. I just love how everything’s just fast as shit all the time. It doesn’t give you time to think, it’s just GO all the time, I love that. And, obviously Death. (He was wearing a Death shirt during the interview.) Chuck Schuldiner [of Death] is one huge influence in my soloing and guitar playing. But I’d say, yeah, Black Dahlia Murder, Death, The Faceless was huge, and I’ve recently been getting into the new Job for a Cowboy, [that] record is fuckin’ killer.
What are some of Path To Prevail’s goals for 2012? Any plans for touring some time in the future?
Oh, God. ASAP, haha. As soon as we can. We’re just trying to get things in line, you know, get everything ready. But we’ve still gotta get a shit load more merch though, to be ready on tour. We’re working with some people about the whole touring thing, but hopefully some time soon. We’d love to go out in the winter, that way it’s colder and we don’t have to worry about fucking sweating balls and smelling like ass the whole time.
Especially when you’re in a band…do you guys have a van or something?
Exactly, yeah. Five, six dudes in a van…fuckin, not good. But it’s an experience I really want. Even if i’m gonna not take a shower for a month, or whatever, [and] smell like complete ass, I don’t even care. It’s going to be a great experience. I can’t wait.
Well thanks again for sharing some information with us and getting a little interview in, tell us about your EP that just came out.
Hell yeah, any time man. Um…EP just came out, it’s called Piercing the Paradigm, there’s 5 songs on it: Common Grave, Tonight We Dine In Hell, Pioneer The Apocalypse, D’Ed Gein, and False Hope. It’s pretty much our set. Every time we fuckin’ play, we play those songs a lot. It was just kind of us getting our foot in the door and trying to put it into a lot of people’s hands, trying to get our music out there, you know? [We'll] get it on the internet soon and get that shit spread.
Be sure to check out Path to Prevail at pathtoprevailband.com, and Like them on Facebook: