All Featured Bands

Featured Local: She’s A Legend

Kids come to this genre of music because it’s a way to deal with the things going on in their lives. The tobacco industry targets those people and makes them think that music and smoking go hand in hand. Syke is showing people that you don’t need to use to be punk or emo or whatever, that the community itself is better support than tobacco will ever be.

Combing a variety of sounds from the recent Pop-Punk and Emo revival, She‘s a Legend creates a sound and live experience that they can proudly call their own. Pulling from major influences such as Brand New, The Wonder Years, and Dashboard Confessional, She‘s a Legend focuses heavily on lyrical content giving a personal feel to their emotionally-driven music. 

Scott Fugger of 36vultures writes, “Richmond, VA’s She’s a Legend have officially conquered the sophomore slump with the release of Room 434. These new songs show off the band’s matured sound, tackling a deeper subject matter while bringing in a sense of muted positivity {…} along with personal struggles of depression and mental health.

The songs were first hammered out by vocalist Alex McDilda before being brought to the band and expanded upon. ‘For me it was good to get all that stuff off my chest in a way that was safe. There’s a lot of ways to handle those kinds of situations when you’re taking antidepressants and sort of dealing with things that are negative {…} but then find the positive and see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.'”

In the same way, She‘s a Legend is extremely excited to work with Syke as a Featured Local. Bassist Camden Cantwell stated, “Kids come to this genre of music because it’s a way to deal with the things going on in their lives. The tobacco industry targets those people and makes them think that music and smoking go hand in hand. Syke is showing people that you don’t need to use to be punk or emo or whatever, that the community itself is better support than tobacco will ever be.”

She‘s a Legend has had the opportunity to play with a ton of great bands and artists including Broadside, Cute is What We Aim For, the Griswolds, the Hotelier, Kevin Devine, SECRETS, and Turnover.

Current Lineup:

Camden Cantwell – Bass / Vocals

Sean Flynn – Lead Guitar

Alex McDilda – Lead Vocals / Rhythm Guitar

Ben Safchuk – Drums

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Featured Local: Travelers

“We don’t see how smoking is still a thing. We’re not attacking people who smoke, don’t get us wrong, but it just doesn’t make sense. The tobacco industry creates a highly addictive product that you pay for and will more than likely give you some form of cancer. There’s no integrity in an industry like that. It doesn’t belong in our world and it definitely doesn’t belong in our music scene.”

Travelers is an alt-rock band from Virginia Beach, VA. The band consists of Thomas Kearns (lead vocals/guitar), Brandon Jenkins (drums), and Brennan Toler (guitar). The band believes music affects people like no other form of media, making it a very powerful tool to make a difference.

“Music has always brought us and our friends together. It’s a constant in many people’s lives. Through thick and thin music will always be there.”

Travelers released their first EP titled, “Foundations” (on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, etc) last year, and they recently released their sophomore EP, “While I’m Here” this past summer. The band’s influencers include My Chemical Romance, Bring Me the Horizon, The Used, 30 Seconds to Mars.

“We don’t typically say what our songs are about, it means a lot more to us when someone listens to our music and creates their own meaning for the song based on what they believe it’s about. We will say that we do not write about boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, the idolization of drugs, or things of that nature. We like to believe that we’ll tour the world one day, and singing the same song every night about some girl we dated in high school or whatever would get old real quick. Writing about what’s happening in the world, or books, or even certain movements interest us much more than what the average radio song is about these days. Not to say bands shouldn’t write songs like that, it just doesn’t hold our attention for very long.”

Current Lineup:

Thomas Kearns – Vocals
Brennan Toler – Guitar
Brandon Jenkins – Drums

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Featured Local: RELATE

We are tobacco-free so we can live long enough to make music for our fans to enjoy, for many, many years. We are entertainers, but we are also role models. Being tobacco-free is not only our way of life; it’s our responsibility!</em>

Relate is a six-piece progressive post-hardcore band from Richmond, Virginia. Band members came together to create a unique sound that appeals to listeners from all walks of life. They named their band “Relate” in hopes that everyone who hears the music can find a way to relate it to their own life experiences, and know that there are others out there with similar struggles.

The band’s style has been described as a solid mix of heavy and clean music, lead by melodic vocals backed with catchy guitar riffs and dynamic drums. Their influences include Periphery, Circa Survive, Emarosa, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Copeland, and I See Stars.

“Syke’s message for getting tobacco out of Virginia’s music scene is an important one. It is a crucial step in eliminating smoking throughout society, stopping the corporate/government machine that is big tobacco, and lowering the rates of debilitating lung diseases everywhere.”

Current Lineup:

Avery Russell – Vocals

AJ Niv – Guitar

Mike Materna – Guitar

Cassidy Clary – Bass

Stephen Garner – Drums

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Featured Local: Seven Seas

We believe that the environment is the only chance we have at surviving. Tobacco products ruin the environment by polluting the air and affecting everyone, including nonsmokers and animals. The tobacco industry is one of the main reasons why the earth is slowly deteriorating. That is why we live tobacco-free.

Seven Seas is a Metalcore/Post-Hardcore band from Winchester, Virginia. The band formed in January 2016, originally as a downtempo deathcore band with 4 members (Sheldon, Brandon, Phillip, and Shaun). Seven Seas went into the studio to record their single, Nightmares, in February and Chris joined the band shortly after.

The band has developed a very diverse sound with a beefy tone to go with it. Their lyrics are moving and inspiring, touching on events that have personally affected them. Influences include everything from Megadeth and Attack Attack to The Arctic Monkeys and Issues.

Syke stands against the tobacco industry and, because of the damage tobacco does to the earth as a whole, Seven Seas does too. The band specifically touched on the subject in their song “Waste of the Earth”.

>> Seven Seas is currently in the studio recording their EP, “High Tides and Sinking Ships”. Make sure to follow the band online for updates.

Current Lineup:

Sheldon Levi Judy – Guitar

Sheldon started listening to metal when he was 3.

Brandon McInturff – Drums

Brandon is a huge nerd.

Chris Bachman – Bass

Chris has been playing piano for ten years.

Phillip Choi – Guitar/Vocals

Phillip can play some mean jazz on a baritone saxophone.

Shaun Eric Cameron – Vocals

Shawn is obsessed with Toy Story and has his own collection of Toy Story memorabilia.

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A Collegiate Affair

Smoking and tobacco use in the music scene is not something we endorse. We hate coming home covered in smoke after going to a show. We support the Syke movement because it’s essential that everyone learns the dangers in tobacco use. Smoking is the #1 preventable cause of the death in the United States. Together with Syke, we can all take a stand against the tobacco industry.

A Collegiate Affair is a four-piece punk/rock band from Richmond, Virginia.  They originally formed in 2011, but the current lineup has been together since April of 2014. The band is often compared to a mix of A Loss for Words, I Call Fives, and Saosin. Musically, ACA draws influence from blink 182, Metallica, Foo Fighters, and Fall Out Boy. Vocally, they are influenced by Anthony Green, Underoath, and Taylor Swift.

AVA is basically just a bunch of college-aged kids who like playing genuine music. All of their songs are about real world situations they have gone through, such as substance abuse issues, abandonment, and broken relationships. The band wants to provide an outlet to people who might be dealing with similar struggles they have gone through.

ACA put out their first EP ‘Out of Place’ in June 2013. Once they added James in April 2014, the band immediately began working their single, entitled ‘Calling Card’. They followed that up with their newest EP, ‘Full Disclosure’, which came out this past May. ACA just recently finished recording another EP, and you can expect that to be out in January of 2016.

“We support Syke because they’re a light in a dying scene. It’s rare for an organization to take a stand against someone as strong as the tobacco industry and we respect that. We’d like to thank Syke for giving us this incredible opportunity!”

Current Lineup:

James Tuck (Vocals)- James will occasionally sleep talk and sleep walk.

Mikey Stecher (Bass/Backing Vocals)- Mikey has watched the movie ‘Step Brothers’ over 50 times.

Tim Fogg (Guitar)- Tim enjoys long walks on the beach and scary movies.

Dylan Morgan (Drums)- Dylan was once a knight in shining armor for an elementary school play.

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Friends With Monsters

Friends With Monsters, like our friends at Syke, promote forming positive habits and thinking rationally about the decisions we make today and the effects that they can have tomorrow.

During a reunion for the band I Time Bomb in January of 2014, Cotie, Brian, and the other members at the time decided they wanted to continue writing and preforming music together. They wrote a handful of songs, and begin playing a few small shows around the Virginia Beach area. The band experienced a few member changes over the following months and were joined by Chris on drums, and Ryan on bass.

The energy at practice increased dramatically, and the band begin to mature musically. The guys self-recorded the original Friends with Monsters songs and released the “Handsome America” EP in the early summer of 2015. While recording the original material, they began writing new music together, and playing shows in the Hampton Roads and Richmond areas with bands like Alien Ant Farm and BoyMeetsWorld.

Friends with Monsters are currently self-recording their sophomore EP, entitled Sonder. These 6 songs have a more dynamic feel and tackle issues such as drunk driving, losing a loved one, and the internal conflicts that occur when admitting you need to make a change.


Current Lineup:

Cotie Brown (Guitar/Vocals) – Cotie has the signatures from the guys from new found glory on his knee and graduating from welding school.

Brian Pursel (Vocals/Guitar) – Brian has a beautiful daughter and enjoys LARPing.

Ryan Hartline (Bass) – Ryan is on call 24 hours a day as a locksmith and is a classically trained guitar player.

Chris Love (Drums) – Chris plays several instruments and records and produces all of the bands music.

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Featured Local: Greater Is He

Smoking is nothing more than a gradual form of self harm. People are worth being loved – even being loved by themselves. Our heart is to see people know their worth and treat themselves like the gems they are.

Greater Is He is a 5-piece Christian metal band hailing from Richmond, Virginia. The purpose of the band is pretty self-explanatory: to uplift the name of Jesus. Nathan explains, “The ministry aspect of GIH is the most important and we take it very seriously so that we can be as effective as we can when it comes to being a light in the dark.”

Greater Is He technically started when a few Christian metal heads were ready to take the next step from band to ministry. The band originally consisted of Noah Sheaffer (guitar), Nathan Gascon (vocals), and Parker Lawton (drums), who met at high school. “Back then, we weren’t trying to be a ministry or accomplish much. We just wanted to write metal and be Christians. We went through a long hiatus, but we wrote a ton of new music.

The band’s sound has evolved throughout the years, from thrash metal to metalcore. They draw influence from bands including August Burns Red, The Devil Wears Prada, and Oh, Sleeper as well as progressive metal and melodic hardcore bands such as Silent Planet, ERRA, Periphery, The Ghost Inside, and Gideon.

In April, Greater Is He released their first EP, Retrace. You can stream it for free on the band’s YouTube channel.

“We support Syke in their mission to free the music scene of smoking and thank them greatly for giving us the opportunity to show the world on a larger scale who we are. We are privileged to be a part of the RVA metal scene and desire to reach out to even further places. Playing music has always been a passion for all of us and it is exciting to express our hearts in songs for people to hear.”

Current Lineup:

Nathan Gascon (Vocals) – Nathan’s first broken bone was a fractured wrist caused by his older brother sitting on it as Nathan was reaching to save his Aaron Carter CD from being crushed.

Noah Sheaffer (Guitar/Vocals) – Noah won a county, state, and regional beauty pageant as a toddler.

Josiah Sargent (Guitar) – Josiah’s spirit animal is Bob Ross.

Micah Kimber (Bass/Vocals) – Micah has had cornrows 4 times.

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Featured Local: Unto Thee

We, the gentlemen of Unto Thee, really love and support Syke for their dedication to the cause. Helping bands and fighting for what they believe in against tobacco companies and their affiliates. We are along Syke in their quest to stop the tobacco industry because of how terrible it is for your body, the environment, and everything that goes on behind the scenes. Help us help them, and support Syke!

Unto Thee, a 5 piece metal outfit from Winchester VA, are looking to change lives and the music industry. The band formed in 2010 with original members Canaan and Kenny.  They picked up more members and started playing shows in 2012, leading to the eventual final lineup and hard hitting live show they have now.

Unto Thee play music that’s different. Their musical inspiration includes everything from Lamb of God, Parkway Drive, Between the Buried and Me, Whitechapel, Mastodon, and A Skylit Drive, to Blink 182, Imagine Dragons, and the Foo Fighters. Their musical horizons are so wide, which is part of the reason thri sounds is so different.

Unto Thee has released 2 singles (The Hux & Your Disease) off of their debut album, “True Colors”. Each band member has different inspiration for playing and writing. The song meanings are written from the heart, both lyrically and musically, and the band is glad they can connect with fans and bring everyone closer together through our playing.

Band members have been long time Syke supporters. Kenny explains, “We really love what Syke does for the music community and local artists, as well as making a stand against tobacco and the companies that run it. Taking two things that go hand-in-hand, music and tobacco, and showing that they need not be associated with each other takes guts. Katelyn has been a very wonderful person to work with and get to know, and she’s doing big things to help the Syke brand grow and evolve. We look forward to working with them in the future, and look forward to keep making awesome music for you to pump through your speakers and bang your head to!”

Current Lineup:

Tommy Lewis (Vocals) – Tommy moved from North Carolina to join the band.

Canaan Rhodes (Guitar) – Canaan writes  a lot of the song lyrics.

Kevin Spangler (Guitar) – Kevin named his daughter, Skye, after Mastodon’s “Crack the Skye” album

Ryan Medina (Bass) – Ryan is the greatest PS4 gamer to ever walk the planet. Seriously, don’t test him.

Kenny Shillingburg (Drums) – Kenny loves heavy death metal but has a HUGE crush on Katy Perry

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Featured Local: Not Safe Never Sorry

<i>“</i>We, as a band, are against the tobacco industry. Not only do tobacco products cause harm to yourself and the people around you, but the industry also conducts animal testing. That is one thing that we can’t stomach.  For those of us in this band that used to smoke, we regret having wasted hundreds of dollars that could have furthered our career as a band. Some of us have witnessed emphysema and heart disease in our families too. Nothing good can come from tobacco. It is a lot easier to pick up a cigarette than to put it down. We advise that no one smoke. It’s an ugly habit anyway.<i>” – Not Safe, Never Sorry</i>

Not Safe, Never Sorry is a beatdown hardcore band from Richmond, VA that formed in late 2014. The band started with three members and vocalist, Tony McGill, decided he wanted to expand with more people and experiment with a different sound. He welcomed lead guitarist, Cassidy Clary, as well as bassist, Gage Roaman, and drummer, Sean Stead.

Their single, SCUM, was written on the day the band met. Later that month, the song was recorded with Jeremy Anderson. SCUM was released in January 2015. NSNS’s first EP, The Devil Walks Amongst Us, is underway and will also be released mid 2015 via Influences include Barrier, Traitors, Villains, Sylar, and Sworn In.

Current Lineup:

Tony McGill (Vocals) – Tony started his journey to become a vocalist after discovering he cannot play an instrument.

Gage Roman (Bass) – Gage has been vegan for 3 years.

Sean Stead (Drums) – Sean has disguised his true identity (a flat back sea turtle) for 17 years.

Cassidy Clary (Guitar) – Cassidy can play five different instruments.

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Featured Local: Alternate Ending

“Smoking has absolutely no positive benefits. It shortens your life and affects those around you in ways you aren’t even conscious of. It sucks to see friends spending their money on that stuff and watching the negative effects of it on their lives.” – Alternate Ending

Alternate Ending, an alternative rock band from Richmond VA, formed in January 2014. The band is heavily influenced by various pop punk, emo, and post-hardcore bands including My Chemical Romance, A Day to Remember, Pierce the Veil, and Brand New.

Alternate Ending recently released their single, “Just A Phase”, along with their debut EP, “804.” The EP was recorded with Sam McCoig (Sunbox). Song lyrics draw on experiences that are close-to-home and easy to relate to, for those seeking meaning and substance in music. AE’s goal is to bring energy to their live shows and produce music that is fun to play and listen to.

Current Lineup:

Benjamin Pilch (Vocals/Guitar) – Benjamin’s first band was a blink-182 cover band.

Myles Harris (Guitar) – Myles was inspired to play guitar by Frank lero of My Chemical Romance.

Taimir Gore (Guitar) – Taimir likes everything from punk to shoegaze to ambient to indie, but his favorite genre is scream.

Brandon Mcleod (Bass) – Brandon is the youngest member in the band.

Ian Nichols (Drums) – Ian first met Myles when Myles beat Ian in a track meet.

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Featured Local: Chivalry’s Not Dead

“Smoking takes more than your money. It takes your loved ones. A simple decision can save more than just one life.”

Chivalry’s Not Dead is a metalcore band from Northern Virginia that was revamped after the removal of its original vocalist in July. Since then John Santo, Jake Gilbreath, James Loughran, Sean McLaughlin and Tyler Munno have made the band what it is today. They write music about life experiences and pull their main influences from I See Stars, The Devil Wears Prada, Attila and Beartooth.

Chivalry’s Not Dead’s self-titled EP was released in September. Zach Jones of My Enemies & I recorded the EP. The band was motivated to produce music that does justice to the people who have wronged members in the past.

“We support Syke mainly because smoking has taken and lead to the departure of many of our loved ones much too soon and we want to put a stop to it.”

Current Lineup:

Jakob Gilbreath – Lead Vocalist
John Santo – Lead Guitarist
Sean McLaughlin – Rhythm Guitarist
James Loughran – Bass
Tyler Munno – Drums

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Featured Local: Kept At Bay

The tobacco industry manipulates the minds of kids like us so they develop an addiction and become controlled for their whole lives. Let’s be the generation that stops their control.

Kept At Bay is a pop-punk band from Richmond, Virginia that formed in early 2014. The band consists of Patrick Williams, Travis Slack, and Bryce Marshall. The band formed after Patrick and Travis left a band they were previously in to pursue something in a different direction, they asked Bryce to join them to fully complete their lineup.

Kept At Bay strives to make relatable music with a realistic, positive message and has been influenced by bands like The Wonder Years, Green Day, A Day To Remember, Blink-182, and The Story So Far.

The band released their first single “Rivers & Currents” in April and their debut EP “Adjust” in early October. The band fully supports Syke because they believe in a smoke free environment at all shows and informing people about the dangers of tobacco.

Current Lineup:

Patrick Williams (Vocals/Bass) – Patrick gets mistaken for Brendon Urie on a regular basis.
Travis Slack (Drums) – Travis is obsessed with Star Wars and Lord of The Rings.
Bryce Marshall (Guitar) – Bryce is the only member of the band that can grow facial hair.

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Featured Local: Set For Tomorrow

Tobacco addiction is a hard vice to overcome. We recognize this as a band, and we encourage our friends and fans to abstain from partaking in tobacco products. It is not only harmful to ones health, but also affects many areas outside our daily view. As a consequence we advocate for a smokefree lifestyle, and support the battle against addition and peer pressure.

Set For Tomorrow is a Christian band comprised of five friends, who are passionate about their faith in Jesus Christ. Michael Canoy and Sam Vargas (ex-vocalist) created the band back in 2012. Later, that same year, the band added two high school friends and guitarist Sean Rose before releasing their EP Prophet, Arise. The band then rigorously played shows across the Mid-Atlantic for the next year. Their influences include Fit For A King, Gideon, For Today, The Ghost Inside & Park way Drive.

In 2013 they released their single “I Am Man.” Following the release the band underwent member changes bring in bassist Erick Imam and drummer Christian Riggs. Set For Tomorrow took a hiatus to write new music and search for a vocalist after the departure of Sam Vargas. Early in 2014 the band discovered Nick Golden (Filmmaker and Cinematographer for Fat Loot Films.) and recruited him for the band as the lead vocalist. Shortly afterward, Set For Tomorrow went on tour that summer greatly expanding their popularity and spreading their message of faith, positivity, and suicide awareness. The band supports Syke because they firmly believe that tobacco ruin lives & health.

Currently the band is working on their debut full length due out near the New Years of 2015.

Current Lineup:

Nick Golden – Vocals

Michael Canoy – Lead Guitarist/Back Up Vocals

Sean Rose – Rhythm Guitarist

Christian Riggs – Drums

Erick Iman – Bassist/Back Up Vocals

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Featured Local: In A Haze

In A Haze supports a smokefree scene because tobacco not only affects the person smoking but the people around them as well. Having a smokefree scene can benefit everyone.

In A Haze hail from Diwiddie, VA. The band started off with the three original members: Duncan Hayes (vocals), Marc Thompson (drums), and Cody Van Meter (guitar). They then drafted Michael Harris (guitar), Joey Stewart (bass), and Drake Vest (vocals).

The band is influenced by artists including Suicide Silence, Whitechapel, Attila, and August Burns Red. They are currently working on our debut EP, “Midnight to Madness”.

In A Haze got involved with Syke’s competition because they support a smokefree scene. Guitarist, Michael Harris, notes, “When you smoke around other people, you’re hurting them also not just yourself.”

Current Lineup:

Zach Stamos – Vocalist
Duncan Hayes – Vocalist
Michael Harris – Lead Guitarist
Cody VanMeter – Rhythm Guitarist
Joey Stewart – Bassist
Marc Thompson – Drummer
Drake Vest – Synth/Vocals

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Featured Local: Terrace

We come from a generation of broken idols, teaching us that consuming tobacco products is in or the hip thing to do. We want to take a stand cause we have had friends and even loved ones to fall victim to this substance. We want to show people that having fun isn’t always about smoking and self destructing your self. All it takes is the friends around you and some good ol’ music to have a blast and with being Sykes band of the month, we will make sure that message is known.

Terrace is a progressive metal band based out of Centerville, VA. The band formed in the summer of 2013 with founding members Danny (vocals) and Ya Qwaynza (guitar). Adam (drums) and Mitchie (bass) jumped on board shortly after and Brian (guitar) was the last to join. Terrace’s goal is to progress as a band and build a better music scene that will lead to a stronger music community. Ya Qwaynza stated, “We are some dudes that just like proving people wrong and giving our absolute heart and soul in whatever we do together as a band.” There is a message, instrumentally, in Terrace’s songs. Ya Qwaynza noted, “When I write riffs, I use my past and feelings towards certain things. I came to a point in my life when I was tired of being upset and used that to write stuff and it helped.” Terrace has shared the stage with bands including Tesseract, Burdened Hearts, Encasing Embrace and Lying and Low. They plan to make music a career and branch out to other places to show others what they’re about. The band is taking a quick hiatus after their next two shows to finish their EP and potentially book a tour.

Current Lineup:

Adam Frazier (Drums) – Adam’s band members found a shirtless Taylor Lautner poster his house
Danny Whitt (Vocals) – Danny likes to watch romantic comedies and can pretty much recite the ever line from The Notebook
Mitchie Hernandez (Bass) – Mitchie has three stuffed animals he likes to sleep with and a life size plush Charmander
Brian Bissen (Guitar) – If it wasn’t for Zack Brown, Brian wouldn’t be into metal
Ya Qwaynza Maddox (Guitar) – Ya Qwaynza watches a lot of Teen Mom on MTV

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Featured Local: The Monolith

We’d rather not spend our lives being attached to an iron lung. Would you?

The Monolith is a progressive deathcore band hailing out of Virginia beach, Virginia, consisting of members Adam Sitko, Curtis Graham, Justin Hart, and Kyle Benson. The band was started around 2012 with original drummer David Hay with their debut EP release ‘Antonyms’ due to personal reasons David left the band. In mid 2013 The Monolith picked up drummer Kyle Benson. The Monolith kicked off 2014 with a bang with their self-titled EP. The Monolith has been reviewed by metal blog total-deathcore giving 8/10 and saying ” “Antonyms” is hands-down the best deathcore EP of the year so far, and one of the best debut releases I have heard in quite a while” The Monolith is currently working on their debut Full length featuring songs Solus and Projections. Influences include Veil of Maya, Born of Osiris, Whitechapel, Substructure, August burns red, and Reflections.

Current Lineup:

Adam Sitko (Vocalist) – Adam has recorded all of The Monolith’s music so far
Curtis Graham (Guitarist) – Curtis has an obsession with Netflix
Justin Hart (Guitarist) – Just likes to bake
Kyle Benson (Drums) – Kyle has an unhealthy obsession with horror movies

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