Monday, November 21, 2011

Descension Rate's "Creatures of Discordia" Released

I've been quite busy this year.  In addition to my solo album Belmont getting released, I have also been busy with my blackened death metal band Descension Rate.  We have written a two-part album based on Stephen King's Dark Tower series.  The first part Creatures of Discordia is now available!  Seven tracks at about 35 minutes.  Check it out from our bandcamp site:


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Belmont is Released!

My new album "Belmont" is finally released! You can download the 9-track, 70-minute long album from for just $7. You can choose your favorite high-quality format (MP3 320kbps, FLAC, or even AAC for you iTunes people). Enjoy the album, and I really do appreciate the support! This has been my dream project for a long time.
I plan to have 100 copies of the physical CD printed by the end of the month, so if you would be interested in grabbing one of those while they last, shoot me an email.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Belmont" Artwork Revealed!

Courtesy of the ridiculously talented Brian Pickens, I present to you the cover art for my album "Belmont."

Excited yet?  I know I am.  Recording is finished, and the artwork is finished.  I'm just waiting to get the final mixes back.  

"Belmont" is almost here.  I know I didn't adhere to my original release date of October 31, but there were just too many obstacles that got in the way.  Hang tight for a couple of more days.  In the meantime, I've been working on a music video for "The Mysterious Works of Dr. Frankenstein," which will surely get your ghost. 

Happy belated Halloween!  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Short Recording Update

I'm not gonna lie.  Recording Belmont hasn't been a breeze.  Computer issues, software issues, guitar name it.  I blew my voice out while recording "Creatures of the Bloodline" and had to sit out for a while to let it heal.  The good news is, I'm halfway finished with vocals, and I have the hardest songs out of the way.  So it's still looking like you guys will be hearing this album on Halloween day.

I also broke my left pinky finger last night; that's my fretting hand for you guitar players.  I find it quite fitting that I started writing this album two years ago with a broken finger (left ring), and I'll finish recording it with another broken finger.  I'm just happy I have no more guitar tracks to do, or else this album would be pushed back at least 6 weeks.  

With that said, I'm really excited to let everybody hear this thing.  I've put countless hours into this album, and even though I will be happy when it is finished, it will feel weird not working on it anymore.

More vocals this weekend... 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mega Beardo: "Belmont" To Be Released on October 31, 2011

This Halloween, I will finally release Belmont, a metal concept album I have written based on the original Castlevania game for the Nintendo Entertainment System.  All nine tracks on the album follow Simon Belmont as he progresses through each level of Dracula's castle to fulfill his destiny.  The lyrics deal with Belmont's personal journey as he struggles with the burden of ridding the world from impending darkness.  The recognizable villains and in-game environments play a key role, while certain characters and elements of the game will be expanded upon in ways that enrich the overall story.   

Belmont Track Listing:
1. Simon
2. Creatures of the Bloodline
3. Medusa's Scream
4. I Return to Rain
5. Shadows Without a Sun
6. The Mysterious Works of Dr. Frankenstein
7. Bring Me Death
8. Such is the Curse
9. The War of Dark and Light

The album will be available for download at my bandcamp site (  I will also order a limited pressing of the album in digi-pack form for those who still collect music (good for you).  The album artwork will be created by Brian Pickens, who went above and beyond for the Mega Man 2 Guitar Tribute album artwork.  Seriously, the dude is incredible.  I am beyond excited to see what he designs for Belmont.  As always, I appreciate those of you who have been keeping up with my progress and supporting me over the past year or so.  I ultimately write music for myself, but it pleases me immensely when others gain enjoyment from it as well, even if it's some nerdy album about a Nintendo game written by a bearded dude from West Virginia.  

And if that wasn't enough, I have also been writing and recording a short and simple (in contrast to my normal writing style) acoustic E.P.  The as-yet untitled album will consist of six tracks of pretty much my voice and an acoustic guitar.  I've recorded roughly half of this album so far, so you can expect it to hit my bandcamp site shortly after Belmont is released.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The New NES Guitar!

Thanks to the dudes over at , I am now in possession of a custom guitar made from a refurbished NES console.  This thing of beauty is also equipped with a rosewood neck and a bridge humbucker.  

Of course, I'm not going to let this thing just sit around and look all purty on a stand.  I had to do some recording tests with this thing as soon as I could.  So I quickly threw together a cover of the Battletoads theme from the first NES game.  That song is seriously made for rock guitar.  Check it out, below:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Post Figures Out His Post-Descension Rate Plans

Our friend and local music scene staple Kevin Post has decided to step down as Descension Rate's live drummer after helping us out for the past year.  He will still continue to handle drummer duties for local rockers/good dudes '85 Flood.  We'll miss him, but we appreciate him stepping up to the plate and accepting the challenge!

Post definitely ended on a good note.  Here is some live and pre-show footage from our show at Peabody's in Cleveland, OH, a couple of weeks ago when we opened for Rotting Christ, Melechesh, Abigail Williams, and Hate.  Fun times!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Quick Update

Things have been slow lately.  To be honest, I've had a tough time getting in the mood to write the remaining tracks for the next Mega Beardo album, Belmont.

But those days are over!  I'm back in writing mode again.  Two tracks remain, one about Frankenstein and one about Dracula.  The former is quite simplistic (about 4 riffs), while the Dracula track is going to get complicated.  There are a TON of riffs and ideas, by which you shouldn't be surprised if you have been following the writing of this album.  In my head, that track will most likely be split into three parts, but we'll see how it flows once I get the demo down.  

So I expect the writing of this album will be completed by the end of March.  To sort of celebrate, I'll probably record another one-off vintage game theme.  Then I'll start recording the Belmont album for real in May.  That's the plan anyway.  

Monday, February 14, 2011

Castlevania: "Heart of Fire" Arrangement

Check out my arrangement of "Heart of Fire" from Castlevania below.  If you like what you hear, you can download the mp3 by clicking on the Download tab above. 

Like I said, I don't plan on doing a full album of Castlevania arrangements (probably).  I'm in the middle of one Castlevania album, so I don't need to get involved with a second one.  Although I must say, putting this arrangement together was way fun.  Thanks to youtube user CrossTruth for requesting this fun tune.  I hope to do more random arrangements like this in the near future.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What's That? New Mega Beardo Covers?

I did something that I really hadn't planned on doing: cover a Castlevania song.  I got a request on YouTube to record my version of "Heart of Fire" from the game, and I thought, "why the hell not?"  I've been spending what little free time I have for my music writing this Simon Belmont album (6 or 7 months of recording demos now).  I thought doing another quick Mega Beardo track would help break the writing cycle a bit.  

Doing this cover was a lot of fun, though it wasn't as challenging as a lot of the Mega Man 2 stuff.  I forgot how much fun it was to take a piece of music from these games, jam on it for a while, and see what sort of originality stems from it.  I hope you guys dig the little spin I put on this tune.

I'm putting a video together for it now.  I'll upload that to YouTube and then put the mp3 of the song on the Download tab of this site.  On a side note, I was quite surprised that this song hadn't been covered endlessly on YouTube like I thought it would be.  What gives?   

So apparently, I'm taking requests now.  Anything you guys want to hear?  Shoot me an email or comment below. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Live Descension Rate Footage

Live footage of Descension Rate playing "This City Could Never Last" can be found embedded below.  This was taken during our last show on January 30 at 123 Pleasant St in Morgantown, WV.  Admittedly, we were having a bit of an off night that night, but we still had a lot of fun.  It was our first time playing with such bands as Cast Off All Ties, False Profit, and Lenin/McCarthy, so we got to play in front of some new faces/ears.  We hope to play with these bands again soon.

"This City Could Never Last" will be included on our upcoming album.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Writing "Castlevania": Episode 5

This episode gets a little more into the song-writing process.  I was still kind of putting riffs together when I recorded this footage.  You also get a glimpse of how this song sounded 3 years ago when I first recorded the demo.  Back then, it was only the idea for a couple of verses and choruses, and it was more based on a minor pentatonic scale.  A lot of these riffs have been laying around for a long time.  I could just never get them to fit together until now.  

Lyrically, I was initially trying to make this an historically accurate song about mummies while also explaining why Dracula has two mummies hanging out in his fucking castle.  It made no sense, so I dropped all of the nerdy historical references; though everything in the lyrics now make an indirect reference to Egyptian mythology.  You'll hear a lot of references to shadows, bodies, souls, the sun, wings, and gods.  All in all, here is my interpretation of the third stage of Castlevania:

Dracula had, long ago, intercepted the spirits (ba) of two Egyptian mummies, which rendered them unable to achieve their ultimate goal of spending their afterlife with the gods.  Dracula instead uses them as slaves to battle anyone that makes it that far into the castle.  It is then up to Belmont to follow through on a double whammy: defeating the mummies so he may advance, while at the same time, releasing their souls from Dracula's grasp so that they may enjoy the afterlife they so desire.  

Just further evidence that I'm looking way too far into this game.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

D-Rate Update

I finished tracking rhythm and lead guitar tracks on the new and still untitled Descension Rate album.  Seven tracks and 35 minutes.  Bass tracks are currently underway, while drum tracks are being sent down to Richmond for mixing.  Realistically, this thing will probably hit by the end of March or beginning of April.  By then, we'll be ready to record the next 7 tracks for part 2 of the album.  

We also have three shows coming up:

January 30, 2011 - 123 Pleasant, Morgantown, WV
February 19, 2011 - Mountainlair, Morgantown, WV
March 18, 2011 - Peabody's, Cleveland, OH

The March show is a big one (or at least big for us dudes that don't get a chance to play outside of West Virginia much).  We will be opening up for a whole slew of great metal bands: Rotting Christ, Melechech, Hate, Lightning Swords of Death, and Abigail Williams.  Hit up Peabody's for more information:

I've also been recording a sort of "making of" for this album.  I'm not sure what I'll do with it, if anything.  It'll most likely just show up on Youtube in parts, as it will probably include the actual recording process, practice footage, live footage, and other dumb shit. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Updates on Everything Ever

I've previously mentioned a new band/project in the works with some good friends of mine.  I have to put that on hold for now, as I'm really booked up for the next couple of months.  Descension Rate is in the middle of recording our first album in 5 years, and we also have a couple fun/interesting/awesome shows coming up that we need to prepare for.  Plus we all work and go to grad school full time, so my time is quite limited.

It bums me out having to tell some good friends that they need to be a little patient about it.  Our jam sessions were ten different kinds of awesome.  Very laid back, personality-wise, but very intense, music-wise.  The riffs, harmonies, and insanely powerful drumming were just locking in tight.  We all had smiles on our faces, and we couldn't wait to get back into it.  Nick and Mark are still writing on their end, and I'm doing the same.  When the time is right, we'll get back in the swing of things and hopefully play out soon after that.   Because this shit was fun as hell:

Like I said, Descension Rate is in the middle of recording now.  We're hoping to make it a fairly quick process, as the guitar tracks are getting mixed and mastered by our good friend and collaborator down in Richmond pretty much right after we record them.  Guitar tracks are about 65-70% complete.  We've decided to split the 14 songs (70 minutes) up into two 7-track (35 minute) albums.  So, we'll probably get started on the second one sometime in the Spring.

And the Belmont album.  Don't think I forgot about that.  I plan to set some time aside on Monday to demo the next song.  That's one thing that I really can't wait to unleash.  

Monday, January 3, 2011

New "Belmont" Song!

Happy New Year to all! My free time during the winter break is coming to a close, but I kept myself plenty busy. Proof: check out a full demo from my upcoming Belmont album! It represents Stage 5 of Castlevania, in which our protagonist, Simon Belmont, must face Death itself. The lyrics, although draped in Castlevania nerdery, deal with death in a couple of different ways (acceptance of and triumph over), as well as realizing one's own potential in times of trouble. Check it out:

I probably won't get back to Belmont writing for a couple of weeks. I will be recording guitar tracks for the Descension Rate album(s) this week, but I hope to get back into it soon after. I'm officially at the halfway mark!