Published on March 21st, 2018 | by Justin G.
MELIAH RAGE Reissues Due in April on Divebomb Records
Having eventually gone their separate ways sometime after the release of Death Valley Dream in 1996, legendary Boston power thrashers MELIAH RAGE opened the door on reunion talks around 2002 at the behest of upstart label Screaming Ferret Wreckords. Founding guitarist Anthony Nichols quickly roped in fellow axeman Jim Koury, and with original frontman Mike Munro opting out, the two recruited their former Cactus Land bandmate Paul Souza on vocals. Original bassist Jesse Johnson was also a go, and friend and former Wargasm drummer Barry Spillberg rounded out the lineup at that time.
The resulting nine-song, 45-minute album, Barely Human, represented an inspired and reinvigorated MELIAH RAGE—possessing more powerful drive and energy than even some of the band’s earliest work, while still retaining the contrasting dynamics of a classic album like Solitary Solitude. The reaction from fans was overwhelmingly positive, and the group filmed a video for the disc’s title track—which was also featured in an episode of the FX television series The Shield. Select live appearances of the era included stops at the Classic Metal Festival (Chicago, IL) and Metal Mind Rage II (Baltimore, MD).
Now, more than a decade later, Divebomb Records is proud to partner with MELIAH RAGE for this CD reissue of Barely Human. Freshly remixed and remastered by Peter Rutcho for much-improved sound quality, this edition also features an updated cover painting by artist M. Fumi, complete lyrics, as well as a retrospective interview with guitarist Anthony Nichols. For the fans, by the fans!
In the mid-2000s, legendary Boston power thrashers MELIAH RAGE found themselves prepped to create a brand new album with all five original members in tow. Drummer Stuart Dowie had returned for 2006’s The Deep and Dreamless Sleep, and even fan-favorite vocalist Mike Munro had agreed to find time amidst his family commitments to join up for one more album. Bassist Jesse Johnson ultimately decided to step aside, however, at which point the band brought in Darren Lourie—formerly of Triphammer/Every Second—to complete the lineup.
Realizing in retrospect that The Deep and Dreamless Sleep may have been overly mid-paced and one-sided, chief songwriter Anthony Nichols set out to write the group’s most guitar-centric album to date—slightly thrashier, and with an occasionally increased emphasis on dual guitar harmonies. Produced by WARGASM’s Rich Spillberg and featuring a guest vocal appearance from then-METAL CHURCH frontman Ronny Munroe on “Last Rites,” the result was Masquerade: a nearly hour-long return to form for MELIAH RAGE.
Unfortunately, Screaming Ferret Wreckords was on the decline, so the album was merely released as a CD-R and without a sufficient promotional presence. The band only performed a small handful of shows with Munro back on the mic—among them opening for ANVIL at the House of Blues in Boston—but this brief reunion still satisfied longtime fans, both live and on record.
Now, nearly a decade later, Divebomb Records is proud to partner with MELIAH RAGE for this reissue of Masquerade: finally on proper CD for the first time ever! Newly remastered by Peter Rutcho, this edition also features complete lyrics, as well as a retrospective interview with guitarist Anthony Nichols. For the fans, by the fans!