Midwestern Metal at its Heaviest!


aSHADEbelow was formed in Milwaukee, WI in 2002. Their beginnings trace back to the core members, vocalist Dave Hiley (ex-Hydraulic, ex-Seven Deadly Sins )and guitarist Steve Hitz (ex-Hydraulic. Together with the help of Justin Scharleav (drums), and Darren (bass), they formed the first incarnation of the band. Writing began with the heavy influences of such well-known names as Mudvayne, Slipknot, Chimaira, and Pantera. However, inspiration never meant a carbon copy to this band. ASHADEbelow polished their sound until they were ready to unleash it. Their first gig was played at the well-renowned Rave, host to many other Milwaukee metal bands such as Numskull, Jungle Rot, Nightworld, and White Knuckle Trip.

They recorded their first demo in 2003, which further fueled the fire for their growing fan base. However, lineup changes occur in a young band. Exit Darren, and enter Dale T. on bass along with the missing link in their sound: a second guitarist who shares the same passion for pummeling guitar chops, Alan Weier (ex-Friction Point, ex-Manor of Ash). This comprised the lineup for their second demo in 2004. Through these two demos their inspiration turned towards the more poly-rhythmic sounds of Meshuggah, while blending the technical thrash of Lamb Of God; the melodic power of Soilwork; the attitude of Devildriver; the experimentation of In Flames; and the hardcore stomp of Killswitch Engage. Although most of the musicians playing in aSHADEbelow have played for more than ten years, in listening to them, the listener finds that musicians never truly stop growing. Their music became more embellished with melody to balance the powerful rhythm and stomp.

While writing their ever evolving music, the band delivered raging live sets; opening for such better known acts as Meshuggah, God Forbid, Mudvayne, Fear Factory, Candiria, The Haunted, American Head Charge, Walls of Jericho, and 36 Crazy Fists. Their name grew, like their following. However, another lineup change was to occur with the departure of drummer Justin Scharleav in the Summer of 2005. His replacement came in the form of Chris “Goody” Goodendorf (ex-Priapism, ex-Nebula, ex-Element of One, ex-P-Vegas All Stars, ex-Paradigm Shift), who has played for 13 years and earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Performance with an emphasis on percussion. Once again, aSHADEbelow’s sound was to evolve. With a flair for polyrhythms and aggression, Chris made the band’s rhythm section even more refined. Upon writing new material for their latest demo, it was evident that more melody was to infiltrate the song structures. Also evident was more comfort with Dave’s use of vocal melody to convey the mood of the lyrics differently than on their previous songs.

Gigging continued to introduce Goody to the fans and to keep the bands chops up while writing new material. Before recording their 2006 demo, bass player Dale T. departed from his duties. Alan and Steve wrote and recorded the bass lines for the demo. Nick Hill (ex-Kaburi guitarist) was recruited for full-time bass duties so that the band could once again play live. Although Nick has played guitar for more than 10 years, the bass guitar was second nature to him and he fit perfectly into aSHADEbelow’s creative sound. Their current release displays even more growth in Steve and Alan as musicians with guitar passages reminiscent of the late Chuck Schuldiner (RIP- Death, Control Denied), and frighteningly technical drumming. Although it is obviously more metalcore sounding, shedding some of their earlier influences, the listener is challenged to feel Dave’s vocal rage while comprehending the surgically accurate riffing and rhythms the band displays. It is a deep trip through the darker territories that is aSHADEbelow.