Dead Horse Trauma
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Dead Horse Trauma

Des Moines, Iowa, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Des Moines, Iowa, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Metal Rock




"Dead Horse Trauma: Midwest's Finest"

It’s safe to say that most bands out in the MidWest and surrounding states in that region, go unnoticed for the majority of their career while some not so good bands who know the right people but don’t have the talent to back it up get signed and head out on tour. Well, I think its time to give the MidWest a voice that will be heard for years to come. Now, with that said, I bring you Des Moines, Iowa very own hometown hero band, “Dead Horse Trauma”.

HMTV: Explain the name:

Eric: First off I want to say that the name, in no way, promotes or encourages rape in any way. Dead Horsing is when a person is taken advantage of when unconscious, like a passed out girl at a party. It’s how we’re influenced and directed everyday by the media, religion, and factors that affect us at all levels. We like to make people aware that they need to keep their eyes open to the things around them. The public is lulled to sleep while their imaginations are taken advantage of. We plan to use these same methods to fuel our agenda of using similar methods to affecting the consciousness of our listeners.

HMTV: How long have you guys been around:

The idea sparked in 2006, when Matt (our ex-drummer) and I were recruiting members to play the material we had recorded. I had wrote 4 songs with the sound we wanted using a Roland w/ me on guitars (it was written for 2 guitarists), bass, vocals, and samples. We interviewed potential band members while doing our best to stick to interview “tactics” we used to discover the worst in people. We wanted to know if this was going to work as soon as possible. We would refrain from smiling or giving any signs that we liked what we heard to see just how much determination people had to continue to pursue the position. We would be desperate as hell to find members, but would make potential members work for it. When we got our first 5 members, we started learning how to get better at making our music and developing our stage show. We worked w/ different members and line-up changes to find the right mix of drive and personalities. We finally “clicked” into this line-up in 2008, that’s when I consider our start or rebirth. It’s when the current line-up fell into place.

HMTV: How would you describe your sound:

Eric: We make the music that moves us. We don’t try to sound like anything out there, we just try to harness each of our creative abilities and influences and work together to form “attitudes” that eventually shape into songs. We are consistently moving in a “heavy” direction, while not eliminating the fact that other feelings shine through sometimes.

HMTV: What are some of your musical influences:

Eric: American Head Charge, (hed)pe, Marilyn Manson, Ministry, a lot of metal, some other stuff like Bone Thugs n Harmony, Atmosphere, even Mozart. I guess I mostly like depressing, angry, and/or thought-provoking music.

HMTV: Who are some bands you’ve played with:

Eric: We opened for Otep, Bury Your Dead, Through The Eyes of The Dead, and Destrophy when The Rise Rebel Resist tour rolled thru Des Moines (2.24). We got a lot of good feedback from people that haven’t heard us before, and even from the other bands. Mike from Bury Your Dead left us feeling like our lives were complete by paying us a compliment. I’m pretty sure that made my night… Signed my first shoe.

We opened for (hed)pe recently, that was especially awesome for me since they are one of my top 5 favorite bands. We got to hang out with Trauma (the “new” drummer).

Our first national act was Hemlock, they are a badass bunch of dudes that work way hard. We’ve opened for them 3 times and they even played our CD release party.

HMTV: Any pre show rituals?

We haven’t washed our stage clothes since we started wearing them.. It’s kinda like we’ve had a lot of luck lately and don’t want to ruin it with added laundry. You know. We wear different things underneath, but like my commander jacket, I haven’t washed that yet.

HMTV: How does the writing process happen:

Our writing has evolved a lot. We used to write songs in many different ways to keep it dynamic. We write riffs, or sometimes lyrics first, then rewrite building the structure, then tweak that up to make it “better”, then rewrite that. On Infestation, we wrote a few songs on guitar, recorded them, then drums, then bass, samples are added after the music most of the time, to keep consistent with the direction the song moves. Often times Seth and I will write lots of riffs and see what we can come up with. Guess it happens in a few different ways. Sometimes it involves recording a riff on a cell phone or video camera.

HMTV: What sets you apart from the rest:

Eric: We want to affect our audience on many levels. We want to be so much more than a metal band. We want to use many mediums to convince others to spread the word about us. It’s who we are.

We write music for us, and don’t consider “the rest” when trying to make our own imprint on the world.

HMTV: If you weren’t playing music, what would you be doing in society.:

Eric: Managing Bands, building websites, writing books, I have no idea. If not playing music, probably writing it.

HMTV: What can fans expect from you in the future:

Eric: We started working on the next album as soon as Infestation was done. We want to play for every major city in the US. We’re going to do what we can and won’t stop until we go global. It’s probably cliche’, but it’s true.

There you have it guys. A brief introduction to a band that you will be seeing and hearing from in the months to come. I’ve recently partnered up with their manager Morbid Miller and will be doing everything I can to make sure these guys get the recognition and exposure they deserve not only in the MidWest area but all over the continental US.

Article By: Nadia Guardado - Hollywood Music Magazine

"Album Review, Dead Horse Trauma's Tellus Hodiernus Caducus"

Most music pundits have declared that the age of the album is gone, and that CD's or Vinyls will remain soley as collectors items. Truelly a sad thing to believe. Owning an album gives you so much more than just the music. It gives you a package of artwork, linear notes, and most of all a glimpse into the minds of the artists that one simply does not get with just a digital copy. I'm not going to use the typical grading scale of x out of five stars or numerical value out of ten, because most of the time people who read reviews simply skip past what is being said and just look for the award. Instead, what I am aiming to do is view Tellus Hodiernus Caducus (THC from now on) as a whole: art, lyrics, and of course the actual tunes. My association with the DHT guys is a known fact and if you are worried about bias, eat it, I'm not going to praise a friend if there is nothing to praise, however, I truelly believe that this is DHTs finest work to date and its a welcome reprieve from your standard local fare.

We'll start with the actual package. I love the digipack design, and the actual texture of the case itself is smooth. I mean, really smooth. When I first pulled it out the cellophane, I was shocked. It's not your typical glossy cardboard or your dry and scratchy kind either, it's that happy medium. The cover art is magnificent and really sets the tone for what you are about to listen to. The art, done by drummer Jason Handy, shows a map of the world with bugbombs(?) raining down from the sky (an allusion to the first track or nineth track maybe?) and the colors he chose are eye catching. It's not your typical metal band art work, there was some serious thought put behind it and it shows. The albums booklet is equally colorful, using reds, yellows, and black to draw you in with some lyrics in bold and others in all capitals to make the listener focus in on certain parts. Well done.

The lyrics/vocals. I'm not going to spend to much time here, maybe if I'm given a chance to pick lead singer Eric Davidson's brain some night over what he writing and trying to convey, I can revisit this. What I will say is that the sense of urgency created by his lyrics is crucial to this albums over all sound. When he screams you can really feel it, which is most important for a vocalist in a metal band-it has to be believable, and it is. Even with the clean vocals you can hear that urgency, but in a different sense. When he sings the clean parts, it's as if hes just barely brushings upon what he is trying to get across until the bottoms drops out and his trademark bark sends the message a grand slam home. Major props to the singer on this album. His depth as a vocalist has grown tremendously since the last release and more specifically, the first. With The Infestation, it seemed like there were just two Mr. Davidsons, the screamer and the singer. On THC, he moves beyond the good cop/bad cop routine and really opens up his voice, bringing new styling to his clean singing and the extradionarely refreshing lows that completely catch you off guard (see track five, The Great Dissolve).

The tunes/riffs. And holy balls are there riffs on this album. They never stop coming, like a bludgeoning one two punch from a heavy weight boxer, this album steam rolls right over you and everything in its path. The guitar tones are crisp and clear, no clutter. You can almost know fret for fret where guitarist Seth Peters is at on his axe, but by no means am I saying that the riffs are simple. On the contrary, this album sees growth from him as well. Similar to the previous record in regards to the vocal department, The Infestation had excellent hooks and was executed well, but it seemed like some of the songs could have been interchangeable-or maybe there wasn't enough dynamic clarity, but not with this album. THC has that perfect balance between all out brutal and just enough dynamic range to keep you actively listening and engaged to whats going on. Listen to the chorus on Mr. Critical and you'll hear the most mathy and dynamic part they've ever written. It's synchopation WILL make your head bob and you hips sway. Possibly the highlight of the album from the guitar stand point would be the last 30 seconds of Sinister and how it bleeds beautifully into Media Showers, where the latter track takes on such a noodley part even I had a hard time following it (this is a good thing). Breakdowns? Oh, yeah, lots of break downs, but by no means are they the boring ones coming on the first and third hit, instead you have such a tight rythm section here most of the time you won't even notice that what you're hearing is a break down. And they're heavy, but not just for the sake of being heavy, they honestly feel like they're meant to be there and add significantly to the songs. But DHT isn't merely conent to be a metal band, enter keyboardist/sampler Joey Vice. You'll hear him immediately at the start of the album, with little flourishes here and there, but where he really stands out is what you are most likely to miss. Little bits of chatter that you can just barely hear in the left speaker, or that high pitched whistle (originally I thought I had a tumor and needed to go to the doctor, nope, the band really just wanted to mess with me and put a dog whistle in the song-thank you to Watson, the golden retriever for catching that one). Mr. Vice brings just enough texture and mood to the album to seperate them from their peers without being overly gimmicky.

So, with all this praise you are probably wondering if I'm going to say anything condescending, or if I'm really just a biased piece of shit. Well, you're in luck, because there hasn't been a perfect album since Tool's Lateralus, which came out ten years ago. My only true complaint would be the mixing, which is no fault of the bands. It just seems a little thin at certian points in the album, and feels very similar to Lamb of Gods As the Palaces Burn. I've heard a majority of these songs live, so I know how thick and crunchy they are, just kind of wish it would have translated a little more onto the album.

With that aside, this is an excellent album that has more to offer with each listen. I highly recomend however that you go to a show and see them live if you want the full experience. - G Michael Peter

"Dead Horse Trauma's new album offers fans layers of intrigue"

Whether it is the hidden meaning in their music, name and latest album title, "Tellus Hodiernus Caducus," or the societal message behind their compelling new music video "Disbelief," there is a purpose to everything that Dead Horse Trauma does without coming across as being choreographed.

"We want to do things to add to our appeal," said Eric Davidson, lead singer and founding member of the Des Moines metal band. That includes motivating fans to dig deeper to uncover treasures like hidden tracks and artwork or secret information about the band.

Davidson, 28, cites shock rocker Marilyn Manson's marketing genius as an influence.

"If you listen to his albums and research his music, you'll find that he hid stuff. It's like a conspiracy what he's doing with music," Davidson said.

Five years ago, when Davidson co-founded Dead Horse Trauma, he wanted to develop a dark metal sound that would appeal to a wide range of fans. Though the band's new independent album, "Tellus Hodiernus Caducus," is not for the faint of heart, he says that its themes are universal.

"We think that it will appeal to the masses while staying true to the darkness of metal," said Davidson. "That's possible when you blur the line."

The formula for how Dead Horse Trauma operates, however, is less blurry. Davidson writes all the songs on guitar (sometimes the night before he enters the studio) and suggests riffs, while Seth Peters (guitar), Joey Vice (samples), BJ Forst (bass) and Jason Handy (drums) create the band's sound.

"Sometimes I'll write a song and take it to the band. Other times the guys have a vision for a song, and I'll write lyrics for that," Davidson says.

That kind of chemistry is evident during their live shows, too, notes Davidson.

"We all feed off of each other," he said. "We pride ourselves on being a tight band, and we practice three times a week. But we also perform the music as well as play it. The whole idea is to not be the guy that isn't moving on stage. If you're not sweating, you're fired."

To help get the sound the band wanted for "Tellus Hodiernus Caducus" they recruited the 660 Group (Mindrite's Donnie Mengwasser) and ET Audio Labs (Andrew Crawford) to record it and InnerLight Records (Destrophy's Ari Mihalopolous) to master it.

"Everyone we worked with on the album was amazing, and I respect them," said Davidson, a Grinnell native who lives in Des Moines. "This time in the studio we were better prepared and grooved more as musicians."

The new album is a continuation of the band's 2007-08 EP "The Unmerciful Infliction" and 2009's album "Infestation," the singer said.

"The first album was the infestation," said Davidson. "It was about building and infesting the masses. The new album, without giving away the meaning of the Latin title, is about saying goodbye to what is happening and starting something new.

"Basically, we want the new album to show people what they have to look forward to on our next album. It's a cycle."

Fans can catch a glimpse of the band's evolution on their latest album by watching the new video for the song, "Disbelief." Filmed in two locations in downtown Des Moines — the basement of an art gallery and a friend's rehearsal space — the band's seductive and sinister video features quality direction by the band's drummer and acting of Rikki Million, a "promo girl" for Color Works Tattoo and Body Piercing in West Des Moines. The tattoo shop's Taylor Made, who Davidson call's "the sixth member of the band," operates the light show at Dead Horse Trauma concerts.

"We were fortunate enough to get some local businesses and friends to help us out," Davidson said.

In the next few weeks, the band will take its show on the road throughout the Midwest to promote the new album.

"It's part of the plan of taking our music to new markets and to become a regional band," Davidson said. CV - CityView - Michael Swanger - Des Moines, IA

"Infestation Review"

Dead Horse Trauma and the Infestation
I finally picked up a copy of Infestation, the new release from the Des Moines based band Dead Horse Trauma
I have to say they picked well with the song “Chemicult” in choosing an opening track. The song is very hardcore in the classic DHT fashion and opens up the album very well. I haven’t given the entire CD a joint and a sit down yet, but I can tell you that from what I have heard, it is very well produced. So far my favorites are “Chemicult”, and “Unmerciful Strike” which hits you with a pseudo rap-core intro which works very well, and in my eyes makes the entire song. I can’t say much more not having listened to the entire CD yet, but I can say I love it and that it is a great follow up to the Unmerciful Infliction. Eric’s lyrics, and the music behind it are very twisted and complicated, sometimes melodic, and other times it is screaming anguish and anger that we all at one time or another have felt. It’s hard to classify DHT, but if I had to I would say it is a combination of such industrial bands as NIN, Ministry, Front Line Assembly, and Skinny Puppy mixed with such metal acts as Lamb Of God, Slipknot and Motograter. I hate comparisons, especially with original acts like Dead Horse Trauma, but in order to get a feel for them without hearing it, that is what you have to do. Either way, I would say that DHT is an act that is here to stay, and Infestation is another Des Moines beginning. - Dangerous Music

"New album is sick..."

New album is sick... I urge everyone to pick it up. Its one of the best things I have heard out of Iowa since the Early Face Cage Records!! - Morbid Miller (Muen Magazine)

"Infestation Review"

"Comparatively...Slipknot are little girls" -


2008 - The Unmerciful Infliction

2009 - Infestation

2011 - Tellus Hodiernus Caducus



Donnie Mengwasser - 660 Group 

A 6-man war machine using some of the methods our world uses on a daily basis to brainwash the masses and produce a permanent scar on the face of our music industry. The music that forever takes residence in your mind like a welcome parasite Its your wake up call. Hailing from Des Moines, Iowa, Dead Horse Trauma is a regime of 6 men. The group showcases a unique, militant, well-articulated metal sound. Its plague-like pandemic of die-hard fans and nationally recognized achievements are only rivaled by the insane energy-packed live shows showering the region.

A Force to be Reckoned With.
Since the bands conception in 2006, Dead Horse Trauma has worked persistently and their hard work shows through their many accomplishments. Dead Horse Trauma dominated Lazer103.3s LazerFest Battle of the Bands with the majority of
9000 votes and aggressively took 1st place allowing them to take part in Iowas largest music event in history. The band has been featured in magazines and publications such as Hollywood Music Magazine, MetalUnderground, Juice, CityView, Lyric X-press, and continues to gather attention from all over the world

Dead Horse Trauma has shared the stage with: Alice Cooper, Five Finger Death Punch, Seether, American Head Charge, Sevendust, (hed)PE, DevilDriver, OTEP, Drowning Pool, Godsmack, Rob Zombie, Bury Your Dead, Papa Roach, Skillet, Through The Eyes of The Dead, Halestorm, Destrophy, and the list goes on...

In July of 2011, Dead Horse Trauma released, Tellus Hodiernus Caducus, which since 2012 is being distributed via and in stores nationwide. The album is also streamed overhead in over 650 stores across the nation.

Their 2013 album, Vi-Ops, featuring the single "Reckoning Day" has been making waves on Liquid Metal (Sirius/XM), Music Choice, and Rock/Metal Radio stations across the US.  

Dead Horse Trauma will release their new album, Kill The Precedence, June 2014. 

ON TOUR with Straight Line Stitch July/August 2014 

7/10 - Wichita, KS @ Lizard Lounge
7/12 - Denver, CO @ Herman's Hideaway
7/13 - Spearfish, SD - TBA
7/15 - Billings, MT @ The Railyard
7/16 - Missoula, MT - TBA
7/17 - Spokane, WA @ The Hop
7/18 - Yakima, WA - TBA
7/19 - Fife, WA @ Louie G's
7/20 - Portland, OR - TBA
7/22 - Grants Pass, OR - TBA
7/23 - Chico, CA @ LaSalle's
7/24 - Sparks, NV @ The Alley
7/25 - Orangevale, CA @ The Boardwalk (DedVolt CD Release Party)
7/26 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Troubador
7/27 - Las Vegas, NV @ LVCS
7/28 - Albuquerque, NM @ The Vault
7/30 - Lubbock , TX @ Jake's
7/31 - San Antonio, TX @ Korova
8/1 - Corpus Christi, TX @ Theo's
8/2 - Houston, TX @ BFE Rock Club
8/3 - Dallas, TX @ RBC
8/5 - Tulsa, OK @ Undercurrent
8/6 - Memphis, TN - TBA
8/7 - Louisville, KY - TBA
8/8 - Peoria, IL @ Cams Place
8/9 - Crest Hill, IL @ Bada Brew
8/10 - Green Bay, WI - Venue TBA
8/12 - Mishawaka, IN @ Smith's Downtown
8/13 - Battle Creek, MI - TBA
8/14 - Cudahy, Wi @ The Metal Grill
8/15 - Cherry Valley, IL @ Take 20
8/16 - Madison, WI @ The Red Zone
8/17 - Ringle, WI @ Q & Z Expo Center
8/18 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
8/19 - Algona, IA - TBA
8/20 - Des Moines, IA - TBA
8/21 - Monmouth, IL @ The Rivoli Theatre
8/22 - Kokomo, IN @ Centerstage
8/23 - Lakewood, OH @ The Foundry Concert Club
8/24 - TBA 
8/25 - Wantagh, NY - TBA
8/26 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Legendary Dobbs
8/27 - Pittsburgh, PA - TBA
8/28 - Columbus, OH @ O'Shecky's
8/29 - Detroit, MI @ The Detroit Pub
8/30 - Bangor, MI @ Hogg Bash X
8/31 - Moline, IL - TBA

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