Hekill Three
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Hekill Three

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The best kept secret in music


"Texas Platters CD Review by RAOUL HERNANDEZ"

HeKill Three
One With a Bullet
(Cardinal Zen)

Metal is forged in the battering erosion of full-force roar, wave after wave, wherein the seconds of silence between songs are oceans of respite against the fierce sandstorms of assault. On their full-length debut, One With a Bullet, Austin's flagship metal act follows up last year's hand grenade 3.0 EP with a full-on car bomb. Joey Marez's demon seed CD art is matched by the local quartet's musical lockdown (credits, boys – use that gatefold for some names). Dan Collins' storming riffs elasticize Mel Langenberg and Chris Martin's rhythmic press, as Zak McMakin's vigilante vox bellow expertly between extreme and nü. The title track's opening laceration lashes back on the gathering force of "Green Lit," while "Pedigree" stamps its message with McMakin's gritty enunciation and landslide guitars. The solider determination of "Technicolor Endings" effectively matches marching pace with refrain ("There will be no happy ending, there will be no happy ending ..."). "Method One," which follows, gets positively atmospheric by contrast, setting up both the vocal expulsion and musical slalom. This song portends HeKill Three's compositional promise. Only "Standing By" sounds premature, closer "Beverly" ("you're a slut, but I love you") a somewhat standard riposte. Nevertheless, One With a Bullet is 35 minutes of bleeding fingers, bared teeth, and blind rage. Bull's-eye. www.austinchronicle.com - Austin Chronicle (04-09-04)

"Texas Platters - CD Review"

May 23, 2003
…But for an even greater adrenaline rush, Ünloco is eclipsed by its sometime Back Room bill-sharers HeKill Three on 3.0. A mere seven songs in length, 3.0 grabs you by the lapels from the opening crunch of "Dayglo" and smacks you around like a secondhand rag doll. Judging by 3.0, this local metal institution has only two settings: "extremely agitated" and "off the fucking charts." The result is a white-knuckle ride through the nether regions of the human psyche -- including "Real Gardenias," surely the nastiest song ever written about flowers -- that leaves you battered, bruised, and thirsty for more. According to "Suzanne's Perfect Record," "Nothing says I love you like a bullet to the brain," but thankfully, the more intense parts of Becoming I and nearly all of 3.0 provide a form of release that's just as effective, and without all the nasty bloodstains.
(Ünloco)2.5 Stars
(HeKill Three) 3.5 Stars
- Austin Chronicle


March 21, 2003

The presence of several label execs at their Friday night Back Room (SXSW) showcase didn’t stop Hekill Three’s drummer from tossing his cookies over the side of the stage. No wonder: According to a bystander, the local metalheads had “people killing each other out there.”
- Austin Chronicle

"Pop Culture Press Magazine - SXSW 2003 Picks"

March, 2003

HEKILL THREE. Austin’s best metal band, reminiscent of early Metallica, Slayer, Sepultura. Frighteningly captivating and not for the faint of heart. Sadly, Austin just doesn’t give metal bands press coverage, no matter how good they are.
- Bonnie Spanogle

"SXSW 2003 Music Pick"

March 2003

HEKILL THREE: Originally from the small coastal-plain city of Victoria, Austin’s Hekill Three play menacing Texas thrash metal in the Pantera vein, which means it’s sliced wide-open and spewing razor sharp, brick heavy riffs all over the place. Their latest CD, 3.0, has just been unleashed. (Back Room, 1am)
–Christopher Gray
- Austin Chronicle

"Austin Chronicle - TCB"

Chris Gray, music columnist for the Austin Chronicle selected Hekill Three in his end of year list for 2003:

#1 Single of the Year: Hekill Three's "Dayglo"

#1 Metal/Industrial Band

#4 in Texas Top Ten Albums for 3.0 (CardinalZen Records) - Chris Gray, Best of 2003

"Hekill Three Best Austin Group of 2003"

The Edge Magazine's Austin's "Best of 2003 Readers' Poll"
Austin's Best Group of 2003 - Hekill Three

Best Male Singer - Zach McMakin (Hekill Three)

Best Bassist - Mel Langenberg (Hekill Three)

Best Drummer - Chris Martin (Hekill Three)

Best Metal Band - #2 Hekill Three

Best Guitarist - #3 Dan Collins (Hekill Three)

Best Group Deserving a Record Deal - #3 Hekill Three

Best Local Show - #3 Hekill Three - The Edge Magazine, Steve Freeman

"Slipped Disc - 02/27/04 Review of One With A Bullet"

Slipped Disc
HEKILL THREE, One With a Bullet (CardinalZen)

THREE THE HARD WAY: Transplanted Victorians HeKill Three, together since 1998, put out the primal 3.0 EP last year and continue along the same thrashy Megadeth-Voivod-Pantera trajectory on this full-length debut.

HOME SWEET HOME: "RiverÓ is a harrowing travelogue through Austin's seedy underbelly – yes, it has one – containing the all-too-true lyric, "You'll never believe where I slept last night."

PEACH PITTED: Despite its grim tone and insistence that "there will be no happy endings," Bullet is not without humor. Closer "Beverly" is a fist-pounding homage to Beverly Hills, 90210 (er, "90666!!!"), featuring the heaviest quotation of the show's theme song ever.

CD release Saturday at the Back Room with remains of something human, A Dozen Furies, and Pistol Grip Pump. Cover is $1 – seriously.
- Austin Chronicle, Chris Gray

"Hekill Three Interview Feb 2004"

Hekill Three
Austin’s Best Group of 2003
Austin Rock Fans Now Have A Voice
By Steve Freeman

When we first decided to put “The Best of 2003” poll out in the Austin area we were a little skeptical about the turnout that we would receive from the Austin Fans. Well spank my ass and call me a monkey. The response was overwhelming and I think that The Austin Rock fans now feel that they have a voice with The EDGE Magazine because they have spoken loud and clear. The Best Group of 2003 was none other than Austin’s heavyweights Hekill Three. On any given weekend you can catch the thunderous roar raging from the amps of Hekill at your favorite live music stops. Their fans are truly supportive and relentless and one has only to catch one of their live shows to understand the power that they possess. I spoke to Zach about their new “Best Group” title and what we can expect from Hekill in 2004.

Hekill Three is:
Zach McMakin (Lead vocals, guitar)
Dan Collins (Lead guitar, backup vocals)
Mel Langenberg (Bass)
Chris Martin (Drums)

For people who don’t know anything about Hekill Three, could you give me a little history?
Hekill’s roots start about 1993; Chris and me were living in a practice room off 6th Street, homeless as fuck. We were in a band called Ribcage, and we practiced in Dangerous Toys old space, across from the Skatenigs, and downstairs from 16 Deluxe, that’s right, I’m name-droppin. Since we lived there, and worked at the same restaurant, and that was in Emo’s heyday, when you could get in free if you were 21, which neither of us was. We would hang at Emo’s, get drunk, and then go back to our space, and play music until the businesses in front of the rooms would make us quit. I can’t count the nights that we would walk out and it would be daylight. Now it’s like, “damn we loved playing that much,” but then it was like, “fuck we gotta’ work in couple of hours.” The stuff that Chris and me were playing back then was a little different, but it definitely was the foundation for what we do now, and more importantly we learned each others style. I’m sure a lot of musicians experience this, but I got to know his drumming style so well, that when I wrote stuff away from him, I could actually hear what he was going to play to it, to this day, I am still about 90% accurate. It makes it real easy to write music.

How does it feel to win best group of 2003 and to know that your fans actually cared enough to turn in ballots they had to mail instead of an online poll?
Actually, winning the best group of 2003 is nothing but flattering, especially with as many badass groups as there are in Austin. In this town, almost any night of the week you can go out to a number of bars and see a badass band. And being held as one of the best is an extreme compliment and everyone in the band is very proud and thankful to all of our friends and fans that voted for us. But I’ll be straight, as appreciative as we are, I don’t feel like music is a competition, I think it’s about expressing what you need to express to keep the gun out of your mouth as well as trying to find the space that you fit in the music world. In our musical career, we have gotten extremely lucky by acquiring dedicated fans, as well as business contacts that keep making this band more and more successful. We have nothing but appreciation for each and every person that has helped us get where we are at, especially Sharon Jones, our publicist. It’s always good to have a shark swimming in your corner.

Do you think heavy music is over-looked a lot compared to the typical Texas music in Austin?
I do feel like heavy music is a tad bit overlooked, but I feel like it is on a bit of an upswing. Video killed the radio star - Nirvana killed the heavy metal. But, I am amazed at the crowds that I have been seeing at heavier shows, first of all, they are getting bigger and bigger, and the diversity of the people that are in attendance, go from frat boys to sewer rats, so overall I think it’s on the way up. People can talk shit about bands like Korn and the Deftones, but it is bands like that, that are helping bands like ours reach crowds that were never into music like ours. All I know is that when I moved to Texas in the late 80’s, heavy music was all around. Remember Z-ROCK? Like the rest of the country, in the early 90’s it took a break for a couple of years for a little thing called grunge, but it never went away, and slowly has been getting back to where it was. I was actually talking to Chris about this the other day, and he said that he feels like people are a lot more open-minded about music nowadays as opposed to a few years back. Like if they heard you were a heavy band, they would automatically close their ears up and wouldn’t even give it a chance. But now there are so many crossover styles of heavy music that people that may not have been a fan before are finding a way to relate to the music, as opposed to the image it conveys. People are actuall - The Edge Magazine

"SXSW Spotlight: Hekill Three"

Watching HeKill Three practice is like being at ground zero in Alamogordo for one of the early nuclear bomb tests. The Austin fourpiece rattles the foundations of their rented space at South Austin's Million Dollar Sound so completely, you half expect someone from the U.S. Geological Survey to tell them to cool it.

No such luck. Drummer Chris Martin ravages his kit with unyielding savagery, guitarist Dan Collins and bassist Mel Langenberg assault their strings with near-perfect headbanger choreography, and singer Zak McMakin issues his vitriol-laden diatribes with Continental nonchalance.

The only interruption of this metal orgy comes when Collins' mom calls from Arkansas.

"Mom ... I'm at band practice," he pleads while his bandmates try (unsuccessfully) to refrain from cracking up.

Martin, McMakin, and Langenberg all spent their adolescence in Victoria, but didn't sow the seeds of HeKill Three until McMakin and Martin – who didn't like each other in high school – moved in together in Austin. They got kicked out of their apartment and crashed for a year in their practice room at Acme Arts, a downtown rehearsal complex where they took showers in a mop sink.

"We learned how each other played and smelled," says Martin.

"It was horrid," confirms McMakin.

Langenberg, who used to ferry Martin around Victoria in his 280Z while blaring Soundgarden, and Collins, a veteran of Austin-via-Arkansas shredders Shovelnose, came aboard in time to record One With a Bullet, HeKill's bestial full-length debut on local label CardinalZen. Thanks to last year's similarly throttling 3.0 EP, major labels have been sniffing around. They haven't quite worked up that Darkness cover yet, but they're working on it.

"You have to be willing to lay everything down," says Martin. "You have to want it really fuckin' bad."

"It's really good to know that everybody does," agrees McMakin. "It also helps to be a cock rock band stuck in a heavy metal band's body."
- Austin Chronicle Daily - March 19, 2004


"One With The Bullet" (CardinalZen Records, 2004) CD Released to packed house on February 28, 2004 at the Back Room in Austin, TX.

"KLBJ Local Licks Live 2003" Compilation (Coming soon in February 2004).

"3.0" (CardinalZen Records, 2003) Singles "Day-glo," "Real Gardinias," and "Escaping" have received airplay on local college radio, KNAC, KLBJ and KROX FM rock stations.

Video of "Real Gardinias" in top weekly rotation on the Austin Music Network.

"The Real Texas Edge, Vol. 1" Compilation (The Edge 2003).

101X Homegrown Live 2003 Compilation.

3-Song EP "Taste Test" (CardinalZen Records, 2002).

Independence, Austin’s Punk/Rock-N-Roll All-Stars (2002).

Texas Hardcore (THC) Compilation (2001).

Self-produced Album (2000), not commercially released. Licensed exclusively to Synthetic Wakeboards, a manufacturer of wakeboards and related clothing.

Live EP (1999), immediately sold out all copies the first night.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Voted Best Austin Group of 2003! Machine precision guitars, menacing, but charismatic vocals, old school thundering drums with mean aggressive bass lines earned Hekill Three the honor of Best Austin Group of 2003 from The Edge Magazine’s Reader’s Poll. Band members were also individually recognized: Zach McMakin, as Best Male Vocalist, Mel Langenberg, chosen Best Bassist and Chris Martin, Best Drummer. Dan Collins made the Best Guitarist list at #3. They ranked #2 for Best Metal Band and #3 for Best Group Deserving A Record Deal and Best Local Show. Austin Chronicle music critic Chris Gray listed Hekill Three as Best Metal Band of 2003 and chose their single “Dayglo” as Song of the Year (a metal song of the year?) Their debut CD 3.0 landed at #4 on Gray’s 2003 Top Texas Ten albums.

Formed in Austin in 1998, and with the exception of guitarist Dan Collins, band members grew up in the Texas coastal town of Victoria, playing in various high school bands. Best friends, their close-knit brotherhood is undeniable on stage with their metallic shriek of seamless continuity and thundering rhythms. Hekill Three have performed countless times, anywhere, anytime, in Texas and regionally—headlining clubs and supporting road shows (Jerry Cantrell, Superjoint Ritual, Ill Niño, Pimpadelic, Ünloco, CKY), while gaining legions of loyal fans.

Austin indie production label CardinalZen Records released “Taste Test,” a 3-Song EP in time for SXSW 2002 (where Hekill Three landed the hotly contested opening slot for Jerry Cantrell and the Roadrunner Records showcase.) In February 2003, they sold out the infamous Back Room during their debut CD release party for “3.0,” a 7-song album released by CardinalZen Records; swiftly selling out before copies even made it to local music stores. Hekill Three contributed songs to two rock radio compilations in 2003: "101X Homegrown Live" and the "KLBJ Local Licks Live," and was featured on the Edge Magazine's compilation "The Real Texas Edge, Vol. 1."

A buzz is building around Hekill Three that gets louder the closer to the release of "One With A Bullet," Hekill Three's follow-up to the critically acclaimed "3.0." Both the Austin Chronicle and Pop Culture Press Magazine selected them as “Best Pick” of the 2003 SXSW Music Festival. In 2002 Hekill was selected as one of CitySearch.com’s SXSW “Top 10 Bands to Watch.” Hekill Three has been featured twice in The Edge Magazine and is streaming on Texas Internet Radio and FryDaddio.com Radio Network.

Hekill Three are ready for the next step in their career and are primed for touring and festivals with pure, hard-driven rock that assaults your senses. Adrenaline pulsating new school crashes into old school metal. No frills, head-noddin’ guitar-driven rock with intelligent, fight-provoking lyrics. Dynamic material soundtrack ready for X-Game crash reels.