Kneel To Zod
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Kneel To Zod

Leonardtown, Maryland, United States | SELF

Leonardtown, Maryland, United States | SELF
Band Metal Rock

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"Harder, Louder, Faster! - Kneel To Zod Craft New Originals on Third CD"

By Andrea Shiell
Staff Writer
If you don’t know General Zod, the
diabolical supervillain who made his
DC Comics debut as the leader of Krypton’s
military in Adventure Comics #283
(April 1961), it may not keep you from
enjoying the musical stylings of Kneel
to Zod, a Slayer-esque group of original
metal songwriters and performers from
Callaway, but it’s still kind of fun to look
into the character and see why the name
actually works.
Just as comic book stars of all
stripes added to Zod’s reputation over
the years (including Robert Bernstein, George Papp, Brian Azzarello, Geoff Donns
and Richard Donner) there have been several lineup changes with Kneel to Zod – as
they’ve been around, in some form or another, for the last decade – but there’s not a
single member of the band that doesn’t pull their weight. In fact, their division of duties
is very democratic, with singer C.P. Cameron splitting arrangement decisions and
lead vocal duties with guitarists Bryan Johnson and Billy Stinnett, drummer Matt
Callaway and bassist Bob Johnston, all of whom share songwriting credits as well.
The group has boasted their current lineup for the last three years, playing shows
close to home as well as in the D.C. and Baltimore circuits, and their hard work has
most recently culminated in their third album, The Greed States, which took them a
year to finish.
C.P. credited most of the delay to the group’s obsessive attention to detail, but
there were also bitter moments of the kind of bickering that could turn one version
of a song into six or seven, one take into 10, and one month of writing and recording
into nearly 12.
“We’re all perfectionists … so really I think it was just that we all had so many
ideas to throw in, so it got really stressful. We even almost got to the point of fighting,”
said Cameron.
Creative disputes haven’t ended the band, however, and the end result has been
a smart collection of songs that sounds like it was a labor of layering as much as love,
all adding up to an album that deserves to be listened to continuously from start to
finish.
It’s hard to classify Greed States as a concept album, even if it does have some
similar elements in terms of style. You can pick out the politics (largely anti-war,
though violet emotions are celebrated, as is heavy metal custom), but these guys
aren’t lyricists as much as they are musicians. That much is clear when you listen to
the way they craft songs, building one instrument at a time before adding the words,
which are just what you’d expect from a metal band – dark, emotional, somewhat
political and oozing with angst – and this goes well with the throaty death metal-inspired
vocals on much of their CD.
There does come trouble when trying to classify Kneel to Zod – at least in terms
of their style of playing, because you can pick out similarities to groups like Korn,
Staind and Disturbed, with a lot of technical flair to boot. But the cadence of the vocal
and guitar work can sound just as much like Tool or Testament, depending on which
track you pick, whether it’s the chest-beating battle ode Teddy Bear, or Prelusion of
Avarice, the album’s slightly creepy and melodic instrumental.
So is it fair to equate these guys to a Phantom Zone fugitive with x-ray vision and
plans for world domination? Probably not.
After all, it’s not like they tried to take over Krypton with an army of
cloned robot soldiers, and they don’t have super strength or the ability to fly,
and none of them look anything like Terrance Stamp (who played General
Zod in 1980’s Superman II, popularizing the “kneel before Zod!” command and at
least a million related jokes).
What they have done is share the stage with some heavy (metal) hitters including
Kings X, Anthrax, Hotwire, Suisonic, Episode One, Cringe and Full Circle.
And they DO know how to scream (on key, no less), and if you ask this reviewer,
that quality is Zod-like enough. One of his superpowers is, after all, tremendous lung
capacity.
Kneel to Zod will be headlining this year’s Park Rock Fest on September 4-5 at
Chancellor’s Run Regional Park in Great Mills. For more information, go to www.kneeltozod.com. - The County Times - August 26, 2010


"Band of the Week: Kneel To Zod"

Band of the week: Meet Kneel to Zod
“The Greed States,” Kneel to Zod’s recently-released third album, squeezed
a year’s worth of studio work out of this Callaway-based metal act. Bassist
Bob Johnston, 41, proudly, and aptly, describes the veteran metal act’s end
product as “aggressive” and “high-energy.”
Ultimately, then, a year’s worth of rewrites and revisions, countless takes
and band drama should go down as the worthy cost of putting out a solid
album. Here, rumbling guitars occasionally segueing into speed metal solos
(Billy Stinnett and Bryan Johnson), deep-throated yet clearly stated vocals
provided by scream-capable C.P. Cameron, and Matt Callaway’s peppy drumbeats
create the backdrop for a rotten, decaying portrait of the world. It’s a
fairly typical metalheads-eye view — and why not? These are the feelings that
outlive styles and tastes.
From the title track: “Can’t stop the greed states. Politicians saying grace.
Separate the church and state. Your ignorance never ends.”
Johnston has been playing in KTZ with Cameron and Stinnett for more
than a decade. The newest members, Callaway and Johnson, both of whom
are in their mid 20s, joined around 2007.
KTZ will headline Park Rock Fest’s Toyota Stage, which features metal and
hardcore groups, from 7:15-8 p.m. Sept. 4. Other upcoming local venues for
KTZ include Hula’s Bungalow in California (Sept. 17) and Memories in Waldorf
(Oct. 22). Listen at www.myspace.com/kickthezebra.
Influences: Johnston lists modern metal, old-school thrash metal and ’80s
hair metal.
Motivations: A love of music keeps the band intact, Johnston says. The
band aims to play as many shows as it can to promote the new album.
On Park Rock Fest: This will be Kneel to Zod’s sixth appearance at the event.
According to Johnston, Park Rock Fest gives the group a chance to reach the
folks who are too young to see them in bars.

Park Rock Fest will be held from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 4 and 5 at Chancellor’s
Run Regional Park, 21905 Chancellor’s Run Road, Great Mills.
There will be five stages and 125 bands are expected to perform just about
every genre of music imaginable. New for 2010: Two performance areas at
each stage will allow for nonstop music.
Go to www.parkrock.com.
DICKSON MERCER - Southern Maryland Weekend - September 3, 2010


Discography

"The Greed States"-2010

"Kneel to Zod"-2007

"Sorrow"-2003

Photos

Bio

Kneel To Zod is an original hard rock band from Southern Maryland. Their sound can be
best described as hard rock with a groove. The current members of the band are:
C.P. Cameron - Vocals
Billy Stinnett - Guitar
Bob Johnston - Bass
Matt Callaway - Drums
Bryan Johnson - Guitar
C.P. Cameron - Powerful vocalist with years of experience. Former front man for both
Mindtrip and Erotikill.
Billy Stinnett - Guitarist with emphasis on melody. Former lead guitarist for Well of Souls.
Bob Johnston - Rock solid bassist. Former bassist for both Erotikill and Mindtrip.
Matt Callaway - Adds the pounding grooves to Kneel To Zod’s music. Former drummer for
Desensitized.
Bryan Johnson - Thrasher! Former guitarist for Desensitized.
K.T.Z. has performed with other local artists including; Krass Judgement, Blame The
Victim, Fall Away, Suisonic, Stumati B, Erotikill, Next of Kin, Slowburn Shift, Episode One,
Arsenic, Product 420, Goatman Zero, Early October, 7-Spot, Human Room, Lesser Ape, Kronus,
Eat Your Neighbors, Nashira, Ethix, Legacy, Eight Point Four, Cringe, Ignition, Desensitized,
Medieval, Full Circle, Downtown Singapore, Curbside, Eight Point Four, Hollow Point, etc.
K.T.Z. has performed with national recording artists including; Anthrax, King’s X,
Overkill, Hot Wire, W.A.S.P., and Doro.
K.T.Z. has performed at many venues including; Jaxx - Springfield, Virginia / The Vault
- Baltimore, Maryland / Hal Daddy’s - Baltimore, Maryland / Bowen’s Inn - Solomons, Maryland
/ Cody's Cue Club - Prince Frederick, Maryland / Brewski’s Tavern - Loveville, Maryland /
Heisman’s Sports Bar - La Plata, Maryland / My Brother’s Place - Waldorf, Maryland / Lil’
Eva’s – Patuxent River, Maryland and Hula’s - California, Maryland.
K.T.Z. has three full-length albums, which can be found for sale at local record stores,
CD Baby (online), K.T.Z. shows and the band’s website (www.kneeltozod.com).