Return To Earth
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Return To Earth

Dover, New Jersey, United States | INDIE

Dover, New Jersey, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Metal


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Return To Earth - Automata"

Holy friggin’ shit. I guess I should have expected this: a band featuring Chris “Dillinger Escape Plan” Pennie is bound to be a pretty technical experience, but Automata by Return To Earth is something else again, finding a chaotically precise middle ground between Nine Inch Mails, Ministry, Meshuggah and early American Head Charge, and then dragging the melodic aspirations of classic hard rock out there in order to dismember it before dancing around the oil-drum fire wearing its flayed skin. Distorted and bit-munged background loops, sneeringly angsty psychodramatic fin-de-siecle vocals, chuggity-chug thrash guitars, digital beats and battered drumskins marking time side by side as the machines wind down to the end of civilisation… it’s heavy and fast, full of dynamic shifts, spattered with sneaky hooks between the grinding gears, and very very angry indeed.

Indeed, it’s like a lost industrial gem-in-the-rough from a decade or so ago, and that pushes a whole bunch of my buttons at once. Better still, there’s a lot of variety in each track – a good thing to know when confronted by a fifty-minute album with fifteen tracks, even if a few of them are interludes and bridges between more complete pieces. If there’s a downside to this, it’s that Return To Earth don’t have a distinctive sound all their own, but the collage effect that results – like a bunch of tropes sliced and gouged out of the last quarter-century of heavy music and sewn together with the care of a mechanoid master seamstress with an axe to grind – is curiously refreshing. You’re never quite sure what’s coming next, and incongruity is an ally: the little burst of Boston-esque vocal melody in the latter half of “Back Of My Hand” betrays a band who aren’t interested only in corroded edges and brutal mass, and the pop hooks of “Night Of The Exploding Razors” balance beautifully with the overdriven rage-vocals and monolithic bludgeoning of the simple four-bar chord sequence.

In keeping with the industrial tradition, much of Automata is a raging against the dying of the light of civilisation, echoing both Trent Reznor’s narratives of personal decay and Al Jorgenson’s darkly narcotised despair at a world scarred by the machinations of neo-liberalism and the military economic complex. But thanks to brief appearances by moody strings and echoing piano (as well as the afore-mentioned melodic nous), there’s a burlesque vibe to things: not necessarily tattoo’d chicks dancing in frilly knickers and pasties (though that’s fine, too), but the “everything’s ending, so let’s party in the ruins while we still can” attitude that permeated interwar Berlin and gave birth to the decadent glamour that alternative culture has been flirting with of late. Whether events will prove this cyclic revival of the attitudes of a doomed passage from our past to be prophetic remains to be seen… though the current right-wing media uproar over the “Ground Zero mosque” Cordoba Centre in New York is an ominous echo of Weimar Germany’s paranoia and intolerance toward The Other, and pretty much buries the last remaining optimism and hope for change that rode in on Obama’s coat-tails.

But if it’s America’s destiny to fall into internecine social collapse and political schism, at least Return To Earth have got the soundtrack sorted. Turn it up loud; dance while the world burns. - The Dreaded Press (Aug 2010)

"Return To Earth - Automata"

Jersey-based Return To Earth sees the fusion of three highly talented musicians in Ron Scalzo, Brett Aveni, and Chris Pennie. With “Automata”, the band’s sophomore release, the trio’s seasoned components coalesce for a truly heavy album that is both blithe and smart. The music varies between violent and melodic, while spotlighting each musicians prodigious strength – from start to finish, “Automata” gives way to a new kind of heavy music; one that defies classifications and genres, and is quite simply intriguing.

“Automata” is a hectic, hypersonic album that infuses elements of progressive rock and avant garde metal, while interjecting spurts of utter insanity throughout. Songs like “Edge of Forever” and “The Altercation of Man” feature unexpectedly catchy choral patterns, amalgamated with Pennie’s extreme technicality; the final product is something entirely new and fresh. The album’s greatest offering lies in the Peeping Tom-inspired “You Will Be Replaced”: the haunting vocals creep atop a hybrid blend of astonishingly precise drum work and stellar guitar riffs, while the repeated, pungent chant “is this the way our God intended it?” closes the track.

As expected, the drumming on “Automata” is incredible. The guitars are playful, and the vocals are especially dynamic. Throughout the album’s fifteen tracks, obvious influences intersect with an air of familiarity from each of the trio’s main bands. Bits and pieces combine to give Return to Earth a standout sound that is completely unique and unconventional, making “Automata” a complex, sophisticated album that is, as a whole, curiously strong and exciting. - The Metal Register (Aug 2010)

"Return To Earth - Captains of Industry"

Many bands claim to be making “big” music nowadays; there’s so much variety and so much choice out there that sometimes the whole thing just gets lost in a big mixture of obscurity. Many bands try too hard, many bands totally miss the point, few bands actually deliver on their promises. At this point, meet Return To Earth. Guaranteed you’ll listen to them and wonder if three guys can really create such a grand sound. It falls more into a general rock category rather than being metal, though it does have its moments. ‘Captains of Industry’ is what’s giving Jersey-based Return To Earth their ticket into our ears. Previous musical experience of this band includes Dillinger Escape Plan (drummer Chris Pennie) and Q*Ball (the electro-rock project of frontman Ron Scalzo). The trio is completed by guitarist Brett Aveni. The pedigree of this combination tells you immediately that Return To Earth are going to produce something which is at the very least, very good. Not a single detail has gone wanting, the guitar lines blend ecstatically with some glorious and sweeping harmonies. It doesn’t feel like a heavy rock album all the way through. Return To Earth have triumphed a great deal here by embracing and promoting a great sense of dynamic. Its easy to listen through first time and really get stuck into what these guys are doing. ‘A New Sound’ is a definite stand out track, promoting all the elements which this band embrace so well. The harmony in the chorus is gorgeous, but the whole thing never rests on its laurels enough to be pigeonholed. Other songs like ‘Gunpoint Poetry’ and ‘Restore (My Heart)’ are standouts, the latter taking this band into somewhat of a Foo Fighters territory

The diversity is about the greatest thing you’ll take away from listening to this album. Return To Earth discover their comfort zones, but they also realise the need to push themselves. As a result, the album is rich in variety, and though it’s quite long, you won’t find yourself getting bored anytime soon. The musicianship on display is faultless, they’ve really got a knack for writing a good tune. It’s good to see, also, that they’re not ashamed to employ melody and write a catchy song - so many heavy rock bands would shy away from this. It’s refreshing to see a band who know how to do more than one thing, and aren’t afraid to push themselves and try different things.
- Kevin Barnes - (April 2008)

"Return To Earth - Captains of Industry"

I hope this project between Chris Pennie (Coheed and Cambria/ex-Dillinger Escape Plan) and Ron Scalzo (Q*Ball) isn't a one-time venture. With flawless harmonies and unforgettable infectious hard rocking hooks, I can't see anyone that is into rock music not loving this album. Toss any pop/rock band from NIN, Incubus, Foo Fighters, Faith No More, etc., in a pot and start stirring until Return To Earth pops out on the plate. Don't let this pass you by without giving it a listen.
- Freddy Jackson - Post Mortem Remains (March 2008)


Automata (full album - Aug. 2010)
Captains of Industry (full album - Dec. 2007)



Return To Earth is the amalgamation of the musical talents of Ron Scalzo, Brett Aveni, and Chris Pennie; three veteran and visionary musicians whose material can't be pigeonholed to one genre or easily classified. You'll hear bits and pieces of their influences and other projects and those bits and pieces come together to form the unique whole that is Return To Earth.

"After self-releasing our first album, Captains of Industry, and discovering a heavier, more intense sound during the recording sessions for Automata, the three of us agreed that the scope of the band's vision would benefit from the support of a bigger, like-minded record label - one that had similar musical influences and an appreciation for our DIY 'studio geek' mentality. Also, a label we felt we could trust and depend upon to promote our songs properly. Metal Blade was always at the top of our very short wish list of potential partners, and so we were thrilled to discover that Brian Slagel and Metal Blade were as enamored with us as we were with them. Signing with Metal Blade is an affirmation of our hard work, and we are psyched to have them in our corner for the release of Automata!"

Captains of Industry, the previous album by Return To Earth, was the aggressive hard rock debut from the Jersey-based trio of Scalzo, guitarist Brett Aveni, and former Dillinger Escape Plan drummer Chris Pennie (now on tour as the newest member of Coheed and Cambria). Highlighted by the awe-inspiring precision of Pennie's backbeat, Aveni's catchy rock hooks, and Scalzo's passionate, harmony-heavy vocals, Return To Earth promises not to disappoint.

All three members of RTE sport impressive musical resumes - Pennie, in particular, hones his craft as one of the most heralded drummers working today. His groundbreaking drum style provides the backbone for RTE's aggressive brand of rock. Pennie also wrote a lot of the material & contributed in the form of synth & loop programming. "Brett & I have been itching to work with Chris for years," admits Scalzo. "He's one of those prodigies that make the rest of wonder why we even bother trying to make music."

Brooklyn native Scalzo is no slouch in the music-making department, having achieved moderate success as electro-rock singer/songwriter Q*Ball. With three self-released critically-acclaimed albums under his belt, Scalzo has purveyed that moderate success – and a lot of long hours – into an underground DIY label, Bald Freak Music. The upstart's growing roster includes Guns N' Roses guitarist Bumblefoot, who releases his impressive solo work on the label, and buzz-worthy pirate metal band Swashbuckle.

"We're all passionate about music, and have a shared affinity for bad 80s metal & newer rock with lush production – bands like Radiohead & The Mars Volta," Scalzo explains. "We're three guys with three different perspectives – but you can hear the influences in our own tunes, loud & clear." As with all great bands, when Return To Earth make music together, the disparate influences and personalities coalesce into a single vision.