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Ontario, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Ontario, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Metal Hard Rock




"Perfectly Eccentric - 100%"

After listening to Slanderus' previous musical installment, Pseudo Reality I came to the conclusion that whatever comes next in their career is going to have a tough time being a follow-up to it, and correct I was. But, somehow Slanderus has managed to top even that amazing EP with their latest EP, Sanctuary of Life. And man is this EP a masterpiece. All of the best qualities of the previous release are here again but fine-tuned and expanded. Even a few of the quirky "problems," whose presence was obvious on Pseudo Reality, are here, yet they aren't problems anymore. They have simply become what makes Slanderus so unique in their style, sound, and approach.

Where to start other than the face, and the most fore-frontal part of the band, Alan Alamillo. He still sounds just as larger-than-life as he usually does, but this time it just seems like his whole personality is pouring out of his mouth and into the ears of the listener. His vocals will be very polarizing to listeners, as his style is very flowery and eccentric. His approach to singing is the musical equivalent of a crazy bum that is running about on the street, out of his mind and making others uncomfortable. Yet, Alamillo knows what he is doing, and is making an effort to provoke these cringy and uncomfortable emotions and many others. And that is what makes me absolutely love his style. He sings like he is trying to perform an opera, yet throws in his own set of gruff yells, shrieks, and throatal growls. Name a style of singing and he can do it. No matter what part of Sanctuary of Life you are experiencing, Alamillo will make this 2D movie into an "eye-popping" 3D endeavor that will captivate you.

Other than Alan Alamillo's vocal style, the only other aspect of this fantastic release that I think would be off-putting to some people would be the commercial edge that this EP gives off. The production is so slick, to the point in which some parts of the songs seem "unreal.” There are many chord progressions that are very pop-like, such as the beginning of "Black Rose" that are catchy, and will hook your ear, and keep you listening. I think that this actually plays in Slanderus' favor, as this will draw more and more people to like this fantastic genre of music. It's the ability to please everybody that makes Sanctuary of Life a perfect release. For those who are looking to get into heavy metal, there is a hard rock and post-metal edge that will attract you along with the clean vocals. And for those of you who want your fix of good 'ol fashioned progressive thrash metal, you can find the solution to that craving here too. And even for those of you who wanted a little bit of humor, it’s here too. And not just little jokes in the lyrics, but some "I didn't see that coming" kind of moments. The best is in "Udara," in which Jason Kennedy plays a soulful guitar solo which is followed by an almost wimpy and sappy message by Alamillo that gets completely thrown away in the blink of an eye in which Alamillo screams "F*ck that sh*t, you think that I was serious?!" The rest of the lyrics are just priceless and throw you completely off guard with a transition that changes the peaceful flowing bridge to the tough-guy esque chorus.

Sanctuary of Life is a fulfilling listen and will leave you with the musical equivalent of being completely full and not wanting a single bite more. There are a variety of factors that play into this, but it is the full and complete songwriting that does this for me. When one takes into account the already long songs, which always have the potential to be full of filler, it's pretty amazing that the band never ventures into this realm. Every riff that is played is original and every note sung is full of feeling and passion. The overall flow of each song seems calculated, yet there is an element of congruous and natural structure that allows each song to feel full and completed. "Udara" for example, contains multiple low and high points. Its chorus is triumphant and slow, the pre-chorus is full of grooves, the verses are driving and powerful and the bridge is flowing, melodic, and almost graceful.

For it's everything that makes this EP such a success in my eyes. I feel sorry for the next release in Slanderus' discography, because it will have to be more than perfect, which by the way is impossible. Sanctuary of Life proves to the metal world that Slanderus are on a roll, and will be staking quite a claim in the near future. Full of captivating lyrics, riffs, and songwriting, as well as innovative singing, and musicianship, this EP is sure to captivate, entertain, and astonish for years to come. - Roffle_the_Thrashard

"Butterflies Are Indeed Metal - 97%"

What Slanderus have created here is nothing short of spectacular. I mean, what band can sing a song about "butterflies," create a vocal style as unique as the one here, and put a knock-knock joke of sorts into metal lyrics? Slanderus sure can, and their debut EP Pseudo Reality shows the world just what these three men have to offer, and they offer some gutsy progressive/thrash metal.

For those of you who watched the web series Metal Grasshopper, you will remember Phil Anselmo saying the butterflies are completely metal. Well, this EP contains some butterfly related metal that revolves around the chaos oriented Butterfly Effect concept. The song "The Butterfly Effect" is a diverse and revealing song that shows the more sensitive side this band. The vocals start off dramatically and with almost over-saturated emotion along with ballad-style chords and drumming. And as soon as the act begins to become sappy, a crushing, brutal riff is played and then a slow groove with screaming and some aggressive clean vocals is laid down by the band. Screaming in a "butterfly" song? Who knew that it could work.

And the screaming vocals isn't what I like about this EP. It's the intriguing vocals of Allen Alamillo. The man must have decided to try to mix the vocal styles of both Bruce Dickinson and Les Claypool of Primus, because that's exactly what his vocals sound like. Alamillo has an impressive range but his tone is a little but too squeaky for my liking. But, he makes up for that with his ability to just belt out some powerful growls, like in "The Butterfly Effect." He absolutely astonished me with his singing skills.

"The Butterfly Effect" isn't the only great song of Pseudo Reality, and this is due very much because of the fantastic production that you can bear witness to. The bass clarity here is so refreshing. You can hear the Steve Harris-like bass playing behind the groovy, pop hook laden hard hitter "Cold Reality," and with the bass playing being very clear, I could truly judge Jason Kennedy's bass playing for what it is: phenomenal. His guitar playing was also quite nice to listen with the layers that he added to each song, along with drummer Nathanil Tabor's harsh rhythmic pounding.

The lyrics here also pack quite the punch. I can tell Allen Alamillo or whoever writes Slanderus' lyrics is beyond stereotypical metal lyrics, and with the subject matter here I can tell that these three men are intellectual people. It's not everyday that you hear someone discuss an idea as complex as the Butterfly Effect, let alone put it in a metal song. With quirky vocals and lyrics, the abstract aura of the EP was very cool.

So, pick this bad boy up. At 1.25 USD per song, it's not that bad. And the songwriting, melodies, riffs, moods and substance is more than just "not bad," it's amazing. Slanderus is a group of men who know how to be true artists by expressing themselves, while staying outside the realms of typical and traditional metal acts. A classic sound is nice, but not as pleasing as the kind if metal that I found here. - Roffle_the_Thrashard


Slanderus - Walls of the Mind EP

Track Listing

1. My Cadence  - 5:39

2. Clarity In Duality  - 7:06

3. The Hedonist - 5:52

4. Stand In Line - 8:24

5. Into Me You See - 4:54

6. The Significance of Insignificance - 6:28


* Jason J. Kennedy - Guitar / Backing vocals / Keyboards

* Allen Alamillo - Vocals

* Adrian Smith - Bass

* Jeff Seif - Drums

* Dave Swanson - Sound Engineer

Recorded at Love Juice Studios - Riverside, CA

Slanderus - Sanctuary of Life EP (2015)

Track listing

1. Servant of the Night - 4:02

2. Cage of Mercy - 6:11

3. Black Roses - 6:10

4. Re-Animate - 4:38

5. Udara - 7:09

6. Watchful Eye - 7:00


* Jason J. Kennedy - Rhythm / Lead guitar

* Allen Alamillo - Vocals / Keyboards

* Adrian Smith - Bass

* Cameron Mccall - Drums

* Dave Swanson - Producer/Engineer

Recorded at Love Juice Studios - Riverside, CA

Slanderus - Pseudo Reality EP (2013) 

Track listing

1. Within the Woods - 06:24

2. Cold Reality - 06:09

3. Phantom Festival - 05:25

4. The Butterfly Effect - 06:42


* Jason J. Kennedy - Rhythm / Lead guitar, Bass guitar

* Nathanil Tabor - Drums

* Allen Alamillo - Vocals

* Dave Swanson - Producer/Engineer

Recorded at Love Juice Studios - Riverside, CA



Slanderus is a progressive metal band straight out of the Inland Empire, with members from Riverside, Upland, Ontario and Redlands. Founded and formed by lead guitarist (and backing vocalist), Jason Kennedy, who also creates the music that is overloaded with heavy, yet intricate guitar solos- mesmerizing riffs and flawless breakdowns. Drummer, JJ Gawrich, plays his set like it's a part of him- with an ease that says "this comes more naturally to me than speaking"- every count is melodic, yet powerful and compelling, played with an unparalleled passion. Bassist, Michael Basquez, lets loose on his bass guitar with fat, yet mellow and authoritative riffs- commanding a rhythmic groove. Last, but certainly not least, Allen Alamillo- our lead vocalist, uses painfully honest lyrics in combination with an innately sincere tone and impressive pitches that just pulls you in. Round off all this talent, with the energy that we pack into every one of our shows, you're in for one hell of a night!

We played our first show at Angel's Roadhouse (Yucaipa) in 2009, following with a strong attack on hotspots from our native locale- such as the Ugly Duck, the Marquis Lounge and the Music Room (San Bernardino), and then taking our mind-bending sound to new spots, such as Liam's Irish Pub (Colton), Shamrock's (Chino), the 1616 Club (Los Angeles), the Kitty Kat Lounge (formerly the Can, Long Beach), several successful Battle of the Bands competitions and far too many others to list in just one biography.

With such a heavy and diverse group of influences, from bands such as Annihilator, Dream Theater, Iron Maiden, Machine Head, Metallica, Queensryche, Rush, Slipknot and System of a Down- it's no wonder we won "Best Metal Band of 2012" in IE Weekly. Live shows are packed full of spontaneous surprises; different intros every night, spur of the moment free-style jams, solos from different members- including blind-folded drum solos. The stamina of our Pseudo Reality EP (2013) plays with seemingly reckless abandon, divergent styles, and a determined ambition that makes you want to play it on loop until your stereo implodes.

Also worth noting, is our contribution to the metal scene in the Inland Empire. Tired of dealing with a "middle-man" when booking shows? We setup our own shows, in turn putting shows into the hands of the bands. Every show created by us is made cover-charge free- to increase the draw of shows, first come first serve to bands- to increase the motivation of the bands booking and every band was rewarded equally for shows- headliners received the same treatment as opening bands. Slanderus has booked and played shows with nearly 100 different bands, expanding both their fan base and their musical connections.

Band Members