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"Southview - The Chaos of Ecstasy" (review by Luke)

In the world of metal, fresh ideas don’t always just “spring up from the ground.” Some styles get overused, some don’t get the focus they deserve and things that are popular get taken too far. That’s why, in this metal world in which we thrive, it is a great thing when something unique and inimitable is achieved. Enter Southview’s “The Chaos of Ecstasy.” This EP is ridden with a guitar sound that rocks hard but still retains a high level of melodic malice. Both, guitars and bass deliver a heavy beating of power chords thrown in with fast paced single-string runs that carve you like flying saw blades in a premium mix of European riffing and American ass-kicking thrash. Though the instruments are down-tuned, as many are these days, the notes are not so low that they become inaudible. I very much appreciate the drummer’s methodology in supplying the beat to Southview’s music. He obviously understands that metal doesn’t always mean having a constant double bass present. Sometimes the most simple and direct tactic is the most effective as it definitely is in this case. The original approach of the vocals is another high point of this recording. The singing technique used is gruff and throaty but still shaped with the emotion of an apparent and unwavering belief in the music. The overall high recording quality is made clear with the jaw-dropping tightness of the sound and the undeniable, mountain moving tone that is maintained throughout. I highly anticipate Southview’s next release and welcome it with open ears. To find out more, head to" - Heavycore

"Southview - The Chaos of Ecstasy"

Southview - The Chaos of Ecstasy
By Dr. Abner Mality

If there's any justice, this local band should be signed and working the national circuit before too long. Right now, they are already the equal of local bigshots like the Heavils and Man Made Man, but the same sort of notoriety has escaped them. I'm hoping that will soon change.

What we have on this EP are three well-produced and well-written songs of pure heavy metal. Not as trend-following as most bands in their situation, Southview don't reinvent the wheel with their rough and ready "working man's metal". There's no pretension here but if you listen close, you will be surprised at some of the thought that went into these songs. Opener "Almost Dead" is a fast-paced and beefy track with slight touches of Pantera and an almost Southern rock feel to some of the guitar work. You can already hear some pretty cool twin harmony guitar. Second cut "Killing Bed" provides the EP's best track...a stomping mid-paced workout with one of the coolest, catchiest grooves on the chorus that I've ever heard from a band around here. The Southern influence is even more noticeable and if you dig stuff like Down and Alabama Thunderpussy, you will absolutely love this track. Closer "Gold" is the fastest and heaviest, approaching thrash levels but never quite entering that genre. The twin guitar attack of Matt Zilm and Rob Willis is excellent and the rhythm section doesn't miss a beat.

I wouldn't say this is an earth-shattering classic, but it's damn good heavy metal. Matt's vocals are soulful but I would like to hear a more ballsier lower register which would fit this tough music well. But keep in mind, this is still a young band and already Southview is showing a lot of maturity. I expect them to only get better as time goes on. This is definitely one of the highlights of the Rockford metal scene.
- By Dr. Abner Mality

"Beetcafe Review"

Southview Working Man's Metal From The Rockford Area
by Gary Hill

If you, like me, enjoy screaming guitars and metallic thunder, but have a bit of a problem digesting a lot of the nu metal, yo metal and death growls and grunts, Southview is a name you should know. It’s scary how good these guys are, especially when you consider that they come from Rockford. It seems that the Forest City is developing quite a strong heavy music scene these days. In the late 1960’s Birmingham, England gave birth to such pillars of hard rock/metal as Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. It might be wishful thinking, and perhaps a bit too early to say it, but I wonder if Rockford, Illinois might be the birthplace of the next wave of metal. Listening to Southview and a few other bands from the area it’s definitely not out of the question. Southview seems to manage to steer clear of a lot of the trends in music, instead harkening back to classic metal sounds (I hear a gritty take on Sabbath all over this along with the occassional Iron Maiden leaning), thrash and stripped down metal fury ala Motorhead and turning this combination of sounds into a unique helping of iron heavy music.

The band is composed of Matt Zilm (vocals and guitar), Rob Willis (guitar), Chris Haas (bass) and Mike Jerding (drums). They have been together under the name Southview since 2002, and as good as they are it’s amazing they haven’t followed The Heavils in getting picked up by a label yet. Still, their first release Hardcore Predator Behavior, while showing signs of the power that was to come, came across as a bit under-produced and a little too rough around the edges. Perhaps this could explain their lack of a real recording deal. Anyone with a good ear, though, would be hard pressed not to hear the talent even in that rather underdeveloped recording. What promise that release hinted at their latest EP The Chaos of Ecstasy delivers full throttle. There are a lot of bands with far longer histories that could be proud of material as strong as the three songs on show there, but these guys are just starting out. I would say that we should expect great things to come from them.

Any fans of the genre should do their best to support these guys. It’s not often that you can get to see a band with this much potential in their early formative period. I think comparisons to seeing Earth (the band that became Black Sabbath) in Birmingham might not be too far off base. I have to admit that part of my fervor for these guys is the fact that you don’t hear too many bands these days sticking to the metal roots that I find so appealing. Still, Southview is very talented, and certainly stand as one of Rockford’s musical treasures. If you enjoy cranking metal with some tasty guitar work, then these guys are definitely for you. Every musician in the band pulls off playing their hearts out while not taking the emphasis away from the whole picture. There are some BIG bands out there that could learn a lot from that tactic. While all the guys here could show off if they set their minds to it, it’s obvious that creating a unified and powerful sound for the whole band is the true goal. Such restraint and sense of musical integrity is rare. All in all, Southview is a unique breed, and one that will hopefully be around for a long time. Catch them now, so you can say “I knew them when.”

- Gary Hill @ Beetcafe


2004 - Chaos of Ecstasy (ep)

2003 - Hardcore Predator Behavior


Feeling a bit camera shy


It is written that in the ashes of ruin, great empires are built. After stripping down their sound, name, and outlook on music in early 2002, the members of Southview stand unwavering fists clenched, and teeth bared ready to unleash a merciless onslaught of metal on the world. With a guitar driven high energy show, Southview has garnered the respect of fans and critics alike. Southview’s new E.p. “The Chaos of Ecstasy” has earned positive critical praise on, and The band is comprised of members: Matt Zilm – Guitar / Vocals, Mike Jerding – Drums, Rob Willis – Guitar, and Chris Haas – Bass. With the new music solid and their live show as tight as ever Southview is ready to hit the road, and take the metal to the masses. Southview now stands boldly in the ashes, ready to build an empire.