The Sammus Theory
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The Sammus Theory

Phoenix, Arizona, United States | SELF

Phoenix, Arizona, United States | SELF
Band Rock Metal

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"'Man Without Eyes' Review"

What’s the 4-1-1?
Debut album for the group.

Genre
Modern rock / alternative

The Good
Man Without Eyes is a concept album that, you as the listener, has to interpret the meaning of yourself. I will tell you that the album’s title refers to one that is blind to the effects of the causes they put into motion through their choices. The album is split into tow parts; Rising and Falling. Driving riffs and piercing arpeggio tones dominate “Take Your Face.” Sammus’ low-registering vocals enhance the dark tone that is being laid by the instrumentation. A meaty bass line prevails on “Lead Foot.” Sammus expresses his main characters frustration with the people that hold back his creativity on this one.
“Hole in the Wall” continues on the dark road that its predecessors set forth, but relies on an acoustic background. However, as the song reaches its peak, the distortion kicks in. A long, progressive style introduction takes you into “Man Without Eyes, Part I.” “Split” delves into the darker or more evil side of the album protagonist. “Fair Weather Friend” has a great hard rock riff that’s pushed aside by Sammus’ intense vocals. Multi-layered vocals help convey the evil turn that this story is about to take. I won’t give away the ending to “Man Without Eyes, Part II,” but this track is encompassed by emotional piano and vocals. You know what that usually means.

The Bad
I hate having to figure out what concept albums mean.

The Verdict
I’m amazed that Man Without Eyes is The Sammus Theory’s first album. Most bands need 3 to 4 albums to accomplish the musical achievements that are displayed here. Though I found the story a little above my comprehension, the music is dark, emotional, and unique. Man Without Eyes will peak your curiosity and draw you into its tragic tale with just one listen.

Did You Know?
Front man Sammus could play seven different instruments by the age of seventeen.

Rating – 5/5
- Rock-Is-Life Magazine


"'Man Without Eyes' Review 2"

Rarely do you find a band where each member brings the same level of talent to the band’s overall sound. The Sammus Theory is one of those bands. Their new album, Man Without Eyes showcases each member’s tremendous musical skill. Singer and guitarist, Sammus leads the band with his blend of chilling melodic vocals and gut-wrenching screams. Not to be outdone, Joe Morris provides excellent percussion on every track. Then there’s Mark Conroy, whose piano playing gives a special sound to this hard rock album. Although each band member is talented in his own right, no one outshines the other. Instead, their skills come together, creating an album that’s certain to win the praises of critics and fans alike.


Reviewer's Rating: 8
Reader's Rating: 9.74
Reader's Votes: 166
- The Celebrity Cafe


"'Man Without Eyes' Review 3"

Thanks to the high-decibel exposure I’ve been getting from local bands, harder and harder rock is appealing to me more and more. So The Sammus Theory came to the top of the stack at just the right time. Great sounds riding the edge of metal and lyrics riding the edge of insanity.

I almost didn’t get past the fourth track on the CD because the 2, 3 and 4 tracks were so compelling and brain-frying I kept putting them on a loop. “Lead Foot” is the best tortured romantic love song I’ve heard in eons - and believe me, I know eons. Here’s a taste:

“You try to drag me but I’m weighted
with my lead foot.
A ball and chain around my legs slows me down,
I cannot seem to move.
Drop me up from so high into water …
Watch me drown; you’re my lead foot.”

Beautiful, I know (sniff). Sammus, responsible for both lyrics and manic vocals, has a unique twist to his words that speaks to a deeper part of my brain. And I’m not so strange. I think your brains must have those dark little holes you crawl into sometimes and hey, here’s the background music for that space.
“Hole In the Wall” is a perfect example of speaking volumes with few words.

“Your last breath cried out loud.
It was a bullet hole in the wall.
No one really understood
What pulled the trigger …”

Although the first half of “Man Without Eyes” is much stronger and memorable than the second half, my greatest whining complaint is that I was sent the radio-edited, clean version of the lyrics. Should an independent CD even have a clean version? Did they send the sanitized version because I’m a chick? Did I come off as a prude in my past reviews? I must look into this while you look into The Sammus Theory.
- The Daily Sentinel


"Welnel's Band Heads to Sidney"

Hard hitting blasting sounds with a mixture of classic and hard rock music are approaching Sidney.

On Saturday the band, The Sammus Theory, will perform for a rocking audience at the Richland County Fairgrounds, along with “The Unread,” another band touring with the group. After the Saturday show, the band will then travel to Idaho for an event on June 26, joining bands “The Exies” and “Smile Empty Soul.”

The band, which features guitarist Kyle Welnel, formally from Sidney, is finishing up a western states tour where they have traveled to Idaho, California, Arizona and now Montana.

The band not long ago released its second album, “Seeing It Through,” with the group’s first album, “Man Without Eyes,” receiving generous praise from critique George Dionne. “This album will peak your curiosity and draw you into its tragic tale with just one listen,” he states, while adding he was impressed that it was just the band’s first album.

Welnel says the second album has gotten even better reviews then the first.

“We’ve gotten a lot of reviews from people that didn’t even like the first album, and we’ve gotten a lot of airplay in various places, mostly on the East Coast,” Welnel said.

Welnel admits being from eastern Montana is a large reason for playing in this area.

“If I wasn’t from Montana we probably wouldn’t play there that often, especially eastern Montana considering we most likely wouldn’t have a good turnout,” he explains. “But I know there is definitely a large following for our style of music in the area, so it will be a good thing for us to play there knowing we have the support.”

Welnel, who is a Sidney High School graduate, stumbled into good fortune when he moved to Phoenix and in a coincidence quickly came into his passion of music. The band member posted a comment on MySpace and within a day was asked to audition for the band he now is an integral part of.

The band has seen success in the past year and is looking to continue their up-and-coming status.

The Sammus Theory was on tap to air on the “Carson Daly Show” sometime in April, but a booking problem prevented that from happening.

“We never actually ended up playing on the show because of certain issues...it’s something we are currently dealing with,” he explains of the issue.

Welnel says coming back to his hometown, where he is the first to try this type of music, is a good feeling, and an event he is looking forward too.

“It’s definitely a great feeling coming back to the old stomping grounds and showing everyone what I’ve done,” he states. “We are ready to come back and put on an [awesome] show.”

Welnel says if it weren’t for the help of his parents, the band may not be playing in Sidney.

“We wouldn’t even have a show if it weren't for the work they did getting stuff together for us. So a big thank you goes out to them and everyone else who helped us out,” Welnel said.

As for his parents’ original thoughts on his new-found profession, they were skeptical as can be imagined, but one attendance to a Sammus Theory’s concert and they have changed their minds.

“(After the show) they changed their minds completely and now they would do anything to help the project,” he adds.

Tickets are $12 a piece with gates opening at 6 p.m., the show starts at 6:30 p.m.
- The Sidney Herald


"Living a Dream Sidney Native Plays for Hard Rock Band in Phoenix"

While growing up, most children at some point or another utter their intentions to be a rock star. For most, this dream wears off, for others it's never fulfilled, but a lucky few actually go on to live their dream and be successful. Kyle Welnel, a 2005 Sidney High School graduate, was one of the lucky few who has gone on to live his dream when he joined The Sammus Theory, a hard rock band originating in Phoenix, Ariz.

From the time he was little, the son of Marvin and Ronda Welnel, Sidney, found himself appreciating and being influenced by music. "Music has always appealed to me in some way or another," he said. "I've always appreciated music in that it's a form of self expression that can reach the world and deliver your message in a way that can have a large impact on the people who hear it."

Now, as part of a hard rock band growing in popularity across the nation, Welnel has the chance to help share his passion for music and his message with others. Though hard rock is not a genre often heard in rural Montana, it attracted Welnel because of the mindset he perceived in the music. That mindset is what drove him away from pop, which to an experienced guitarist, seems to concentrate on changing with each new style, rather then making lasting music people will remember and love. "I think people are going to delete Sisqo's 'Thong Song' out of their music library before they delete Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven,' " Welnel said.

Success comes with challenges, but for a band any challenges and problems, either personally or musically, are handled together with a willingness to help. "We've all become close friends to the project (second album "See It Through"), and I think that is what is going to give us what we need to succeed in the music world."

The Sammus Theory's first album, "Man Without Eyes," was released in October of 2005, with nearly all of the instruments being played and recorded separately, one at a time, by Sammus (vocalist Sam Hughes).

In early 2006, Sammus decided he wanted to put a band together, Welnel was the first member to pass auditions.

"This is where I got lucky," Welnel said. "After moving to Phoenix from Sidney, I decided to post a classified ad on Myspace. I simply said "guitar player looking to join band" and the next day Sam sent me an e-mail telling me I should come audition."

After receiving a few already written songs from Sammus, Welnel auditioned and was later called back for a second audition. "I had my first audition in mid-March 2006. Within a week or two after that, Sam gave me the call and told me I got the part. I think the rest of the world knew five minutes later."

Now, aside from Sammus, Welnel has been with the band the longest and has enjoyed the experience of being able to watch the band grow with each additional member, until they totaled five.

"We're all like brothers now and The Sammus Theory is our home," Welnel said, adding that the chemistry between the band members creates the most important aspect of chemistry - a solid foundation on which to become successful.

The Sammus Theory's new album, "See It Through," will be released the first of May and according to Welnel, "Is a large improvement over the first one in every way." Mixing of the new album was done a bit differently than the old to create a cleaner, heavier sound. There is also the addition of the four other band members, instead of just Sammus playing by himself. The new album will also see more promotion opportunities thanks to the band's previous success, such as a live appearance on "The Last Call with Carson Daly" on late night NBC April 18.

With the positive response from fans of The Sammus Theory, and the goals set individually and as a group, Welnel has no doubt that the band will continue successfully. "One of the most memorable moments so far would definitely be the first time all of the current band members rehearsed together," Welnel said.

The band had brought in a possible bass player, who successfully played all the songs the band had him learn. "During the time we played that night there was just a feeling in the room like something was right that never was before."

Future goals for Welnel include the possibility of going back to school, but with the growing success of the band he realizes the chance might not present itself for awhile.

As for the band, they plan on just pushing the new album by tour dates and media promotion, all of which can be found on the band's Web site, www.thesammustheory.net, or at www.myspace.com/thesammustheory.

"We continue to set goals and take things one step at a time, and I think that's a necessity if we want to do things right the first time around."

Welnel will openly admit that his guitar role in The Sammus Theory was due to being in the right place at the right time. Welnel knew he wanted to create/become part of a successful music project and knew his chances were better if he moved to a city with a developed music scene, along with the population to support it.

He followed opportunity, which is one of the biggest and hardest challenges he perceives coming from a small town with the intention of becoming a successful musician. Like he did with his dream, Welnel encourages other people to keep chasing down their dreams, saying, "I think too many kids from smaller towns have a mentality that makes them think they don't have a chance to be successful in the music industry, so they end up pursing a less fulfilling, less desirable career path. If you truly in your heart want it, then chase your dream down because it's always worth it." - The Sidney Herald


"See (It) Through Review"

Thick bass guitar that reminds one of Tool makes this progressive rock outfit forget about their conceptual debut “Man Without Eyes”. Their debut left a lot of audiences saying either “what”, or “okay that’s nice but why did it sound so hollow”. Well to be fair it was probably more of the former than the latter. Regardless, the Sammus Theory fixes all the flaws on “See It Through”. The album rolls with nu-metal churning guitars and extremely well-produced hooks complete with firm vocals and extremely well thought-out rhythms. Nice.

- J-Sin - Smother.net


"See (It) Through review 2"

The Sammus Theory See It Through

by Paul Zimmerman
First Coast News

The amazing musicians that are The Sammus Theory have once again swept down upon the earth to give us an album of precise, technically flawless, and deadly metal. Their new album, See It Through is yet another impressive link in their armor of uncompromising and studious brand of rock and roll.

Once again this record is so professional that you would think that The Sammus Theory had a budget of a million dollars to produce, package, and put out this record. And while that's highly doubtful every inch and sound of this album is so far beyond what most labels consider quality that it would frighten most label executives. Yeah, it's that good folks.

Also impressive is the music that the band has come up with for See It Through. Gone is the souless nu-metal drudge that plagued their debut. It has been replaced by something far more brutal and closer to the death thrash, screamo end of things. Think Sepultura gagged and bound within an inch of its life. It's a nice change and gives the band yet another deadly edge. Now, instead of just chugging along in typical Limp Bizkit fashion, the songs on See It Through are melodic and as deadly as twenty three screaming axe murderers charging straight for you after a bad day at work.

Obviously from a vocal standpoint they've left the comparisons to Dream Theater and Queensryche in the dust. Musically, however, each song still has approximately 700 riffs and breaks like their contemporaries. It's the sort of thing that would leave someone like Pat Metheney scratching his head as he tried to figure out what the heck these guys were doing. With all that musical theory and precision going on The Sammus Theory have to be one of the tightest bands ever. They are tighter than tight, so tight they don't have room to breath; just play as many riffs as they can. Think of it this way...The Sammus Theory is like your girlfriend who wears the skinniest pair of jeans ever and then complains because she can't do anything but stand there. That's how tight these guys are.

See It Through is one of those records that just obliterates the competition. This is an uncompromising, unyielding album that just pulverizes it way through each of the songs here. The Sammus Theory impress on so many levels that you're left thinking that they truly are the real deal. Talk about upping the anty. This band has improved every conceivable aspect of themselves. The songs are stronger, the music is beyond Herculean, and the sheer power of this record is like a tiny nuclear reactor waiting to explode. The Sammus Theory is a band at critical mass, they're just waiting to explode in the mainstream and lay it to waste. Metal fans everywhere rejoice in your new heroes! - First Coast News, NBC


"See (It) Through review 3"

What I enjoy the most about reviewing records is when a band steady improves with each release. THE SAMMUS THEORY is certainly in that category. I received their first CD, “Man Without Eyes” almost two years ago and was not impressed. They followed it up with an EP last summer, “Something Special” that was a step in the right direction but had still not gone the distance. With their latest LP attempt “See (it) Through” I can finally confirm THE SAMMUS THEORY has now gone the distance. This one has fourteen fast moving tracks that leave you sweaty, singed by hot licks and gets you yelping to the hooks. It seems like there’s a new line up behind Idaho born singer/songwriter Sammus and his new guns blaze their way to glory on each cut. This CD is gonna stay on my player so long that when it wears out I’m sure I’ll be able to, are you ready for this… see through it! - Hotindienews.com


Discography

2005 - "Man Without Eyes" (full length) - OCI Records - various songs added to 284 commercial and college Rock stations nationally, charting on over 25

2006 - "Something Special" (single, 4 tracks) - OCI Records - "Something Special" added to over 70 college and commercial Rock stations nationally in just over 3 weeks, and charting on 7

2007 - "See It Through" (14 tracks) - OCI Records - available on amazon.com, Samgoody.com, FYE.com, and Virgin Megastore.

Photos

Bio

The Sammus Theory – Biography

Imagine a musical style that blends present-day hard rock with classic rock elements into a unique, hard-hitting sound all its own. The Sammus Theory has done just that. Beginning in the small town of Idaho Falls in 2001 by front man and song-writer Sam Hughes, The Sammus Theory was a diamond in the rough, which was soon to be polished. In 2004, Sam moved to Phoenix, Arizona to extend the reach of The Sammus Theory to a bigger scene. Sitting low for ten months, he began to hone in on the unique style of the music and started writing new material. In January of 2005, the project was signed to independent label OCI Records of Phoenix, Arizona.
"I personally felt we had a 'tiger by the tail' opportunity with this project", said Glen O'Hara, president of the label.
Recording at Porcupine Studios for eight months, OCI Records released The Sammus Theory's debut album "Man Without Eyes" into national distribution. The album charted on over 30 rock stations and was added to the playlists of more than 280 college and commercial rock stations nation-wide.
The Sammus Theory released a follow up EP titled "Something Special" in July of 2006, then followed up with multiple shows in California, Arizona, and Idaho.
The release of their second full length studio album titled “See (It) Through” in May 2007 launched The Sammus Theory onto numerous national shows, playing along side notable acts such as Everclear, Adema, Smile Empty Soul, The Exies, Blue October, War, Blues Traveler, and more.

After a three month tour, they were chosen out of a total of over 4,000 bands to close the year with a performance on MTV during the New Year’s Eve Party. Known for having an extremely energetic live show, The Sammus Theory raises the bar for hard rock.