Regain Records / Soulfood
June 2009 (GER)
“Brooklyn is not the easiest place to grow up in, although I wouldn't change that experience for anything.” -- Neil Diamond
If the music of New York City is any indication of what’s ingrained in the hearts of its people, Brooklyn’s own MERAUDER epitomizes the underbelly of inner-city America at its grittiest and most fearless. While rebellion-hungry suburbanites and wannabe gangsters fall victim to current trends and faux tough posturing, the true warrior spirit that is MERAUDER remains the genuine article after nearly two decades.
Armed with a knuckle-dragging, heavy as shit, hardcore-meets-metal ferocity, MERAUDER’s sound has always reflected the band’s native Brooklyn upbringing and hard earned lessons in survival. Emerging from New York’s hardcore scene in 1990, MERAUDER released a pair of demos, gigged constantly with the likes of Sick of it All, Sheer Terror, Motorhead and Morbid Angel, and contributed a track to the now legendary 1992 hardcore compilation East Coast Assault. While the band claimed its turf in the NYC underground shortly after its formation, it wasn’t until 1995 and the recruitment of vocalist Jorge Rosado (Ragmen, Ill Nino) that Merauder’s threat came to lethal fruition.
Shortly after the addition of Rosado, MERAUDER inked a deal with Century Media Records. With the release of the band’s first full length, 1996’s Master Killer, MERAUDER unleashed a defining moment in metalcore and set new standards for metal and hardcore bands that would follow in their wake. Like their predecessors the Cro-Mags, Carnivore and Leeway, MERAUDER possessed a street-born spirit that shattered the sonic barriers of traditional hardcore. By incorporating thug-infused beats and death metal grooves into the hardcore punk battle cry, MERAUDER solidified itself as a menacing force and locked down one of the most terrorizing musical backdrops to urban blight ever recorded.
In the years following the success of Master Killer, the band scored an opening slot on Fear Factory’s ’96 US tour and in 1998 headed to Europe with Bohse Onkelz. 1999 and 2003 saw the release of Five Deadly Venoms and Bluetality, respectively, both of which continued in the revolutionary style of the band’s debut. Despite this seemingly unstoppable momentum, MERAUDER would soon endure numerous lineup changes, label woes, and the death of original guitarist Javier “SOB” Carpio (RIP) in 2006. The future for MERAUDER had been put on hold indefinitely.
Enter 2008. Driven by a manifest urgency to perpetuate the natural evolution of what was started nearly 20 earlier, Rosado resurrected MERAUDER with fresh blood and renewed fervor, assembling the most cohesive lineup since the band’s inception. While embarking on tours throughout Europe and Japan alongside metal giants Obituary and Exodus, MERAUDER caught the attention of current manager, Obituary’s Frank Watkins, and later, renowned extreme metal label Regain Records. The undeniable chemistry between Drew Smerdon (Bass), Dave Stafford (Guitar), Darian Polach (Guitar), Bobby Blood (Drums, ex-First Blood, Crematorium) and Rosado proved to be a fertile union for birthing an unholy beast of a record as only MERAUDER can: God Is I.
The most focused recording since Master Killer, God Is I (June 2009) finds MERAUDER in perfect form. Melding the band’s roots with a modern bite, the intent becomes immediately clear within seconds of the album’s suckerpunch opening riff; “Until” hones in on its listener and the chase begins. Runaway freight train grooves, mid-paced stomps, seething gang vocals and death metal drenched riffs all find themselves vying for supremacy amidst their patented NYHC delivery. From the punishing hooks and wailing solo on “Built on Blood” (featuring guest vocals by fellow Brooklyn Bastard Mike Scondotto of Inhuman) to the eviscerating Latin tongue of “Ahora,” the powerhouse vocals of Rosado single-handedly carry and crown the massive weight of MERAUDER’s latest.
Beaten up but never beaten down, God Is I pushes MERAUDER to the forefront of modern metal alongside heavyweights Lamb of God, Hatebreed and Shadows Fall. A true testament to the “never say die” New York City sensibility, God Is I carves a new path for MERAUDER in 2009, demanding redemption once and for all for metalcore’s unsung pioneers.
Jorge Rosado -Vocals
Darian Polach -Guitar
Drew Smerdon - Bass
Dave Stafford - Guitar
Bobby Blood – Drums
Split EP with Stigmata (1995)
Master Killer (1996, Century Media)
Five Deadly Venoms (1999, Century Media)
Bluetality (2003, Century Media)
Master Killers: A Complete Anthology (2007, Century Media)
God is I (2009, Regain Records)