New Day Of Reckoning EP Out Now

Renowned shredder Rusty Cooley overcomes hand injury to record brutal masterpiece

Spread Your Disease, the new EP by modern metal outfit Day of Reckoning, is out now. The EP finds the band, Rusty Cooley, Matt Hough and vocalist Brad Lambert, building upon the stylistic elements that made 2015’s Into The Fire so compelling. But Cooley and Co. have pushed things even further on Spread Your Disease refining and expanding Day of Reckonining’s blend of thrash, metalcore, death metal and prog.

The EP was not born easily. It came amid a period of personal upheaval for the band as a whole and both Cooley and Hough had to overcome hand injuries that threatened to impact their guitar playing. “It was a very tough process just due to personal lives and everything that goes along with recording an album,” Cooley says. “And in the end when everything started to straighten out I started having problems with my hand. It wasn’t guitar related. It was caused by heavy lifting and stuff like that, and it caused deep trauma and tissue damage which caused the circulation of blood to not flow properly to my hand.” The injury began to affect Cooley’s ring and pinkie fingers. “The best way to describe it is my fingers just weren’t firing correctly.”

After consulting with a doctor who worked with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and a leading sports doctor he met through bodybuilder Lee Labrada, Cooley was able to isolate the problem and address it with therapy and exercise. “The first two or three days of therapy were really painful but by the end of the final session it felt like those two fingers were paralyzed; because he’d got all the toxins and set everything up to heal. I couldn’t move those fingers for two weeks but then slowly but surely everything started to come around.”

Co-guitarist Matt Hough also had a hand injury caused by excessive neck and shoulder tension. “This has resulted in me not being able to use my fourth finger at all,” Hough says. “I had to relearn most of our material with only three fingers and have even had to tap, with my right hand, a few passages that are not possible to play with three fingers. I have since been engaged in something called ‘Alexander Technique’ which is a mind body awareness practice. This has allowed me to slowly let go of the tension in my neck and shoulders, allowing me to regain the moderate use of my fourth finger. That was three years ago. It’s been a journey! Not out of it yet but I’m closer to something that resembles my old hand every day.”

Rather than surrender to their demons the band took these tensions and ran them through their brutal metal machine; emerging with an EP which is both cathartic and empowering for the listener as well as the band. Lyrically Lambert’s lyrics explore a variety of themes from the universal to the personal. Media manipulation, social upheaval, personal betrayal, perseverance, apocalyptic views of society, as well as introverted themes of overcoming personal struggles, betrayal, self-doubt, and loss.

The EP kicks off with the pummeling riffage of ‘To The Slaughter.’ “This song encompasses much about the current state of affairs around the world,” Lambert says. “In general the theme of the song is based around the use of media platforms by those in positions of power to manipulate the population as sheep. It is also a critique on humanity in general and our tendency to move towards panic and drama without properly vetting the sources of where we get our information. With that said, the song ends on somewhat of a positive note as people can only be manipulated for so long before it all backfires on those trying to control them.”

‘Betrayer’ features some savage sweep picking licks courtesy of Cooley and Hough, while lyrically dealing with betrayal. Anger at the person who betrayed you as well as anger at yourself for putting yourself in the position to be manipulated. 

‘Dig’ is about lifting yourself up out of a bad situation instead of waiting for the powers that be to do it for you. “Musically this is one of, in my opinion, Rusty’s greatest melodic solo sections that he’s ever written,” Lambert says. “The tempo changes and chord progression during the solo, as well as the rest of the song, create a very progressive sense of tension and release.”

The title track, ‘Spread Your Disease,’ is about the collateral damage left by those suffering from chronic illness or addiction. “Despite our best efforts to be there for someone sometimes it seems like folks just start slipping away from us while leaving a significant amount of damage along the way,” Lambert says. “Regardless, we find ourselves still trying to be there for them. Musically this is probably one of my favorite hooks to sing.  There are a lot of vocal challenges in this song. It goes from max gutturals to some intense cleans without any rest in between. To me this song has some of the coolest slamming chugs as well as a really cool post chorus riff.”

‘Open Your Mind’ features a crushing performance from drummer Jared Sandhy, while Lambert’s lyrics deal with the band members’ struggles with painful life circumstances over the last few years. “This song deals with that as well as the realization that regardless of our external circumstances its ultimately on us to come together. Leave the past in the past and move forward.”

Entertained by Pain’ wraps up the EP with rapid tempo changes, lots of sonic experimentation and a guest appearance by Nile’s Karl Sanders. “Whats funny is that all we really asked him to do was to mirror some of the chord progressions in the bridge with some of his unique instruments,” Lambert says. “However, what he sent us back was way more than we asked for. He added percussion parts as well as some interesting rhythm string parts and that brought the bridge, as well as, the intro to the song to life. As a result Rusty basically completely rewrote the first half of the guitar solo section because he was inspired by what Karl did.”

Spread Your Disease was produced, recorded and mixed by Lambert at Psychonaut Studios in Houston, Texas, with drum performances by Jared Sandhy in Bangalore, India, and bass by Texan Sherman Clark.

Spread Your Disease is available now via https://dayofreckoning.bandcamp.com and on streaming services.

Spread Your Disease track listing:

1. To The Slaughter 03:46

2. Betrayer 04:29

3. Dig 05:24

4. Spread Your Disease 05:11

5. Open Your Mind 04:33

6. Entertained by Pain (ft. Karl Sanders, Nile) 04:43

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