New Day Of Reckoning EP Out Now

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 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

Contact Day Of Reckoning:

Rusty Cooley Joins Ormsby Guitars

So, my day job these days is Artist Relations and Social Media guy for the wonderful Ormsby Guitars, and I’ve just got back from NAMM where we had the huge honour of working with Rusty Cooley and Dino Cazares to unveil their new signature models.

Below is the press release I wrote to get the word out ahead of the show (and a whole bunch of pics by the wonderful Beto Branger), but now that I’ve had time to play Rusty’s guitar and get to know it, I thought I’d share my first-hand experience with this incredible instrument. So far this is Custom Shop guitar is the only instrument we’ve made for Rusty, but it’ll be available later this year from both the Custom Shop and the production GTR Series.

It was very important to Rusty that his guitar have unrestricted upper-fret access so not only does the RC-ONE have completely free access up to the 24th fret, but it goes three better: you can get your pinkie finger all the way up to the 27th fret with your thumb still parallel behind your fretting fingers. The neck joint is super-sculpted for easy access, and the upper frets are partially scalloped to give you extra grip on the high notes. And the neck is super thin. Like, ridiculously thin, but very stable.

This particular multiscale design uses the bridge as the neutral point of the fret fan, meaning you can use a Floyd Rose or any other standard tremolo or hardtail bridge while still getting the benefits of multiscale on the low strings. You can shred like crazy on the high strings while the low strings are tight and punchy. It’s really fun playing riffs on this thing.

A few people have asked about the pickup placement and whether the neck pickup really sounds like a neck pickup, being so far back from the traditional neck position. I can confirm that it does indeed sound ‘necky’ but the location gives it a little more definition and more harmonic overtones than a typical neck pickup. I really dig it.

I love the Ormsby guitars I’m currently playing but man, once these come out I’ve gotta get one. Those who are familiar with my playing know that I’m a big Floyd-Rose-and-seven-string guy, and this really is the ultimate guitar for players like me.


PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA (January 23, 2019)Ormsby Guitars, a pioneer in multiscale electric guitars, welcomes guitar virtuoso Rusty Cooley to its family of artists.

Cooley is always pushing the boundaries of what the guitar can do, and he needs an instrument that can keep up with his creativity and technique. “A good friend of mine turned me on to Ormsby guitars and I was immediately intrigued,” Cooley says. “The guitar played great and had a very cutting-edge and innovative look. After speaking with Perry I knew this was the right move for me. Finally a guitar builder with the vision to go where no-one else has ever been, and the balls to do it!”

“Rusty and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to pushing the boundaries of guitar design,” luthier Perry Ormsby says. “When we began designing Rusty’s new guitar, we spent hours on Skype discussing everything from upper fret access to headstock shape to the perfect control location, to shared inspirations like Randy Rhoads. This is an instrument that really captures the excitement and passion of both playing and making guitars.”

“I’ve always likened my guitars to high-performance cars like a Lamborghini, but what we’re working with now is clearly alien technology,” Cooley says. 

A Rusty Cooley signature model electric guitar is in the works which not only meets Rusty’s demand for the ultimate in upper fret access; it exceeds it by providing completely unrestricted access all the way up to the 27th fret. This 7-string instrument features 26.5” to 27.5” multiscale, Floyd Rose Pro 7 vibrato, partially-scalloped frets, glow-in-the-dark fretboard inlays and a unique Ormsby-designed, angled locking nut. You can play Rusty’s prototype at the Ormsby NAMM booth, #2841.

BIAS Desktop Gets Amp Match Presets

PRESS RELEASE: Now some of the best and most requested artists amp tones are available as a free download for all BIAS Desktop users. Positive Grid ( updated today the recently launched guitar amp plug-in with amp matched presets personally created and engineered by artists such as Mark Holcomb from Periphery, Ola Englund, Rusty Cooley, and other professional recording artists. All these presets we created using the same amp, cab, and mic configuration as they use in the studio for album recordings. Read More …

NEWS: ProTone Pedals gives away Rusty Cooley Overdrive

My good buddies over at ProTone Pedals are giving away a free Rusty Cooley Overdrive to one extremely lucky person. Head on over to THIS LINK to sign up.

While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the ProTone blog at

Here’s some info about the Rusty Cooley overdrive:

The Rusty Cooley Overdrive…

The all analog design offers a smooth overdrive and huge volume boost along with treble and bass controls to add brawn and flexibility to your tone shaping possibilities.

Designed to push already high gain tubes into a new realm, the Rusty Cooley overdrive does so without coloring your tone, adding a ‘mid hump’ or making your top end shrill.


• Gain, Treble, Bass, and Volume controls
• Operates on a standard 9 volt batter or (negative tip) BOSS style adapter
• True Hardwire Bypass for noise free operation
• Stomp switch built to withstand years of hard stomping shows
• Durable aluminum housing
• Neutrik Jacks
• Proudly built by hand in Crossroads, Texas

CLICK HERE to buy the pedal direct from ProTone or to see video of Rusty himself demonstrating the pedal.

NAMM 2009: ProTone Rusty Cooley overdrive

ProTone Pedals have expanded their relationship with Dean endorser and unstoppable shredding machine Rusty Cooley to include a new signature overdrive pedal.

Rusty recently helped the company out during the prototype phase of their Jason Becker Perpetual Burn distortion pedal. I haven’t played one yet but I hear from those who have that it’s freaking amazing.

Here’s the press release:

World renowned guitarist & instructor Rusty Cooley and cutting edge guitar effects manufacturer Pro Tone Pedals join forces to create an overdrive pedal designed to operate under the highest of gain situations.

Rusty is a frequent columnist in all of the major guitar magazines and is consistently named one of the top shredders of all time. Rusty continues to build a rabid following of tomorrow’s shredders with his wildly successful instructional DVDs, his progressive metal band Outworld, and instrumental solo CD. The all analog design offers a smooth overdrive and huge volume boost along with treble and bass controls to add brawn and flexibility to your tone shaping possibilities.

Rusty will be demoing his signature pedal at the Pro Tone Pedals booth at this years NAMM show. For a schedule of appearance times visit ProTone Pedals online or

Release date: January 15, 2009

List Price: $249

For more information, visit their web site at

CLICK HERE to buy Rusty’s Rock House Fretboard Autopsy- Scales, Modes & Melodic Patterns, Level 1 DVD.

CLICK HERE to see Dean guitars on eBay.

NEWS: New Rusty Cooley DVDs

Rusty Cooley has just released a pair of instructional DVDs through Rock House. I’ll put them on my ‘to do’ list of stuff to buy and review, but in the meantime, here’s the press release:

Rock House announced the release of two instructional DVDs featuring Rusty Cooley, one of the most popular and technically proficient guitar players of this generation. The new products titled Fretboard Autopsy Level 1 & level 2 has Rusty teaching his unique approach to fretboard visualization through shapes, patterns and years of model knowledge. In Level 1 Rusty shows students how the modes are covered across the neck, 5 and 6 string root modal patterns, extended and split patterns, single and double string techniques and more, In Level 2 Rusty unlocks the road map that gives guitar players the freedom to improvise over the entire fretboard without being locked into positions. Learn 4, 5 & 6 string root modes, extended patterns spanning the neck, 3 octave modes, reverse linear patterns and modal sequences. Rusty shows you how to create modal chord progressions for each of the 7 modes and more.

Rusty was named one of the Top 20 Most Blazin’ Shredders of all time by Total Guitar Magazine and his Shred Guitar Manifesto has been sited as having influenced John Petrucci and Mark Tremonti. “Rusty Cooley is certainly at the fore front of pushing the boundaries of modern guitar playing.” Said Joe Palombo, Executive Director of Rock House.

Each DVD comes with iPod ready video, a booklet with each lesson tabbed out and membership to Rock House’s lesson support site at This feature, exclusive to Rock House and its partners, offers students supplementary support for the lessons featured on the DVDs. Once registered, students can interact with the community, utilize the additional learning tools and access the special features such as:

The Ear Trainer
Download Tabbed Sheet Music
Post Original Compositions
Ask the Teacher Questions
Quizzes to Track Progress
Sheet Music in Tab Format
Student Message Boards
Backing Tracks to Play Over