Long Island (NY) – Progressive/Brutal Death Metal veterans Afterbirth have signed to Willowtip Records! After originally forming in 1993, the influential band disbanded for two decades, and then reformed in 2013, releasing two acclaimed full-length albums. Afterbirth is currently working on its third, as-yet-untitled album, for release on Willowtip. Stay tuned!
Afterbirth released the following statement concerning the signing:
“Having Afterbirth join forces with Willowtip Records is a natural fit, and one that the band could not be more pleased with. The forward-thinking nature of Willowtip has been something that Afterbirth has taken note of time and time again. Albums released by the label have enriched our lives tremendously and inspired our creativity both collectively and individually for many years. Separately, both the band and the label have pioneered a trail of brutality, experimentation, and evolution within the death metal genre, and it makes complete sense that their trails would converge to continue those traditions together. A commonality and like-mindedness have existed between the band and the label for quite some time.
The band has been hard at work crafting their as-yet-untitled third album. A handful of new songs has emerged, further revealing their commitment to being true to their early brutal death origins while continuing to push their songs into uncharted territories. Hints of black metal, grindcore and industrial metal have now also begun to reveal themselves alongside the existing progressive, brutal death metal structures.
It is truly an honor for Afterbirth to be recognized and supported by a label with such a long-running reputation for both preserving death metal’s traditions as well as progressing its future. Our shared values now come together to carry those traditions forward into an ever-innovative and sonically merciless future!”
Afterbirth formed on Long Island in the summer of 1993, when Cody Drasser (guitar) met Matt Duncan (vocalist) and decided to form a band to channel their rabidly primitive death metal visions. After numerous musicians tried out for the role of drummer, Keith Harris, an unsuspecting Rush fan from the Long Island suburbs who had never played a blast beat in his life, was recruited for the pivotal position. Lifelong friend David Case eventually took over bass duties after several other bassists had come and gone from the band.
Initially inspired by death metal and thrash, the four youths just wanted to make similarly heavy, loud, and fast music, without too much thought going into it, and so they did. Unsuspectingly however, the band began to create a new sound within the death metal underground. This was a sound and style that had rarely been heard before and was some of the earliest origins of brutal death metal. A raw demo, simply titled Rehearsal Tape 1993 was quickly recorded and showed much promise within the nascent death metal unit. A year later, and after many shows and lengthy rehearsals, the band wrote and recorded the 1994 demo Psychopathic Embryotomy, which has since gone onto cement their position as innovators and pioneers of the brutal death metal style. Sadly, the band called it quits soon after the demo was recorded and all went silent within the Afterbirth camp for close to two decades.
Not feeling content with the abrupt disappearance of the band from the world, the universe saw fit to draw the members back together once more. In the winter of 2013, after much planning and discussion, the four original members met up once more to pick up the long smoldering torch and make music together. The years had been kind to the musicians and it was quickly evident that they had individually and collectively become stronger, more skilled, and highly creative players. A novel approach began as they started to combine their earlier brutal death metal stylings with a more nuanced and progressive methodology. Somehow, styles thought previously to be incongruous with brutal death metal, such as jazz-inflected riffing and avant garde experimentation, made their way into the songwriting, which now effortlessly and easily flowed. A 4-song demo, 2014 Demo was then recorded at Long Island’s Full Force Studio with famed engineer Joe Cincotta. The demo was welcomed with open arms by the death metal community who had been (im)patiently waiting for an Afterbirth reunion for some time.
While the band was enjoying a newfound sense of success with their reformation, all was not well within the Afterbirth camp. Disagreements arose and tempers flared with how best to propel the band forward and founding member Matt Duncan was asked to leave the band. The remaining members of Afterbirth soldiered on as best as they were able to during this time, writing and recording an entire album’s worth of instrumental death metal material. It was shortly after this time that the band approached Will Smith about stepping into the role of vocalist for the band. Will was welcomed into the band and wrote and recorded an album’s worth of vocals for our debut in only a matter of months.
Since then, the band has gone onto release their debut album The Time Traveler’s Dilemma and its sophomore follow-up album Four Dimensional Flesh, on Erik Lindmark’s Unique Leader Records. Both albums received high praise worldwide, being recognized as devastatingly brutal albums, as well as albums that have moved the boundaries of death metal even further forward.In the summer of 2021, Afterbirth signed with acclaimed death metal record label Willowtip Records to continue their evolving saga. The band is currently hard at work on their third, as-yet-untitled third album.
David Case – Bass
Cody Drasser – Guitar
Keith Harris – Drums
Will Smith – Vocals