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Volume 71, Issue 48, Thursday, November 3, 2005

Life & Arts

Local band gives itself five years to succeed

By Scott Whitt
The Daily Cougar

Many people do not know the sacrifices that one must make to be in a band. Being in a band is like having a mistress who your girlfriend knows about. You have to spend time and money with the mistress or she will not be there anymore. Add in the emotional commitment, and it almost seems like too much to handle.

Local band Dissonant Angel is aware of this sacrifice. 

Lead singer Shadow -- the stage name of anthropology senior Will Rawlins -- formed Dissonant Angel out of the ska band No Excuses. Rawlins, along with drummer Joe Wallace, guitarist Ed "Marzz" Garcia and bassist Ryan Dybala added guitarist R.I.P. (who preferred not to be named) and entered the world of melodic metal. 

Houston band Dissonant Angel will release a full-length album of punk-inspired metal later this year. Those interested in hearing them now can head to Java Jazz, 419 Gentry St., in Spring on Friday.

Photo courtesy of Dissonant Angel

"We were influenced a lot by the band Strung Out. (No Excuses) initially started out as a punk band and they morphed into this rock band that does whatever they like," Rawlins said. This, along with a wide variety of influences such as Wallace's penchant for epic metal like Hammerfall and Nightwish to R.I.P's love for video game soundtracks, makes up the band's sound. The band even played the theme to Final Fantasy at an anime convention earlier this year. 

All the members of Dissonant Angel agree that the band is truly a group effort.

"I recorded the album, and Joe mixed it," Marzz said. The band took the unusual step and bypassed using someone else--s studio.

"I weighed the price of going into a studio versus buying the equipment and this just made the most sense," Dissonant Angel manager Swann Six said. "Doing it this way allows us to take our time."

Dissonant Angel is a band that harkens back to something that is lost in today's music. 

"I am classically trained in choir and Joe has been playing piano since he was five," Rawlins said. His melodic vocals, along with both guitarists'f lair -- like playing behind their heads along with some flashy fretwork -- give the audience a type of show they may have never seen before. At a recent show, the band's effort paid off, as one audience member did not believe what he was seeing. 

"So me and R.I.P. are doing simultaneous hammer-ons and this kid runs up to the stage and starts yelling ... He did not believe we were actually able to play that. He kept looking around to see if there was a tape playing," Garcia said.

The band is serious about its musical endeavor and is about to release a full-length album, which is a follow-up to its well-received demo. 

"We hope to have the full-length out in December, just in time for Christmas," Garcia said. 

The band has a lot of juggling to do, as all members are either in school or work a full-time job, if not both. 

"We gave ourselves a five-year plan. If it does not work out then we gave it our best shot and we will have nothing to regret," Rawlins said.

Dissonant Angel will play at the Java Jazz Coffee House, 419 Gentry St., in Spring on Friday, and their new album should come out in December. For more information, visit or the band's page on

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