Tama metal band Rehtek is back with a new growling and screaming sound

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Photo courtesy of Rehtek, collage by Jordan Sellergren

Abomination, the new album from Iowa metal band Rehtek, has all the ingredients for a mind-blowing musical feast. Bulky guitar riffing – check. Rumbling bass – check. Double beat drums at fast metal speeds – check. Rumbling and screaming voices – double check.

“Our influences are vast,” frontman Colton Davenport said. “We listened to everything from thrash, death metal and nu metal to core. For this reason, it has always been difficult to define our style. We incorporate so many different elements, that’s what I’ve always loved about this band.

Guitarists Joe Youngbear and his brother Mythias Keahna conjure up an eclectic range of sounds, and the same can be said for Davenport’s vocals on Abomination. The album’s first song, “Archon,” begins with a rush of overwhelming instrumentation until its grindcore growls fill the track – while other songs, like “Prism,” feature a mix of screams and of melodic singing with double-tracked harmonized vocals. You never get bored with this album.

“I try not to be boring,” Youngbear told me. “When the music becomes very dynamic, sometimes you have to slow it down, and sometimes you have to give it power. When I write, I just go with what moves me.

Hailing from Tama, a small town in Iowa with a population of 3,000, Rehtek has spent the last decade immersed in the Midwestern metal scene after starting playing local bars in the summer of 2011.

“Me and four other kids got together that year hoping to create something special,” Davenport said. “It started with a few acoustic songs and eventually turned into the machine that is Rehtek.”

Rehtek found a second home in Des Moines, performing gigs regularly in that city and the rest of the region as they shared bills with Saliva, Devour the Day, American Head Charge, Dead Horse Trauma, Apathy Syndrome and d other great metal bands.

“We spent those early years earning our stripes and making a name for ourselves,” Davenport said. “We took the local music scene by storm and made a lot of great friends along the way. Our experiences with the metal scene have been pretty good for the most part, especially in Des Moines. We received so much love and support there. It has always been like a second home for us. So many great bands with so much positive energy.

Born in central Iowa, Davenport spent his early years moving around with his family before settling in Tama around age 8.

“There’s not much to see here,” Davenport said. “There are a lot of cornfields around, as you can imagine in any small town in Iowa. We have a beef processing plant, a few different small businesses here and there. But this is our home, and this is the hometown of our tribe, the Meskwaki Nation. That’s where I really found myself and became the man I am today.

Davenport first got into metal after discovering Ozzy Osbourne’s Bark At the Moon album, then turned to heavier music like Metallica, Cradle of Filth, Slipknot, Korn and Cannibal Corpse. Davenport always had an interest in the arts, especially music, and once he found his bandmates, it was off.

“Even as a kid, I knew I wanted to sing in a metal band,” he said. “It wasn’t until we started Rehtek that I found enough courage to sing in front of anyone.”

Youngbear – the band’s guitarist, engineer and producer – is also from Tama, where he attended Meskwaki Settlement School, a tribal school run by the Meskwaki Nation, to which Youngbear, Davenport and Keahna – the other three original members of the band – all belong. at.

“That’s one of the things that really helped us bond, as far as the music-making experience goes,” Davenport said. “We are all very involved in our culture. And we draw a lot of inspiration from our culture when it comes to making our music.

As an example, the singer pointed to “OITN,” a song from the new album that begins with a loud boom boom boom sound.

“We actually came up with this idea for the opening beat of the powwow drums that we use here in our ceremonies,” Davenport said. “Some of the lyrical topics are loosely centered around our legends and stories. I mean, the culture is very much alive here, and you’ll hear some of those influences come through in our music from time to time.

Youngbear’s Godzilla-sized riffs and layers of noise help define Rehtek’s sound, which at times recalls the heavy rumble produced by Brazil’s biggest metal exporter, Sepultura, which also mixes heavy rock with influences native music from their own country.

Drummer Dylan Main and bassist Julian Williams are newcomers to the band, which had been on hiatus since 2019, and Youngbear said they debated whether to continue as a band until they decide to make another album.

“My brother Mythias has always been on board,” he said. “Julian the bassist was a colleague of mine and a good friend, and Dylan is a great drummer, so we all got together and it just clicked.”

Abomination – which was produced and engineered by Youngbear in his home studio – grabs listeners by the collar for 36 minutes before ending with a heavy da-da-dum riff as Davenport’s a capella howl hangs in the air. All killer and with no filler, it leaves listeners wanting more.

Abomination, in many ways, is like a rebirth for this band,” Davenport said. “We introduced a whole new sound for this group, and we introduced two new members, Julian and Dylan. I am proud to say that despite some of the changes, we are just as energized and as hungry as ever. »

Kembrew McLeod is a lover not a fighter. This article originally appeared in the August 2022 issues of Little Village.

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