By Andrew Catania
Chicago Power Metal Quartet Scars Of Armageddon’s Sophomore effort “Dead End” will be released worldwide on December 15th, 2017 via Pure Steel Records.
Clocking in at just under 70 minutes, “Dead End” immerses the listener with an onslaught of powerful vocals, blistering guitars, and a thunderous low-end section. “Dead End” runs the gamut of the band’s musical abilities and artistic visions focusing on memorable choruses and riffs while maintaining an aggressive nature throughout the entire release. The album also includes a guest solo from fellow PureSteel recording artist and former Manowar guitarist, the “Shred Demon“ David Shankle.
I spoke with Guitarist George Lohan about Dead End.
You and David are listed on vocals. Who do the main vocals which sound like Todd La Torre or a Geoff Tate?
GL: Dave does all of the main vocals. I can’t sing, that’s why I play guitar and yell into microphones occasionally. He’ll love that comparison though, as Geoff Tate is among one of his top influences, with guys like Ripper and Sebastian Bach.
Who does lead and rhythm guitar on the record?
GL: I’m the rhythm guy. I also play some of the leads as well as of course the harmony parts. Dave does all of the solos except for two I do the final quick solo on Fatal Impact, and our good friend David Shankle (Devil Land, DSG, Ex-Manowar) did the ending solo on A Good Day To Die.
Who writes the lyrics and music? Is it divided up amongst the band?
GL: The music usually comes first. When we first started all the music was written by Jason and myself. Dave and Pauly have been contributing more and more as we keep going. Someone will usually have a riff or skeleton to something, and we just build off of that. Dave writes almost all of the lyrics to the songs. I have written a couple as well.
What influenced you to start playing guitar?
GL: My uncle plays guitar, and I’d always see them at his house when we were over as kids. He’d let me fiddle, and it peaked my interest. It wasn’t until I started getting into metal that I began to learn. Luckily in my middle school, the guitar was a class you could take so in 7th grade I signed up for that. It’s probably the only A I ever got. But seriously, after that class, I would play a little bit, but it wasn’t until I saw a live video of Iron Maiden that made me go, yeah, that’s what I want to do! Then I started getting more serious about it and just started learning a bunch of songs until I started writing my own.
Were you self-taught or took lessons?
GL: Besides the one class, and about a dozen lessons from my uncle’s buddy Ray, I’m entirely self-taught. I know Dave took lessons for a good four years and the other guys I’m not sure about, but they’re all very knowledgeable about theory and stuff. I’m the outlier there. It takes me a few more minutes to catch on to some of that. Pauly will be like, “no you gotta play the augmented 3rd of that instead”. I’ll give him a blank stare, and he’ll just laugh and say “3rd fret” or something like that.
Who are some of your influences?
GL: The biggest influences in my playing would be Jon Schaffer, Kai Hansen, Claudio Sanchez, and the trio Maiden of course (Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Janick Gers). Sonically all of those guys have probably had the most significant effect on my playing. Some of my favorite guitar players, however, are SRV, Michael Schenker, John Petrucci, Alex Lifeson, BB King, the list goes on, but those guys aren’t prevalent in my playing. Daves biggest influences are Neal Schon, Dimebag, and Alexi Laiho, so that’s what cool about the band is how all of that mashes together to create our sound.
What does your rig consist of both live and in the studio:
GL: I’m very simple when it comes to rigs. I’m not really into effects or anything. I let the amp speak for itself. I use an Engl Powerball II with the Engl 4X12 Pro cab. All my guitars I use live are Ibanez Prestige RGs with Dimarzio pickups and Dean Markley Blue Steel Strings. Dave uses an Orange TH100 head and matching cab; he has an Alesis Compressor on it too I believe. His main guitar is a Charvel with an old Dimarzio pickup in it. The two combos balance each other very well live. In the studio, we used the Engl for all of the guitars. We used an RG with Dimarzio Gravity Storms for all of the Rhythm guitars on the album, and the Leads and solos were done on a Premium RG.
2. Dead End
5. Elf Revolution
6. Turns To Gray
7. A Good Day To Die
8. Endless Horizon
9. What Lurks Beneath
10. Scars Of Armageddon
11. Fatal Impact
Total Playing Time: 68:12 min
George Lohan – guitars, harsh vocals
David Kraus – guitars, vocals
Paul Postelnik – bass
Jason Krieger – drums