Article By: Brian Halsey ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
Where do I start with THE AGE OF TRUTH and their début full length, ‘Threshold‘? What a goddamned beautiful piece of heavy rock.
The first listen was so moving that I took back half of the bad shit I’ve ever said about Philly, the other ten million complaints are just facts, but alas the city may finally be redeemed. ‘Threshold’ is a masterful display of fuzzy riffage and vocally driven horsepower.
THE AGE OF TRUTH crushes a dreamy brand of blues-inspired doom, mixed with a voice that is eerily familiar, in a way that is magically nostalgic. The guitar work is sharp and the recording is clear. This band would not sound out-of-place in a dive bar with 28 drunk dudes, or in front of 100,000 screaming fans in an arena.
It’s a really weird vibe to nail down, because to most underground bands, being called a “radio band” is not necessarily a compliment. But they are kinda like what a radio band would sound like if the radio was good. Get it? Every note and melody sounds carefully constructed. Every song is catchy and memorable. There is an extraordinary quality to the aesthetic of ‘Threshold’ that makes this album an appealing listen for a wide variety of people.
THE AGE OF TRUTH features Kevin McNamara (Vocals), Mike DiDonato (Guitar), Scott Frassetto (Drums, *current), and William Miller (Bass). These guys are totally self-aware of what’s going on here, this is much more brotherhood than it is a band. Their sound is fluid and cohesive, you don’t really need time to get into the album. It just rocks. Engineered and mixed by Joseph Boldizar at Retro City Studios in Philadelphia, PA, and was mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering Chicago, IL.
Threshold chugs along and does its thing with style. The album sounds tough on every track without trying too hard. THE AGE OF TRUTH has just enough ruggedness to get lumped in with some really strong doom bands, but overall they’re just dishing out hard rock the way it should be done.
Play it loud, or don’t play it at all:
*Eric Fisher was on drums during the recording sessions for ‘Threshold’.
I was (un)lucky enough to catch up with some of the dudes from THE AGE OF TRUTH and put their geographically renowned shit-talking skills to the test. With the Eagles finally putting a competitive squad on the field, I thought I’d ask them some questions about their team, album, and unique brand of culture. I’m happy to report they didn’t let me down.
RIFF RELEVANT [Halsey]: Congrats on ‘Threshold’. The album sounds great, it is both unique and familiar at the same time. Could you try and describe the sound you were going for, and how you feel about the outcome?
TAOT [Bill Miller]: Thank you Brian! We weren’t really going for anything, we just had songs in us and this is how they came out. The idea was to record it as we sound when we get on stage, so we tracked it live using our tones and kept it as real as possible. We had great help, Joe Boldizar from Retro City Studios in Philly is great to work with, and after all of it he is family now.
He let us do all the things we wanted to do and contributed great ideas, as well as a calming sense of confidence as we worked through it. We really do love Threshold, had a great time making it and are proud of how it turned out. It gets better with every listen, which is insane, because we have been with these songs since the very beginning and still love hearing and playing them.
TAOT [Kevin McNamara]: Well, we basically wrote everything on the spot? Like literally on the spot (beers and other things included😁) and just kept rolling. I wrote a ton of lyrics while working (FU, work!) and that’s how we kinda did it. I just recently got asked to sing for this band by the way. (Keith) Gibbs from Sasquatch and Bill were drinking and texted me that I now sing for The Age Of Truth. Kinda badass when Gibbs texts you, you know?
RIFF RELEVANT [Halsey]: As a band from Philly, I think it’s important to take note of the Eagles’ current Super Bowl run. What is your prediction for the game?
TAOT [Bill Miller]: Prediction? Pain.
TAOT [Kevin McNamara]: I’ll be drinking whiskey, for sure! Go Birds!
RIFF RELEVANT [Halsey]: What do you say to the people (aka a vast majority of the country) who call you the worst fans in all of football?
TAOT [Bill Miller]: Seriously? It brings nothing but joy to our hearts. We love that everyone hates. This is Philadelphia, it’s not a fucking Chuck E. Cheese. Pull out all the old clichés about snowballs and batteries, we wear each and every one of them with honor. It keeps all the pussies out and keeps the smart ones with their heads on a fucking swivel. We are the worst fans in all of football, just ask the Vikings fans or everyone else on Faceplant who’s not from Philly. It’s the latest outrage if you didn’t know. Animals. Scoundrels. Maniacs. It’s all true. We will come into your homes, fucking eat your household pets and leave with your lady, right after drinking all of your beer and pissing on the rug.
TAOT [Kevin McNamara]: I think it’s nonsense. Yo… every city has its share of assholes! We are no different! I’ve been in Baltimore and Kansas City and the fans were cool, but you always have that element that doesn’t know when to shut it off. It’s a game!
RIFF RELEVANT [Halsey]: I just saw THE AGE OF TRUTH get some play on the Doom Charts. Great stuff. What accomplishments are you most proud of at this point in the band?
TAOT [Bill Miller]: Is being the worst fans in football an acceptable answer? If not, just being able to do this thing with a bunch of dudes who all love each other and want nothing but success for each other. We wake up every day, thankful that we get to play music with each other and pull this weird, heavy shit out of each other every single time we get together. At least once a week on the band text thread, someone will say “I love this band”. I hope that never stops.
Some really cool things have happened to us since the record came out in November, you mentioned Doom Charts, which is absolutely an honor to be on that list. Think about it man, 40 different people rated our album. That that alone happened is cool, and that they rated it highly enough that we even showed up on a list like that astounds us. So many cool things, like this interview, have happened and we welcome more. Our band is young, we will be two years old in March, we have a long list of things we want check marks next to before we end up down in that hole.
TAOT [Kevin McNamara]: That I got to meet Mike and Bill (and Scott I’ve known forever and always loved him as a drummer). We as a band always say after we talk, or whatever, “I love you bro.” It’s what we believe in. It’s a brotherhood always, and a sisterhood. Love our brothers and sisters so much! But for me as a singer? Meeting these amazing three people who became such a huge part in my life… oh and can I say hi to Gina? (Ha… hi gorgeous!)
RIFF RELEVANT [Halsey]: Do you have any shows, tours, or festivals planned in the near future?
TAOT [Bill Miller]: Always playing as much as possible. We are a live band and that’s what we do. Hell, it’s why we do. We all love the experience of making an experience for an audience. This band isn’t about bringing light shows and fireworks and sharks with laser beams, it’s just sweaty, honest, heavy rock. We have been branching out and getting some states added to our list lately, and we want to do the same with our passports, but no tours planned at the moment. The Age Of Truth will be at a few US festivals later this year, but they are under wraps for a few more weeks. Come to them even though we can’t advertise them yet. No bullshit, they are gonna be awesome even though we are sworn to secrecy at this time. We are definitely open to more.
RIFF RELEVANT [Halsey]: If Foles pulls this thing off for the Eagles, will it prove they are a more complete team than people thought and not just a product of Wentz’s great year? If Nick-folean Dynamite plays lights out and the Eagles win, do you have a quarterback controversy?
TAOT [Bill Miller]: They are a complete team and they are brothers, you can see it after the games. Those dudes are fighting for the man next to them, it’s a powerful thing. An unstoppable thing. But a quarterback controversy is not gonna happen. Big Dick Nick, as he is known in the locker room, could go out there Sunday and roast a defensive backfield of Ronny Lott, Neon Deion, Steve Atwater and Jesus, and he is still carrying a clipboard next year in week 4. We will always love him forever and he will never pay for another drink again in his life if he makes it happen. But it’s the kid from North Dakota’s job. He’s magical.
TAOT [Kevin McNamara]: Noooooo Wentz, did this theory evolve? Because that statement is Foles.
RIFF RELEVANT [Halsey]: The entire band sounds tight, but a lot of reviews focus on the power of your vocals. When did you realize you had the voice of a golden god? Was that something you had to work on, or did you just sound that awesome since birth?
TAOT [Bill Miller]: Since we are a completely one dimensional band, a better question would be – “are the rest of the band even allowed in the same room as the almighty, majestic, holiness that is the vocalist for this band?” The answer is: only by papal decree.
TAOT [Kevin McNamara]: No I am genitally blessed… stuff is huge… ask around, but at one point I had a tiny peen and just went with it? Ha, no I’m kidding… I love the classic belters. It takes its toll, but I recover quick from the training (one bottle of whiskey a day… you’re welcome.) Walsh, Dio, Shortino, Bonnet, Morrison, Bowie, Ozzy, Anderson, Turner, Springsteen, and most def Peter Gabriel… all these bad motha fuggas… that’s been my source. I get a lot of ‘Cornell’, but Chris had me at one album, Ultra Mega OK, but he never shaped me. Shit, I was too locked in at that point to be shaped. It was already done.
RIFF RELEVANT [Halsey]: If each band member had to be assigned a character from ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’, who would they be and why?
TAOT [Bill Miller]: Oddly enough, since it’s Philadelphia, we are those people. Not exactly, but we do show tendencies. ‘Dennis’ sings, ‘Mac’ plays guitar, ‘Charlie’ is on drums, and the ‘Warthog’ plays bass. ‘Cricket’ is our road manager, and the ‘McPoyles’ are everyone trying to stop us. Fuck the McPoyles.
TAOT [Kevin McNamara]: I’d be the homeless dude.
RIFF RELEVANT [Halsey]: What are a few things you’d recommend to do around the city (that don’t include climbing greased light poles or fighting police horses)?
TAOT [Bill Miller]: Don’t ever fuck with an equine cop, ever. Saw a horse with a badge kick some jackass right in the face once, and I guarantee that dipshit is wearing his terrible decision to this day. Philly actually kicks ass. The beer is amazing, the food is peerless, and the scene is special. At every show, all your favorite weirdos show up and it’s a family reunion. You can go to shows by yourself because you know everyone will be there anyway. Just check it out and live like we do, if you come to Philly. Skip most of the tourist bullshit and find a local spot to hang out in and get in arguments with your newest best friend. It’s like that. Bring an edge, but that’s just how you fit in. You won’t really need it, unless you are a jackass.
TAOT [Kevin McNamara]: Ha, drink with Kevin! Who the fuck punches a horse by the way? Dickhead!
RIFF RELEVANT [Halsey]: Thank you for your time, is there anything additional you’d like to say about THE AGE OF TRUTH to your listeners?
TAOT [Bill Miller]: Absolutely. To everyone who has supported this band, buying our record and merch, coming to our shows, or sharing our songs with their friends, thank you. We love you. It’s real. We appreciate every single one of you who gets what we are doing. We have more, too, and we have a feeling if you like where it started, you are gonna love where it is going.
TAOT [Kevin McNamara]: Our new drummer, Scott, is a beautiful soul who is one of THEE best drummers I’ve ever in my life played with. And I love my brothers in The Age of Truth. Totally random collision of worlds. Thank the gods… new songs underway.
There you have it, eggheads. I can lead you to lager, but I can’t make you buy. THE AGE OF TRUTH. A brotherhood of hard-rocking, Philly assholes. If you’re not sold on this band by now, I don’t know what more I can do to help you in life.
View photos from THE AGE OF TRUTH in NYC, NY @ Arlene’s Grocery for Ode To Doom, 11/18/2017.