Oldschool Sunday: AFTERMATH

Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway

Chicago’s thrashing mad maniacs AFTERMATH first formed in The Windy City circa 1985, and from there were soon taking the world by storm.

During the first five years of the band’s existence, they issued a string of demos – Demo #1 (1986), Killing The Future (1987), Words Echo Fear (1989), and Roadrunner Demo (1990) – that repeatedly landed the band in the most popular metal publications at that time. From Metal Hammer to Metal Forces, from RIP Magazine to Kerrang, AFTERMATH was a constant presence in these periodicals. The latter, Kerrang, selected the Words Over Fear demo as one of its Top 10 Demos Of 1990.

The AFTERMATH line up that played upon that particular demo consisted of Grecian-born vocalist Kyriakos “Charlie” Tsiolis, bassist Danny Vega, drummer Ray Schmidt, and guitarists Steve Sacco and John Lovette. Together, this quintet created metal that possessed mind-blowing technicality, speed, and subtle progressive elements that served well in setting AFTERMATH apart from many of their fellow thrash practitioners.

During this time period, AFTERMATH was included in the British magazine Metal Forces compilation release ‘Demolition: Scream Your Brains Out’ (1988) alongside Atrophy, Anacrusis, Leviathan, and Hobbs Angel Of Death. This inclusion unquestionably helped AFTERMATH expand their appeal to underground music fans on a much larger scale internationally.

However, as the Nineties arrived, AFTERMATH was about to face some major, unimaginable challenges to their existence. Of course, there were the usual, routine line up changes that plague many bands, in AFTERMATH‘s case, ones in the bassist department. Several would come and go including Adam (last name not provided), Pat Delegarza, and Chris Waldron.

The band’s 1990 recording, the Roadrunner Demo, was recorded with the hope of landing a deal with Roadrunner Records, but negotiations would eventually break down. AFTERMATH soon signed with N.Y.’s Big Chief Records and went to work recording a proper début album, yet the label would soon financially collapse. The band struggled to pay their studio bill, while the album they’d started to record in 1990 would not see the light of day for four years, and the whole experience left the band reeling.

AFTERMATH would be forced to issue the album under their own steam, and with the help of their manager, ‘Eyes Of Tomorrow‘ was unleashed upon the masses via Zoid Recordings in 1994. Several re-releases / re-issues of the album would occur over the years, including ones via Thermometer Sound Surface / Zoid and Black Lotus Records, while Area Death Productions remastered the record as part of a box set called ‘25 Years Of Chaos’, released in 2011. In 2015, Shadow Kingdom Records reissued the record with bonus tracks as part of a 2-CD set with expanded artwork, a new cover art treatment, and remastered by Paul Logus.

The mid-90s saw AFTERMATH involved in an infamous name/trademark dispute and subsequent legal case, with none other than rapper Dr. Dre. The band eventually lost the case, 1996’s  Tsiolis v. Interscope. Records. Inc., yet some might say it served as a strange catalyst for events afterward. AFTERMATH, after bringing in new members, vocalist Roxanne and DJ Delta 9, changed their name, and musical style, becoming Mother God Moviestar.

Perhaps a sign of the changing musical shifts of that period, Mother God Moviestar was clearly a more Alt. Rock / Nu-Metal style act, one that signed with their former court nemesis Interscope Records‘ imprint Electro-Metal and released their eponymous début in 1998.

In 2015, AFTERMATH reactivated and now remain active as a quartet containing a trio of earlier members, Kyriakos “Charlie” Tsiolis (vocals), Steve Sacco (guitar), and Ray Schmidt (drums), along with current bassist George Lagis. They will soon release their long-awaited sophomore album, ‘There Is Something Wrong‘, which we will share details of when they become available.

Until then, AFTERMATH recently released an official lyric video for one of the upcoming album’s tracks. “Smash Reset Control” clearly establishes the fact that AFTERMATH is indeed back and just as volatile, just as vicious as ever with their second-to-none style of crossover thrash metal.

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