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Redefined Mayhem
Holy Moses
Label: Steamhammer
Release: 25.04.2014
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Ruining Lives
Label: Steamhammer
Release: 25.04.2014
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The Lucid Dream[er]
Label: Steamhammer
Release: 30.05.2014
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Virgin Steele
Label: Steamhammer
Release: 13.06.2014
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Live You To Death 2 - American Punishment
Vicious Rumors
Label: Steamhammer
Release: 13.06.2014
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REFLECTIONS embody every bit of the dichotomy of the “Twin Cities” from which they were spawned. Their music is pulverizing, their live show explosive, while their message is empowering and their offstage demeanor both optimistic and outgoing. The title the metal quintet chose for their new album, Exi(s)t, further exemplifies that creative duality: exist, or exit.

The subterranean subculture of heavy music has evolved to a stage where boundary-pushing bands are increasingly embraced rather than shunned. The groups who are leaders, rather than followers, are those who steadily persevere without compromise. These elite bands ultimately land at the front of the pack by building upon the most vital components of their predecessors to create something unique and immediate. REFLECTIONS is such a band, emerging as more than the sum total of their influences, infusing the stagnant elements of the genre with fresh insight and passion.

Exi(s)t demonstrates a knack for the merciless death-core onslaught of bands like Suicide Silence and (Reflections tourmates) All Shall Perish, the unrelenting bottom end crunch of the legendary Pantera and the esoteric/atmospheric trippy experimentalism of France’s Gojira. The progressive virtuoso guitar playing of Patrick Somoulay and Charles Caswell rivals the topmost of what the scene has to offer, as the fluidly dynamic bass work of Francis Xayana and the masterful drumming of Cam Murray lay an unshakeable foundation upon which Jake Foster unleashes his vocals.

The group’s onslaught has been honed on the road with bands like Oceano, The Contortionist, Within The Ruins, After The Burial and Born of Osiris. Curious onlookers who witnessed their performances at events like New England Metal Fest and The Jamboree became ferocious consumers of what Reflections creates, clamoring on forums and blogs for new music.
Reflections was born from the heavy music community itself: Foster and Somoulay were mates in high school, united by shared passions for music Xayana is actually Somoulay’s cousin. They met Caswell at a Summer Slaughter Tour stop in Minnesota. They met Murray through the Internet. The guys initially started playing locally just for fun, but soon realized they could embark on a career similar to their peers like Volumes and Structures, working toward the type of sustainable touring life adopted by bands like August Burns Red. Their debut album, The Fantasy Effect, showed their early mastery of deathcore, with some hints at the ambient departures they’d be exploring further just one year later with the impressive Exi(s)t.

Audio Hammer Studios workhorse Eyal Levi (The Black Dahlia Murder, Unearth) helped the Midwestern metal mavens capture and refine their expansive sound deep in the heart of Florida, employing both his expertise as a producer and his experience as a touring musician to Reflections’ songs. The end result is one of the most incredible heavy albums of 2013.

Every song on Exi(s)t is a sonic rollercoaster blazing through with enormous depth and shockingly- raw personal exposition. “Delirium” is a straightforward banger “Bridges” sees the band at their most technically proficient. The doomy, down-tempo “This House” is unlike anything Reflections had done before. “Candle” visits uncharted territory, as well.

Foster’s real life experiences – including being homeless during two harsh Minnesota winters – bleed through the speakers as he screams on songs like “Vain Words for Empty Minds,” the title of which he actually cribbed from a fortune cookie, backed by riffage reminiscent of their 2012 debut. Foster’s family problems, the dissolution of a five year relationship and other hardships add color to the complex and nuanced guitar work, which will undoubtedly be studied by fans on YouTube with “play-throughs” and the like. The other guys in Reflections have helped Foster overcome much inner turmoil and bad lifestyle choices, experiences he’s eager to share.

Reflections meticulously combs through the messages they receive on social media and are continually humbled and inspired by the feedback. Fans have reached out to say their music has helped them conquer suicidal thoughts, or the lyrics have helped them restore a positive outlook through its anguished realism and perspective. Aspiring and experienced musicians alike flip out over the musicianship of the band, from the “spider fingers” of Reflections bassist and two guitarists to their drummer’s furious footwork.

The close proximity of the band members (each of them live in the same neighborhood) has created an intimacy that extends to their audience. They are careful to make sure every fan they meet walks away with a positive experience, to be remembered as down-to-earth guys with heart. The endgame goal of Reflections is to teach others about the things that are possible when expectations and limits are removed. Reflections Exi(s)t is evidence of the awe-inspiring power of a band channeling their talent, their technique, their life experiences and their brotherhood into their art.

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