The path of progression, the revelation of talent, skill and ability isn’t often predictable or even apparent at first. Take for instance the chance meeting at last summer’s Warped Tour that brings us to where we find ourselves today: a young band from Kelowna, B.C. called Cry of the Afflicted set to release their world-wide Solid State debut “The Unveiling”. “Solid State was in town visiting some of the other bands on the roster who were playing Warped Tour last year,” guitarist James Johnson illuminates. “When we found out who they were we gave them our record. It was as simple as that and went from there!”
Formed in the winter of 2003, Cry of the Afflicted began unassumingly as a group of friends growing up together in their hometown, about three hours northeast of Vancouver B.C. It wasn’t long after forming that the band began touring western Canada with the likes of Misery Signals and Bury Your Dead, a pairing that often left audiences confounded as Cry of the Afflicted took the harsher, more aggressive elements of the two previous bands but then turned it on its head by mixing a fluid melody that was uncharacteristic of the other bands on the bill. Influenced by bands like Soilwork and In Flames, bands that had helped to elevate the modern blue print of combining aggression and melody, Cry of the Afflicted held their own.
“We were never a metal or a hardcore band,” explains vocalist Garrett Packer. “I’d say we’re more of a modern rock band with screaming. We’ve come almost full circle. At first we were all melody with a small fraction of screaming. When we got on the road, hardcore was the popular thing and we were always the melodic band on the bill.”
That balance couldn’t be more evident than on the band’s Solid State debut, “The Unveiling”. Produced by Jeff Schneeweis (Number One Gun) and mixed by Tue Madsen (The Haunted, Sick of it All, Himsa), “The Unveiling” captures the soaring and perfectly layered vocals of Packer, Johnson and bass guitarist and backing vocalist Nik Wagener without losing the distortion and precision of fellow band mates, guitarist Steve Lockhart and drummer Troy Doell. “It was really great to work with Jeff,” Garrett explains. “He has a back ground as a vocalist and he has a good grasp on how to get the best out of all of us.”
Another aspect that sets Cry of the Afflicted apart from their contemporaries is the vocalist’s acute attention to lyrics. While each track stands alone Garrett couldn’t help but see a common theme linking the album together. “This album was a real challenge to me as a writer. It wasn’t that long ago that I had finished writing for our demo and I was stressed going into the studio. I wanted the vocal delivery and the lyrics to be in synch. If I was screaming I wanted to be saying something worth screaming about.”
Scheduled for release on August 14, 2007, “The Unveiling” will take Cry of the Afflicted all over North America and beyond, as the band will be opening audience’s eyes to one of the talented treasures of the Great White North. “We’re excited to start touring,” stated James, the band’s guitarist. “Right now it’s western Canada but this summer it will be out to Cornerstone Festival and beyond. It’s a really exciting time for us all.”