Frankenbok

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Frankenbok
Origin Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres Thrash metal
Groove metal
Years active 1997-present
Labels Faultline, Dark Carnival, Roadrunner, Prime Cuts
Associated acts Five Star Prison Cell
Website http://www.frankenbok.com
Members Aaron Butler
Tim Miedecke
Mick Morley
Dan McDougall
Nathan 'Yeti' Amatnieks
Past members Adam B. Metal
Scott Lang
Adam 'Hutch' Glynn

Frankenbok is a Heavy Metal band from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Frankenbok were founded in 1997 by guitarist Aaron Butler and vocalist Adam 'Hutch' Glynn and have since released three full-length albums and one EP. Frankenbok have toured Australia on numerous occasions, building a strong cult following in their homeland.

The current Frankenbok line-up consists of Aaron Butler (guitar), Tim Miedecke (bass and backing vocals), Mick Morley (drums), Dan McDougall (vocals) and Nathan 'Yeti' Amatnieks (guitar).[1] The group is currently signed to Perth-based record label Prime Cuts.[2]

Band history[edit]

Formative years, 1997-1999[edit]

Following his return from Florida and having been heavily influenced by that regions death metal scene, Aaron Butler recruited former-Bacterium vocalist Adam 'Hutch' Glynn.[3] Their moniker was taken from a demo tape Butler had made during his time in the United States of America. Whilst teaching some locals a few Australian colloquialisms, one participant mispronounced the slang term "fair dinkum" as "frankenbok".

Butler and Glynn were later joined by former-Zombonol members Tim Miedecke and Scott Lang, on bass and guitar respectively. Unable to find a suitable drummer, the band took to playing live with a drum machine. In 1998, a demo was recorded. Little comes of it and it is never officially released. Frankenbok's unusual mix of grinding, death metal rhythms, thrashing riffs and eclectic, Mike Patton-inspired vocals interspersed with guttural death growls helped them gain attention and standout from the majority in the metal scene of the time.

In 1999, following sustained gigging in the local underground metal scene, Frankenbok attract the attention of producer/engineer Richie 'DW' Norton (also known for playing guitar in Australian band Superheist), who offers to record Frankenbok's debut album and release it via his Faultline Records imprint.

Greetings & Salutations, 1999-2000[edit]

Recording sporadically between February and September at Backbeach Studios in Rye, Victoria, Frankenbok's debut album finally sees the light of day in early-2000. Greetings & Salutations features ten tracks, ranging from the grindcore moments of 'Linguistics' to the tongue-in-cheek, Faith No More-inspired 'P.Cloned'. Frankenbok later jokingly dubbed their sound as Taco Metal (bassist Miedecke described it as, "A lot of meat with a little bit of cheese"[4]) amidst the radical categorization within the heavy metal fraternity.

Despite the album being recorded with a drum machine, Mick Morley had joined the group in August 1999 before the album had been completed. This allowed Frankenbok more freedom and versatility on the live front, evidenced by the band winning the Melbourne Metro Nightclub's Battle of the Bands.[5] Frankenbok went onto tour supporting US metallers Skinlab in May as well as making their first of many appearances at the Metal For The Brain Festival in Canberra in October, alongside the likes of Voivod, Alchemist and Blood Duster.[6] Following a continued strong showing on the livefront, the group would sign with Dark Carnival, the developmental offshoot of Roadrunner Australia, in late-2000.

Loopholes & Great Excuses, 2001-2002[edit]

Released in early-2001 on Dark Carnival, The Loopholes & Great Excuses EP, recorded once again with DW Norton at Backbeach Studios, proved a minor hit for Frankenbok. Their tongue-in-cheek cover of Madison Avenue's kitsch dance hit 'Don't Call Me Baby' earned the group airplay on youth/alternative radio. In mid-2001 is the commencement of the six-week, nationwide 'Devastation Vacation' tour with Dreadnaught. Frankenbok also open for Slayer and Machine Head in May. They would play Metal For The Brain for the second time on 20 October 2001. Also around this time the group landed the support slot for two cancelled Slipknot tours as well as the cancelled Kittie tour.

In 2002, their debut album Greetings & Salutations (Special Edition) was re-released on Dark Carnival with an additional eight bonus tracks recorded at the Bleach Club in Sydney in August 2001. Also around this time, Frankenbok would open for System Of A Down and tour with Sydneysiders Psi.Kore as well as appearing at the Overcranked Festival in Brisbane,[7] Australia. Despite regular touring and small-scale commercial success, vocalist Adam 'Hutch' Glynn would leave the band due to a falling out between band members and Glynn in November 2002 with recording time set for their follow-up to 'Loopholes...'. Adam Glynn went onto form his own various side projects including technical metal band Five Star Prison Cell and the Beautiful Coitus Bund (with Rebekah Chapman).

Blood Oath, 2003-2005[edit]

'Blood Oath' line-up (l-r): Mick Morley, Adam B. Metal, Scott Lang, Tim Miedeckie, Aaron Butler.

Following Glynn's departure, Frankenbok carried out auditions to fill the vocal position, with former-Negative Hold frontman Adam B. Metal (a.k.a. Adam Miles) finally selected to fill the vacancy in January 2003. Drummer Mick Morley would suffer a hand injury in early-2003, causing Devolved drummer John Sankey to fill in behind the kit for Frankenbok's national tours with Skinlab and Swedish melodic metallers Soilwork. The year also saw release of Frankenbok's second official studio album and first for Roadrunner Australia, entitled Blood Oath (in reference to the Australian colloquialism bloody oath).

Despite being recorded again at Backbeach Studios with DW Norton behind the mixing desk, 'Blood Oath' saw a change in direction for the band, with more thrash metal influences being introduced, more melodic passages present and Adam B. Metal's vocals being in stark contrast to those of former-vocalist Glynn. Despite their change in direction, 'Blood Oath' proved to be Frankenbok's most successful album to date and would eventually gain a European release in 2004. Live dates would follow, including an appearance at Metal For The Brain (in December 2003, 2002's event had been cancelled due to litigation which Frankenbok had also been confirmed for) and the nationwide 'Blood Letting' tour with Daysend (who featured members of former-touring companions Psi.Kore) in support of their recent album.[8]

The following year (2004) included the 'Army Of Darkness' tour with Sunk Loto, Full Scale and 8 Foot Sativa as well as further touring the east coast with Walk the Earth (producer DW Norton's group) and Frankenbok's first live dates overseas, touring New Zealand with local band 8 Foot Sativa in late-2004 on the 'Hatred Forever' tour. The 2005 edition of Metal For The Brain saw Frankenbok play both the Canberra (the traditional venue) and Brisbane (for the only time in the events history) dates. Despite sustained activity on the livefront, including another string of dates in New Zealand with 8 Foot Sativa in April, longtime guitarist Scott Lang would leave the group in late-2005 for professional reasons, relocating overseas to Hong Kong. Fans were surprised when Frankenbok appeared at Brisbane's Overcranked Festival in early-2006 with Adam B. Metal now occupying the second guitarist slot as well as supplying vocals.

Murder Of Songs, 2006-2008[edit]

Flyer for one-off show, 29 November 2007.

Persistent touring, Lang's departure and their amicable split with their label Roadrunner in 2005, had also led to new recorded material being long overdue, despite the fact the band had been playing songs such as 'Worship Before The Dead' and other rough versions of songs as far back as 2004.

Throughout 2006, the group periodically lay down tracks for their third full-length release, handling the recording and producing duties themselves with the aim of capturing their renowned live energy onto tape. This marks the first time they record away from Backbeach Studios, with guitars and bass recorded at 'The Bat Cave', vocals tracked at 'The Fight Club House' and drums and final mixing overseen by Reggie Bowman at Scream Louder Studios. They also find the opportunity to play the final Metal For The Brain on 4 November 2006, the group's fifth appearance at the popular underground heavy metal festival (not including the cancelled 2002 event).

Despite the album being completed by the conclusion of 2006, it would not see release until mid-2007, due to Frankenbok having to find a suitable label. Murder Of Songs is finally released on 6 August 2007 on Perth-based label Prime Cuts. Including the already live favourites 'Sludge (I Will Make/Take These Horizons)', 'Walk This (LIE)fe' and 'What Is Real?', Frankenbok's third full-length would also prove to be their last with vocalist/guitarist Adam B. Metal who departed the group in early-2007 prior to the album's release. McDougall Brothers vocalist Dan McDougall is recruited as his replacement soon after. Plans to have former-guitarist Scott Lang return do not come to fruition however. The guitar slot was eventually filled by Cheshire Pile guitarist Nathan 'Yeti' Amatnieks.

A small controversy, seen by many fans as a 'hatchet job', occurred just prior to the release of 'Murder Of Songs' when Zoo Magazine published a particularly unfavourable review[9] which detailed little-to-nothing about the actual release and included unauthorized use of artwork:

"Aussie hard rockers Frankenbok havent done themselves any favours with this whiffy deposit of ten smelly turds. The songs are nothing if not ironically titled - Failure To Learn? More like Failure To Learn... When To Quit! Tired stuff from a band of blokes who ought to chuck it in and get jobs in IT. EX-VOCALIST ADAM GLYNN HAS GONE ONTO BETTER THINGS WITH FIVE STAR PRISON CELL. CHECK THEM OUT INSTEAD."

Despite this, the album fared well critically, receiving positive reviews from other sources.[10]

Frankenbok inactive for most of 2007 due to guitarist Aaron Butler breaking his leg in January in a skateboarding accident. The break was so serious it required a further bone graft operation in October. With the line-up of Aaron Butler, Tim Miedecke, Mick Morley, Dan McDougall and Yeti now firmly in place and having made their live debut on 29 November 2007, they started working on a follow-up EP titled "Last Ditch Redemption" in 2008.

Band members[edit]

Current line-up[edit]

  • Aaron Butler - guitars, 1997–present.
  • Tim Miedecke - bass and backing vocals, 1997–present (ex-Zombonol).
  • Mick Morley - drums, 1999–present.
  • Dan McDougall - vocals, 2007–present (ex-Block/McDougall Brothers/Repugnance).
  • Nathan 'Yeti' Amatnieks - guitar, 2007–present (ex-Headmess/4Arm/Embodied/Cheshire Pile).

Former members[edit]

  • Adam 'Hutch' Glynn - vocals, 1997-2002 (ex-Bacterium, Five Star Prison Cell).
  • Scott Lang - guitar, 1997-2005 (ex-Zombonol).
  • Adam B. Metal (Adam Miles) - vocals and guitar, 2003-2007 (ex-Negative Hold, The Departed).

Discography[edit]

Full-length[edit]

EPs[edit]

  • The Loopholes & Great Excuses EP, released 2001 on Dark Carnival.[11]
  • Devastation Vacation Promo Disc, released 2001. Split with Dreadnaught.[12] Only available at shows on their 2001 tour.
  • The Last Ditch Redemption, released 2008 on Prime Cuts.

Compilations[edit]

  • Appeared on Route 666 Volume II, released 2000 on Shock Records with 'I'm Ok With It'.
  • Appeared on Loud Volume I, released 2001 on Universal Records with 'The Virtue Of Angels'.
  • Appeared on Hip New Sounds,released 2002 on High Voltage with 'Linguistics'.
  • Appeared on Full Metal Racket II, released 2002 on ABC/EMI with 'Success Is Revenge'.
  • Appeared on A Blaze In The Southern Skies, released 2007 on Prime Cuts with 'Failure To Learn'.
  • Appeared on Black Box e-anthology, dark fiction, music and art, Brimstone Press, 2008.

References[edit]

External links[edit]