Monstrosity. To any fan of metal music, the term conjures up images of demons and pentagrams, death growls and in your face guys with ‘I don’t give a flying whatever!’ attitudes. If ever you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet the extremely talented Lee Harrison, drummer and founding member of Monstrosity, that opinion could be slightly altered.
Other than the black clothing and head banging locks, it would be difficult to associate this guy with any type of heavy music. Polite, soft spoken and a little on the shy side, he hides his dark and heavy side well. Until you put a stage under him and drums in front of him.
The band Monstrosity (www.monstrosity.us) was formed in the early 90’s in Fort Lauderdale. Lucky for us here in Tampa, Lee settled here, turning his garage into a studio and continuing to make music with his band. For those unlucky ones in our area that are stuck in the mainstream, well, you should all be aware that death metal is alive and well, with a large and ever growing fan base here in our own backyard.
With five studio and two live albums, a compilation album and a live DVD under their belts, one has to wonder why these guys haven’t exploded onto the music scene. Slayer, Sepultura, Lamb of God…that’s the list Monstrosity should be on here in the states.
However, death metal doesn’t seem to be as huge here in the US as it is elsewhere. Germany, Russia, South America, and the Netherlands seem to have the hugest death metal fan base. According to drummer Lee Harrison, while the fans in Europe and South America are completely rabid, (Monstrosity having played to 80,000+ fans in Bogota, Colombia in 2004), the local support for death metal continues to grow, Monstrosity being one band that is leading the way, rocking on harder and heavier with each new album.
Despite several line-up changes and label issues through the years, Monstrosity has definitely shown staying power. Drummer Lee Harrison seems so completely devoted to this band, it’s hard to imagine him having time for other projects. Lee is the only original member of the band, and formed his own label, Conquest Music, to take over production of their music. It seems this guy is determined to keep death metal alive.
Currently on the road in support of their Live Apocalypse DVD, Lee tells us that the band is currently working on new music. According to Lee, ‘We’ve got the music 90% written for a new album. We’re fine tuning and working on the lyrics and starting to complete the ideas. Its easy to get a bunch of riffs together but ironing out the details and the final arrangements is a craft itself. That’s how we look at it anyway. We really want to not worry about deadlines. It has never mattered to us before so were not going to start now and in fact we will take a little longer because we want to sit with these songs and flesh them out to where we can, as a band, sit in the room and play the whole album from start to finish, tight, as a unit. Most of the time we have little parts to finish up in the studio, or its a case of we have a demo for it but we’ve never actually played it altogether as a band until after its recorded and pressed up. So for this album I want to have it completely, totally written before we go in the studio where we can play it from start to finish in our sleep. It’s going to take longer to do that unfortunately but I think the end result will be a better album.’ Truly, these guys are devoted to their craft.
Monstrosity can be found on facebook and myspace, as well as their own website, www.monstrosity.us, where their albums and DVD are available for purchase, as well as listings for upcoming shows. If ever you are lucky enough for the opportunity to see Monstrosity live, jump on it. Just be prepared to be rocked to your very core!