Saturday October 1st Immortal Dominion headlined a three band show at Out of Bounds Saloon in Loveland CO. The band before them had lots of promise, but I was there to see Immortal Dominion.
But Immortal Dominion with out Ray Smith? WTF? Seriously?
What the hell happened to Ray?
And who is going to sing?
Long time front man (17 years) Ray Smith, who was recently reunited on NBC with his long lost sisters and mother, is no longer the vocalist for Colorado pioneer metal band Immortal Dominion!
Instead, Brian Villers, (ID Guitar and Backing Vocals) has taken over as Guitar and Lead Vocalist. " No one really knows what’s going on in Ray’s head " says Brian." But he has been different lately. He stopped coming to practice for one thing. It was a hard decision, but what could we do? It was either let go of Ray or give up the whole band. And we have come so far- we live for this shit. Ray made his choice." He didn’t even show up when the band asked him to discuss their decision to use Brian as the new vocalist, and ask Ray with heavy hearts, to step down. Ray is a great guy! And a great front man! But he is going through personal things that are affecting the band as a whole, and he just isn’t pulling his weight any more.
Brian Villers stepped up and has been practicing regularly as the new lead vocalist, with Eddie Wayne Schmidt playing bass and singing back up vocals, Louie Micculo on lead guitar, and Casey Glass on drums. It just came naturally with Ray not showing up, that someone had to take over on vocals when they practiced. Brian was a natural choice and started to fill in regularly until they made it official.
They played most of their songs that night, and Brian pulled them off one by one, and in an impressive fashion . Having a great stage presence while communicating and connecting with the audience like a seasoned pro, only then was I convinced. Brian is a great new vocalist, for an awesome original metal band. I have to admit when Brian told me what was up, I had my doubts, but he did the damn thing, and did it well. His vocals are different from Ray's, more like BLS or Clutch, but good, and his stage presence is much better than Ray’s had been as of late. His personality really hined through on the stage, as I’m sure he was very nervous with this being his first time taking over for Ray on a public level.
They finished up their set with a Quiet Riot cover “Bang Your Head”, and I mean c'mon, who doesn't love that song?! What a blast from the past and again they pulled it off! All the while I'm thinking to myself, damn, this band sounds tight! My personal opinion is that the line up change is just the fresh new sound that Immortal Dominion needed to bump them up a notch. I’m looking forward to hearing what comes out of these guys next! With one less member it’s a tighter and more cohesive sound. It’s a familiar face in front of an old time favorite. Tearing it up just as much as ever and paving the way for better things! Proving sometimes an unexpected change is a good thing!
Editorial by: Amy Hutcheson