Reflux
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The Illusion Of Democracy
10/12/2004
 
Biography
YEAR FORMED: 2002
HOME TOWN: Washington, D.C.
MEMBERS:
Ash Avildsen (vocals)
Tosin Abasi (guitar)
Evan Brewer (bass)
Vinny Vinh (drums)

Small wonder that Washington, D.C. has given rise to some of the country's most outspoken, innovative and intense bands over the years. After all, the city has seen its share of wickedness and corruption in the last few decades. And the well-defined voices of dissent—from Minor threat to the Obsessed, Clutch to Bad Brains—have always been loudest emanating from scenes like this, where artists' outrage is expressed in sheer decibels and total passion. Reflux are the latest and most extreme in a proud tradition of D.C. bands who stand firmly opposed to the status quo. Formed by vocalist Ash Avildsen and guitarist Tosin Abasi in March 2002, Reflux didn't truly become the progressively brutal and melodic band the pair had envisioned until drummer Vinny Vinh and bassist Evan Brewer joined up just as Reflux were getting interest from labels. Vinh and Brewer not only solidified the lineup with their total commitment to the band, they brought the necessary skills to keep up with Abasi and Avildsen's challenging technical material which has the musical complexity and savagery of Meshuggah and the melodic intensity of bands like Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall. From the beginning, Reflux's diversity and technical expertise has allowed the band to fit right in no matter whether they were opening for Hatebreed, Dying Fetus or Strapping Young Lad. Avildsen expresses his conspiracy-themed lyrics with a vein-popping hardcore roar, and his clean vocals add a melodic dimension to the always bludgeoning sound. Abasi, the architect of massively brutal epics, builds Reflux's songs from impossibly fast riffs and skittering fills, hammering home his point with huge breakdowns to diffuse the tension. Vinh and Brewer supply the support, keeping a solid, punishing base when Abasi throws in odd time signatures and experimental diversions. Reflux's Prosthetic Records debut, The Illusion of Democracy is a necessary step forward in the evolution of extreme music. Recorded during a particularly contentious presidential election year, it not only captures the fury and frustration fuelled by a democracy that has derailed in the midst of a controversial war, it successfully unites the visceral passion of hardcore and the vicious attack of death metal with a certain avant-garde virtuosity. Add Avildsen's consciousness-raising lyrics to the mix and you have a volatile concoction that's just ready to explode in 2004.