Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Sunday Silence Chronicles: Part I - The Beginning.

It was the summer of 1990, in a room in the home of David and Kay Seale, where a band would be created from the ashes of another band with a different name that wasn't as cool.  It was in this room that four young men with a little musical talent and a lot of optomism would join together to form the most extreme death metal band that Riverdale has ever seen!  Mike Seale, Brett Barrett, Alan Mason and me, your humble narrator, David Fountinelle, had already been jamming together for a while, and even played some parties and a couple talent shows at the high school, but we were looking to move in a more extreme direction musically.  With our new ambitions, we needed a new name, and that's where Mike's dad, Dave, stepped in to help.  He presented us with a list of potential names - not unlike what friends do for expecting mothers - and we sat at the kitchen table and poured over the list.  So many possible names for our soon-to-be-epic band... Pale Horse... Malachi... Breast Fed (my personal favorite)... but one name stood out from the rest, and that name was Sunday Silence.  Little did we know then that Sunday Silence was also the name of a winning race horse (see what happens when you live before the invention of Google?) but no matter, we were now ready to melt people's faces off with unholy hellfire!

We practiced 3 times a week for the next 6-8 months, building up a catalog of songs, until we finally had enough to record a full-length demo.  We went into the studio - which in this case was a converted guest house in a dude's backyard, although it was actually very well made and pretty professional in terms of equipment and setup - and recorded the groundbreaking "Where Evil Dwells".  This was, of course, a legendary demo, containing such classics as "See the Blood Spill", "Die a Slow Death", the title track "Where Evil Dwells" and, of course, the epic "Human Consumption", which contained some of the greatest, completely improvised on the spot, Al Mason lyrics ever - such as "As I eat the remains, I get a tummy ache" and "I have eaten everyone, I shall smile!"  It was pretty obvious that we were ready to do big things, in a big things kinda way.  That's when we met a fellow by the name of Donnie Johnson...

Donnie was the singer of a band called Morbus, who had been grinding it out in the Fresno underground metal scene for a few years, and he had built up a rather impressive scene of fiercely loyal extreme metal fans by putting on shows everywhere from backyard parties to whatever meeting halls would be willing to rent to a guy who looked like Anton LaVey's scarier brother so he could host a bunch of crazy metalheads and bands playing songs about Satan, chopping up bodies, sodomizing posers... you know, standard subject matter.  Well, he had heard of our little band of merry minstrels and was in the process of booking bands for a legendary festival of local extreme metal acts called "Monster Mosh", and he invited us to be on the bill as the opening act.  What's this?  Our first gig?  Oh hell yeah we'll open that bitch!  Just try and follow our HOT FIRE!  That first show was the start of an unstoppable freight train, loaded with highly flammable tanks full of pure liquid KICK ASS that tore through the central valley like a 2006 Camry on the freeway, no brakes, and nothing but screams and carnage.

After our humble debut at Monster Mosh, we hardened our sound even more - more brutal vocals, more extreme music, blast beats, grinding guitar madness - within a year we were one of the most popular and entertaining death metal acts in Fresno.  We took our show on the road, travelling to other cities, spreading the sickness wherever we could.  We started getting better and better bookings, ultimately getting booked at the biggest and best rock club in Fresno at the time - the legendary Cadillac Club.  In my opinion, the Cadillac Club was the best rock club in Fresno, ever.  To this day, no other venue brings in the volume of national rock acts that the Cadillac did, and we were chosen to open up for some of the greats of death metal - Grave, Abscess, Exhumed, Immolation, Fear of God... Every touring death metal band that came to the Cadillac, we opened for them, and we fucking rocked the house every time.  It was a sad day when the Cadillac Club closed, it was the beginning of the end for the Fresno metal scene, which had lost it's best venue for big shows.  Us local boys had to go back to playing keg parties and DIY shows, the crowds got smaller and smaller with each gig.  Eventually, internal conflicts and real-life responsibilities broke Sunday Silence up, and most of us went on to other musical projects, but there will never be another band like Sunday Silence, and never a greater time than those four years, from 1991 to 1995, when the Fresno underground metal scene rose like a mountain of dead bodies into the sky, and we reigned among the greats at it's peak.

Just soak this into your fucking ear pussies:

Merced, CA - 1992

The legendary Cadillac Club - This was our first headlining show there, and one of our greatest live performances, ever.

Suffer the stench of rotting poser guts.  Fuck the weak shit... only death is real!  Leave the kids at home, and if you're squeamish, stay home with em!  Slam hard and proud, mothafuckas...


  1. Such good times at that club.

    Watching Joe try to make himself puke by taking a bong toke from a bong filled with vinegar then drinking it was awesome... especially when he kept it down.

    Brutal. hahaha

    Shane attempting a stage dive and everyone moved resulting with 1 broken arm.

    Watching James crack that drunk fool in the back of his noggin after dude almost ripped his shirt completely off.

    The pre-show smoke outs in the parking lot, getting out lookin like cheech and chng and shit.

    That clan of mexican dudes that always showed up and never said anything to anyone, but pitted like little demons.

    And of course other band related incidents in Fresno....

    Passing Taco Bell between cars on 41 on the way home (that might have been the arcade on blackstone show though)

    Puking my guts out in Nicks back yard and puking on Petes car on the way home when he didnt pull over.

    No I never did wash that shit, sorry Pete.

    Good times all.

  2. Hell yeah Ken! I know we passed taco bell between our car and Marks while driving down 41 after a show, and he never went to any Cochinos gigs, so that was definitely Sunday Silence days. Also, speaking of taco bell, the taco bell wars on the way home were EPIC! When Brett chucked a 7-layer burrito out his window at Mike in the van behind him. Mike had his window down and it exploded all over the windshield and sprayed directly into his window and all over the his face, chest and lap. He was picking beans and lettuce out of his ears and shit. :D

    Another good Sunday Silence related story, when Alex Fonseca was riding home with me after a show and we saw a dude get blasted in the front seat of his car at point blank range at Whitey's Liquor on Jensen and 41, or when I was riding with Danny Hoff and he made the mistake of looking at some Bulldogs in the car next to us wrong at a stoplight and they rolled up on us with a shotgun out ready to blast us at the next stop, so Danny turned the wrong way on a one way street to get out of their before they could catch up to us. Damn, I'm wasting good stories here! :P

  3. Too many Cadillac Club related good times.....and what is it with Bulldogs, stop lights and one way streets? I remember you yelling "do not enter! Do not enter! Do not enter!" One night as we fled from a carload of Bulldogs and almost went UP the off ramp to a freeway or something.

  4. DUDE, I almost forgot that! Speaking of Cadillac Club related good times, you know you're responsible for the best time I ever had there when we weren't playing!

  5. I didn't find this till now, but thank for this post. I've been searching for Sunday Silence demos or something online, and this is the first time I was able to find anything. I remembered everyone's first names, but the last names... The days of Evil Stench Wednesdays are some of my favorite memories.