Thursday, July 20, 2017 This Week's Paper

Not Dead Yet

// Deathbed Confession a Rebirth for Local Band Members

Deathbed Confession manages to create heavy-metal music that is aggressive yet full of tone and texture, a considerable accomplishment. Made up of four veterans of the local metal scene, the band has ample talent and writes songs with a variety of vocal styles that allow the three instruments to occupy a distinctive place in the overall soundscape.

The band consists of Tracey Beardsley on guitar, Jerod Wallace on drums, Damien Killgod on vocals and Josh Dombek on bass.

Beardsley and Wallace have been playing music together for years. Those who were following the local metal scene at the turn of the century may have caught them together in Surrounded By Idiots. They went on to play in Utterance for eight years.

A promising metal band that released several albums and regularly played shows in Montana, Idaho, Oregon and California, Utterance finally ran its course. When it disbanded, Beardsley and Wallace were not ready to stop playing music. Within three days of the breakup they were jamming and writing new material.

They knew Killgod, who had sung for Severus, as that band and Utterance shared many bills at local clubs. Dombek was a fan of both bands and was in a side project with Killgod. He was also a customer of Sluggo’s, the venerable 6th Avenue music store that shut its doors earlier this year. Wallace worked at the store for 16 years and knew Dombek from that connection.

They and Beardsley began jamming. “I knew we had to do something with all of this music we were writing,” Beardsley remarked. They put the word out they were looking for a vocalist. Killgod auditioned and was chosen in late summer of 2010. “We knew Damien was the dude,” Beardsley commented.

They played their first show that October. “It only took a few months for us to get this together,” Beardsley said. They lined up a gig and needed a name. It came from a book that Dombek read about Ted Bundy, the late serial killer from Tacoma who was executed for his crimes in Florida. The book was based on Bundy’s thoughts on being on death row. “It is nice and dark,” Wallace said of the band’s moniker.

Dombek is from Tacoma. In his youth he moved with his family to Denver and then Jacksonville, Fla. Bundy left Tacoma and killed victims in Colorado and then Florida. “I followed that same diagonal cross-country path that he did,” Dombek observed.

The group has 12 original songs. Most start with Beardsley and Wallace putting together riffs and drum parts, then Killgod writes lyrics and Dombek contributes ideas for bass lines. “It is a magical chain of events,” Wallace said.

They have recorded an album, which they plan to release in early spring. They need to select a title. Killgod, an accomplished artist, plans to design the album cover.

It was recorded at the Autopsy Room, operated by guitarist and engineer Jesse O’Donnell. He has worked with a number of local metal bands. “All of our bands have recorded there,” Beardsley said.

Deathbed Confession plays Hell’s Kitchen in Tacoma on Dec. 31. Doors to the show open at 6 p.m.