Mudvayne is an American Progressive Metal band from Peoria, Illinois, known for complex, polymetered song structures, loud, savage, bass-heavy riffing, unusual compositions and precise musicianship. They formed in 1996, and cite film director Stanley Kubrick as the only influence on their music.note
The band originally started playing music that had more of a Hard Rock sound, with very little of the Jazz, experimental or Progressive Rock elements that they would incorporate later. This early sound was displayed on Kill, I Oughtta, an EP of early studio recordings and some live tracks that was later subject to Fanon Discontinuity. Ryan Martinie joined the band when original bassist Shawn Barclay quit during the EP's recording. Martinie had been a member of a Dream Theater-style band called Broken Altar, and subsequently Mudvayne's style would shift to a mixture of Progressive Rock and Thrash Metal, which drummer Matt McDonough described as "Math Metal" to an interviewer.note
On LD 50, the band performed in Horror movie-inspired face paint and masks and called themselves Kud, Gurrg, RyKnow, and sPaG. The album involved themes inspired by human evolution and 2001: A Space Odyssey, with samples taken from a recording of Terence McKenna discussing his theory that evolution was triggered by psychedelic mushrooms. The End Of All Things To Come had the band wearing alien masks and performing under the names Chüd, Güüg, Rü-D, and Spüg. It also had a nearly all-black cover, which led the band to describe it as their "black album". Since Lost and Found, however, they've performed without stage names or disguises.
The future of Mudvayne currently remains unknown. In 2011, the band went on an indefinite hiatus which continues to this day. The members have made indications that they will return someday, but exactly when was not made clear. This is partially due to Chad Gray's involvement with Hellyeah, though statements from Gray have made it apparent that serious personality conflicts are the main reason why nothing has happened in a while. Tribbett and McDonough are also busy with the Progressive Hard Rock supergroup Audiotopsy, and while Martinie has largely kept out of the spotlight aside from the occasional visit to the Warwick booth at NAMM, he currently plays in another Progressive Rock supergroup, Soften the Glare, a jazz fusion act, this time with guitarist Bon Lozaga, formerly of Pierre Moerlen's Gong.
A more detailed biography of the band can be found here, courtesy of the Progressive Rock Database.
- Chad Gray Rhythm Guitar/Vocals
- Greg Tribbett Lead Guitar/Vocals
- Ryan Martinie Bass/Vocals
- Matthew McDonough Drums/Percussion
- LD 50 (2000)
- The End Of All Things To Come (2002)
- Lost and Found (2005)
- The New Game (2008)
- Mudvayne (2009)
This band demonstrates the following tropes:
- Alternative Metal
- Avant-Garde Metal - One of the bands that are most likely to come into mind whenever the term "math metal" is brought up.
- Angrish: Occurs in a few songs.
- Arc Number: The band uses numbers symbolism to create their riffs and music.
- Careful with That Axe: Chad and Greg stretch their vocal chords beyond most normal human beings.
- Cluster F-Bomb: As noted in an album review, they toss around dozens of F-Bombs, but fill up their liner notes with thank-yous to their families and mothers.
- Cover Version: By the People, for the People has the band covering The Police's "King of Pain"
- Esoteric Motifs: The End of All Things to Come references astrology, alchemy, Kabbalah, and various other esoteric subjects.
- The Faceless: Early on, the band was never seen without any kind of face paint, makeup or mask. This has since changed...
- Fake-Out Fade-Out: At the end of "Skrying".
- Harsh Vocals: Chad and Greg both scream, roar and growl at various points.
- I Have Many Names: All band members (see above). Greg said in one interview that "if you hang with us for more than half an hour, you're going to get a nickname. It's just how we are."
- Indecipherable Lyrics: A few of their songs, particularly "Dig".
- Lead Bassist: Ryan is a Type A and arguably a Type C as well; after all, there are more than a few bassists out there who aren't particularly fond of Mudvayne's music as a whole but who are heavily influenced by his playing.
- Letting the Air Out of the Band: At the end of "A Key to Nothing". A Shout-Out to Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Knife-Edge".
- Metal Scream: Chad Gray uses a Type 1.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Softer songs a 5-6; most songs a 8-9. They manage a soft 10 with "Determined", pretty impressive for a band sometimes considered Progressive Rock.
- Monster Clown: Their L.D. 50-era face paint.
- Murder Ballad: "Nothing To Gein", about Serial Killer Ed Gein.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Mudvayne combines Thrash Metal with Progressive Metal and elements of Jazz Fusion, although the jazz influence was more prominent on LD 50 and The End Of All Things To Come, and wasn't as prominent on their next three albums.
- Nu Metal
- Progressive Metal: McDonough at one point got so tired of answering questions about the band's style that he jokingly said "It's math metal. Bring your abacus." Unfortunately, people jumped on the 'math metal' thing, to his irritation.
- Signature Style: Ryan Martinie's bass playing is instantly recognizable by anyone who is even passingly familiar with Mudvayne; along with his trademark "finger walk" (a percussive tapping technique where he uses his index and middle fingers on his right hand to hammer down on the fretboard to play octave chords without needing a pedal; John Entwistle used a similar technique), he has his aggressive, snappy slap/pop technique, clean melodic lines and fills during more melodic passages, and flamenco-like strumming.
- Soprano and Gravel: Chad is a one-man example, switching between a Perishing Alt-Rock Voice, a louder and raspier but still melodic voice, and a harsh roar.
- Uncommon Time: The song "Trapped in the Wake of a Dream" boasts verses written in 17/8, choruses in 11/8 and a bridge that mixes both time signatures. Mcdonough said "If I hadn't pointed out which song was written in 17/8 I don't think most people would have noticed. It's a strange time signature but it works because it's smooth", while Gray added that it was the hardest song on The End Of All Things To Come to record.
- Updated Re-release: Their demo Kill, I Oughtta was reissued with bonus tracks as The Beginning of All Things to End.
- The New Game was reissued with a bonus disc of rare material.
- X Meets Y: Porcupine Tree, Cynic and King Crimson meets Meshuggah, Atheist and Voivod.