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Music / Mudvayne

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The band post-facepaint.note 

Related Acts:
  • HELLYEAH (Chad Gray)
  • Audiotopsy (Greg Tribbett, Matt Mc Donough)
  • On the Shoulders of Giants (Matt Mc Donough)
  • Soften the Glare (Ryan Martinie)

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 L.D. 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.

Self Titled Album was printed entirely in blacklight-reactive ink, which makes the inserts appear to be blank. Which would make this Mudvayne's white album.

In 2010, Mudvayne went on a hiatus for 11 years while the members were working on various side projects, with Chad Gray being involved with Hellyeah, Greg Tribbett and Matthew McDonough working with the Progressive Hard Rock supergroup Audiotopsy, and Martinie currently playing in another Progressive Rock supergroup, Soften the Glare, a jazz fusion act, this time with guitarist Bon Lozaga, formerly of Pierre Moerlen's Gong. Eventually, they would announce that they would be reuniting in 2021 to perform in several festivals in autumn of 2021.

A more detailed biography of the band can be found here, courtesy of the Progressive Rock Database.

Current Members:

  • Chad Gray – Vocals (1996-2010, 2021-)
  • Greg Tribbett – Lead Guitar/Backup Vocals (1996-2010, 2021-), Lead Vocals (1996)
  • Ryan Martinie – Bass/Backup Vocals (1997-2010, 2021-)
  • Matthew McDonough – Drums/Synthesizer (1996-2010, 2021-)

Former Members:

  • Shawn Barclay - Bass (1996-1997)


BrBr 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"
  • Djent: While the band isn't usually considered a part of the genre, their use of downtuned, syncopated guitar riffs and unusual time signatures definitely bring it to mind.
  • 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".
  • Genre Mashup: Mudvayne combines Thrash Metal with Progressive Metal and elements of Jazz Fusion, although the jazz influence was more prominent on L.D. 50 and The End Of All Things To Come, and wasn't as prominent on their next three albums.
  • 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.
  • Monster Clown: Their L.D. 50-era face paint.
  • Murder Ballad: "Nothing To Gein", about Serial Killer Ed Gein.
  • Nu Metal: Among one of their styles, as noted in some of their earlier work like Dig.
  • 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.
  • Questioning Title?: “Happy?” from Lost And Found.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Siamese Twin Songs: “Rain.Sun.Gone” on Lost And Found has No Ending and instead musically flows into the following track, “Choices”.
  • 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.
  • Video Full of Film Clips: Befitting its presence in the Saw II soundtrack, the video for “Forget To Remember” is mostly made of clips from said film. Whatever in the video that isn’t a Saw II clip is still filmed on the set of the film.
    • Even before that, one of the music videos for "Not Falling" is mostly clips from Ghost Ship.
  • X Meets Y: Porcupine Tree, Cynic and King Crimson meets Meshuggah, Atheist and Voivod.