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Reign of Vengeance Frontman Marshall Beck on Joe Arpaio, Mormons and Misogyny

Reign of Vengeance vocalist Mashall "Fucking" Beck has never shied away from controversy, but his band's latest album, Disemboweling Swine, takes things to a whole new level. The album cover, as seen above, depicts Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio being gutted alive by rioting inmates. Lyrical topics range from killing corrupt sheriffs and slaughtering preppy Scottsdale club-hoppers to murdering cheating spouses and massacring Mormons. Hey, it ain't called death metal for nothing, right?

The album, which hit stores yesterday, is the first music release from Scottsdale-based horror movie distributor Brain Damage Films. Ironically, it's also one of two releases yesterday by Valley death metal acts to feature Cephalic Carnage bassist Nick Schendzielous (the other being the new Job for a Cowboy EP, Gloom, which we told you about yesterday).

We e-mailed Beck a few questions about the new album. Check out the Q&A, plus a stream of the album's title track, after the break.

Beck: The story behind the cover artwork is a criminal sheriff, Joe Arpaio, getting his fucking guts ripped out by rioting inmates. The artwork for the cover was created by an artist in Mexico after I had told him of my vision. I think it is obvious what statement we are trying to make with the Disemboweling Swine artwork and lyrics. Nobody else in the Arizona media has the guts to stand up to this small, deceitful, and well protected man because they are cowards. Reign of Vengeance is a brutal, bloody, death fucking metal band. We are not a band of cowards. I correct myself, your paper is the only other media that I've ever seen stand up to Arpaio and his corruption, and look what happened -- your staff was arrested. That is one of many examples of something that he's done that should NEVER be tolerated in America.

Arpaio has a reputation for retaliating against his political enemies. Are you concerned that this might put you on his radar? Have you heard from anyone at the MCSO yet?

I've been warned by everyone that knew of the cover about these Arpaio facts. Their warnings obviously had no impact.

In addition to the cover art, the album contains lyrics that could be considered misogynistic and anti-Mormon. Do any of the lyrics reflect your actual views/opinions, or do you "get into character" when you write?

Haha...Get into character? There is truth to everything I write. Sometimes, I use a dose of satire or push something to an extreme to make a point. Misogynistic? Men and women are different. Each sex balances different hormones at different levels. This difference in balance causes each sex to be prone towards certain behaviors. Anybody that would disagree with the scientific facts of that is out to make a social statement that is complete bullshit.

I have personally had a lot of horrible experiences in dealing with members of the Mormon church and their supposed establishments of worship. That supposed religion -- INVENTED by an actual convicted snake oil salesman -- is nothing more than a front for the willfully blind to do crooked business, bring pain to others for the profit of themselves, and feel justified by willed ignorance. Their church has them convinced that they are the only supposedly saved people of Christ. Many of its members use this as a justification to harm those that do not want to live like they do. I do not hate them as individuals, I hate them as a collective unit...

Are you worried that the controversial subject matter could overshadow the music itself, or do you believe in the philosophy of "any publicity's good publicity"?

Our music is a weapon. I wrote the lyrics to strike back against what I hate...

Speaking of the music, tell us about the band you put together for this album. Did any of these guys play on the first RoV record?

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Originally, [guitarist] Tommy [Gibbons] and I were going to do this CD ourselves and find other musicians to execute the songs live. We then figured it would be more enjoyable to work with people from national bands that we enjoyed. These musicians played on the album, and when they aren't on tour with their national bands, they perform live with us if they are able. I had ties to [drummer] Samus [Paulicelli] because of my relationship with the original Abigail Williams lineup, which is the band he hailed from. I reached out to Nick during his downtime from any Cephalic Carnage tours or recordings and he agreed. We then all locked ourselves up in the Kompound Studios for a few weeks and recorded this lethally brutal album. To answer your question, yes, I did vocals on the first record.

Any chance we'll see some RoV live dates in the near future? Do you plan to do a full-fledged tour behind the album, or just some one-off shows here and there?

Yes, we will be doing full-fledged tours to support this release. We very recently signed a contract with Inner Light Booking Agency to make sure that this happens. Ivan Mungia from Brain Drill (Metal Blade Records) typically fills in for Nick during live shows when he is busy recording or touring with Cephalic Carnage.

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