• They're heavy-duty:
Beaufort-based Souls Harbor define their music as "in-your-face, jaw-dropping, eye-opening and ear-shattering" stuff.
• They're a burly-lookin' quintet:
They're comprised of lead guitarist John Fenin, drummer Rob Cadiz, rhythm guitarist Tony Bigley, singer Doug Marshal, and bassist Ryland Milonakis.
• They're "from away:"
While frontman Marshall, 28, resides in Sheldon, (halfway between Savannah and Charleston, jut north of Beaufort), he grew up in Cincinnati, slurping Skyline Chili and sipping Burger beer. "Nobody in Souls Harbor actually grew up in Beaufort, but we love living here," says Marshall.
• Their sound is surprisingly refined:
"When we started off, we were more of a garage band," says Marshall. "We were determined to get up there, polish it up and get away from the in-the-garage sound. We wanted to have some structure and concentrate on our guitar, too."
• They're biz-smart:
"A lot of bands want that deal so bad, they get into a bad situation," Marshall says. "We wanted to get out on the road and get our name out. We didn't want to sit and wait. And we've had great support from Charleston's scene."
• They don't totally overdo things with massive use of guitar effects and bullshit:
"We wanted to try to catch the live show on a CD, because we don't use many guitar effects," says the lead singer. "Eric Bass encouraged us to capture the raw sound. I think we did a pretty good job."
• They're military veterans:
Fenin, Marshall, and Milonakis all served as Marines and Cadiz served in the Navy before they considered forming the band. "I did five years with the Marines and John and Ryland did four. Rob, who is our original drummer, was in the Navy. We actually formed the first version of Souls Harbor in 2001 while we were all serving in the Persian Gulf on the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier. We were over there doing the whole Saddam Hussein campaign, working on F-18s."
• Their debut album actually sounds pro:
Recorded with audio engineer Eric Bass at Fusion 5 Studios and other facilities, Souls Harbor's Writings on the Wall is clean, solid, precise... and kinda scary.
• They signed a one-album deal with a decent indie metal label:
Souls Harbor signed with metal label Crash Music Records (www.crashmusicinc.com) earlier this year, thanks in large part to the efforts of their manager Rob Volger, a New Jersey native. Their Crash labelmates include Flotsam & Jetsam, Vicious Circle, and Society 1.
• They celebrate the official release of the debut full-length album this week:
Souls Harbor officially releases Writings on the Wall with a set opening for Charleston's Number One Contender at the Music Farm on Fri. Sept. 8. Bring the earplugs and salute them.