Bay Area-based deathcore quintet Ardra just dropped their debut full-length, Unto Leviathan, which features the ferocious single “To Walk With Fire.” “We and many others have worked so hard to bring this together,” the group said in a joint statement explaining their decision to stick with their originally planned release date despite “contagion canceling shows and making things harder to predict.” “We hope new art, music, and other discoveries can help you get through these unknown times.” We recently caught up with the group — vocalist Kenneth Draper, guitarists Mitchell Gehring and Scott Zinola, bassist Tim Ochoa and drummer Brian Zinola — to find out what albums changed their lives. Each band member spotlighted a particular LP that was formative in their development as both music fans and creators — see their wide-ranging picks below.
Mitch: AFI – Sing the Sorrow
It came out right when I was playing a bunch of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and starting to develop my own music tastes after [Linkin Park’s] Hybrid Theory and [System of a Down’s] Toxicity came out. It was probably the first album that felt like it was “mine” and opened the door to hardcore, post-hardcore, and eventually metal.
Scott: Arch Enemy – Anthems of Rebellion
I was still listening to a lot of nu-metal at the time and tried to dig deeper into heavier music. Arch Enemy — with a handful of other melodic death-metal bands — helped introduce me to a more fierce type of music. That element of curiosity grew because of them and bridged the gap towards death metal, black metal and grindcore. I wanted to sound exactly like Arch Enemy back then and I am pretty sure I probably borrowed some of their riffs.
Tim: Finch – Say Hello to Sunshine
It was beautifully chaotic and so emotionally dark I fell in love with that from the first moment I put it on.
Brian: Hans Zimmer – Batman Begins
I was always dabbling with music as a hobby, drumming for the band or making instrumentals for artists. But being immersed into this soundtrack gave me the inspiration to pursue music as a career.
Kenny: Korn – Issues
It was the first “weird kid” album I had. Important stepping stone in the path towards heavier stuff.