Pawns in Chess is a Cleveland, Ohio born group that came to be in December of 2012. At the time, it consisted of former Descend members Mike Guinther (bass), Gary Henrich (guitar), and Shawn Hapney (drums). Rounding out the line-up was guitarist Jeremy McLellon, as well as a singer later on. Gary, however, departed from the band in April of 2013, and their vocalist was later dropped to allow the band’s music to speak for itself instead of relying on lyrics to express points that, according to the band biography, “none of the members [felt] strongly about.” Armed as a three-piece, the unit unleashed their first demo, The Blood of Martyrs, in April of 2014 as an instrumental band. But does this recording stand as a solid mixture of sludgy progressive metal worth tackling, or does the band still need more time to hone their sound?
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