Column, Rockin' The Region

Rockin’ The Region with Brotality

by DJ Dave Hoffenberg

New York’s Brotality makes their Vermont debut Saturday, Nov. 16, at The Howlin’ Mouse Record Store at 7 p.m. with Rutland’s own Max Crowley opening up the show. They’re trying to bring metal to the masses, while spreading faith and love. Brotality was formed by brothers Bryce Maopolski, 17, on guitar and vocals and Reece Maopolski, 15, on bass and vocals. They’re joined by friend Liam Fenton, 14, on drums and vocals. I had the pleasure of speaking with Bryce Maopolski. I knew nothing about them, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out how young they are and that they’re a faith-based band. That’s fascinating!

The Maopolski brothers are from Narrowsburg, New York, on the Pennsylvania border and Liam Fenton lives an hour away in the Scranton area. The brothers met Fenton when they were recording in a studio. The engineer knew them all and asked them to come lay down some parts on a song. Bryce Maopolski said, “We saw what a killer drummer he was so we asked if he wanted to get some stuff going and that’s how Brotality was born.” Brotality’s only been around since March 2018 but already has 1,500 followers on Facebook. They’re looking forward to this show. Bryce said, “We’re super stoked and excited to get up north to Vermont. We hear great things about The Howlin’ Mouse.”

They call themselves Brotality because of the two brothers but also because they’re all brothers in their faith in Jesus and making brutal music.

Bryce described their show, “There’s a lot of genres of metal but we consider ourselves just a straight up metal band because we have influences from so many genres and bands. You hear that in our music. We like to put on a super energetic live show and have fun with the crowd.”

I don’t consider myself a “Metal Guy” but do listen from time to time. I checked them out on Facebook and was impressed with them from the first video I watched. They have a bright future in metal.

A few years before Brotality the brothers were in “Breach the Barrier,” a classic rock cover band. Bryce said, “Others in the band weren’t into the really heavy stuff. Reece and I were both writing music and knew that we needed another place to put our originals.” After meeting Fenton, they knew they were the perfect trio to express that music. Bryce does a lot of the song and riff writing, Reece most of the lyrics and Liam writes all his drum parts.

Bryce said, “Sometimes I’ll have inspiration from a song I heard and I’ll want to create something that’s just as epic. I’ll sit down and try and write my own version of an awesome song. Sometimes I’ll pick up the guitar and mess around with stuff I know or use the theory I know in my head to try and formulate a song.”

They play classic metal covers and originals and have two EP’s to their credit. The first one, “Hypernova,” was released late in 2018 and the second, “The Provocation,” was released in March 2019. They released a single, “Legion Falls,” this past September. That’s Bryce’s favorite because it’s hard hitting the entire way through with a great solo.  They’re releasing another single, “Prisoners of the Abyss” on Nov. 8. That is a lot of music for such a young band.

The band’s biggest musical influences are Mastodon and Megadeath. They also draw influences from Judas Priest and Alice Cooper. The boys draw immediate influences from their dads. The brothers’ dad, Paul, is a guitarist and bass player and Liam’s is a drummer, so they all learned their craft at home. Paul also manages the band. They all started taking their instruments seriously when they were 7 but Liam started drumming when he was 2 years old. Bryce said, “I always thought it was super cool that my Dad could play covers of songs that I liked. They got me a guitar for my 7th birthday and I thought it was super cool that maybe I could learn that one day. My dad taught me the fundamentals in the beginning.”

Paul and his sons all play in their church band at White Mills Community Church in Pennsylvania. Bryce said, “We love playing there.”

Brotality’s hearts are definitely in the right place. They support Heartsupport, an organization that helps those struggling with addiction, anxiety, self-harm or depression.

Reece said, “Heartsupport is so amazing.” The band got to meet founder Jake Luhrs who is the front man of August Burns Red, a band Bryce said is one of the best metal bands ever. They all said he’s been a great inspiration. Reece added, “Heartsupport not only inspires us as people but also as a band. Our mission as a band is to be a light in the darkness and Heartsupport is exactly that.”

You can find them on all the socials and their music is available on all platforms. The band loves being able to release energy on stage. Bryce said, “We get to spread the love of guitar and music through stage. Ending a show completely covered in sweat and knowing we just had the most fun up there and had a killer time is awesome.”

The band’s favorite thing is being able to share their message of hope and love through God.

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