Image: Beltfed Weapon, Raining Plague, Mazur PR, Michael MazurSEATTLE - Seattle-based metal band Beltfed Weapon has returned with a new EP, Raining Plague.

The six-song release - the band's first since 2009's Peackeeper - takes a slightly more experimental approach, incorporating clean vocals, courtesy of singer Dean Sternberg (Where Evil Follows, Ashes Of Ares, Into Eternity), into Beltfed Weapon's full throttle death/thrash. Led by founding member and guitarist Frank Hetzel, the album's stellar lineup is rounded out by bassist Steve DiGiorgio (Testament, Death, Sadus), drummer Fredrik Widigs (Marduk) and lead guitarist Andy Beech.

"After the release of Peacekeeper, I decided to regroup and take a new approach," Hetzel said. "Once I had the songs structured out for Raining Plague, I reached out to friends in the industry and ended up with a well-oiled machine for the recording lineup. The recording process took some time due to everyone's schedules, but I am more than pleased with how the whole thing turned out. It turned out better than I envisioned."

Image: Beltfed Weapon, Mazur PR, Michael Mazur, Raining PlagueNew vocalist Sternberg, who resides across the country in upstate New York, came by a recommendation from fellow musician and artist Van Williams. "I came in at the very end," he said. "Frank had the songs, but he was still in the process of demoing and getting a recording lineup solidified. He sent me things as they progressed and over time I got to hear the whole thing come together. I got to Seattle a day before the recording sessions and still Frank had absolutely no idea what I was going to do. We did some vocal demos that night and even though Frank had been beyond patient and laid back, I could see that he was extremely relieved. It blows me away that he waited and had faith in me. Hell, I wouldn't have just had someone come in and record on my stuff without knowing what they were going to do first!"

Bassist DiGiorgio also wrote and recorded his parts by unconventional yet increasingly more common means, with DiGiorgio tackling his piece of the puzzle from a studio in his native California. "I could tell he trusted me to contribute what I thought was best, and I was into giving the song what it needed," DiGiorgio said. "I think the songs are awesome. The mix turned out killer. Everybody's performance is well highlighted which is becoming rare in these days of metal. Moreover, the effort and dedication Frank put into all the composing, organizing and overseeing everything is evidenced in the aggressive passionate punchy sound of it all. When somebody is really into what they do, it's contagious to put a lot of yourself into it.

Produced by Frank Hetzel and Aaron Smith (Jeff Loomis, Seven Horn Seven Eyes), Raining Plague expands Beltfed Weapon's core sound with increased speed, precision and additional melody while retaining and accentuating the aggression fans have come to expect.

Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Nevermore) once again makes a guest appearance on the record, along with Matt Wicklund (Ghost Ship Ocatvius, God Forbid, Warrel Dane, Himsa).

Hetzel's guitarist counterpart Andy Beech is a longtime friend and guitar-maker whom Hetzel had wanted to work with for years. "Over the years Franko has asked me several times to do solos for his songs," he said. "The lineup for this project is unbelievable, and Dean just put the whole thing over the top with great writing and texture. I'm proud to be a part of this and proud of Frank for putting this together."

The EP was engineered, mixed and mastered by Aaron Smith at Envisage Audio with artwork by Van Williams (Ghost Ship Octavius, Ashes Of Ares, Nevermore). Raining Plague was entirely self-financed and distributed. Digital downloads are available through iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby. Physical CDs may be purchased at

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