What do classic horror movies, a watermelon, and a knife have in common? All three inspired guitarists Tom Mowcomber, Chuck Cieslik, and drummer Greg Behnke to form Lick The Blade in Cleveland, OH in 2004. Shortly after its inception, Mowcomber recruited the galloping and energetic bass stylings of Mike Kurtz. The band played its first show as a four-piece with Kurtz on vocals on the nationally-acclaimed Agora Theatre stage in spring of 2005. Lick The Blade spent the next few months decimating the local scene and decided to record their first self-titled demo. Upon hearing the demo, Ted Anderson was eager to fill the role of lead vox – Lick The Blade was happy to oblige. After infusing their demo with Anderson’s new soaring vocals, Cieslik decided it was time to move on. In spite of this loss, Lick The Blade gained a powerful songwriter and guitarist in Brian French.
With new-found energy, Lick The Blade spent the next few months opening up for international acts such as Loudness, Exodus, Vader, and 3 Inches of Blood. With the help of Jamie Boulder, who played bass with Destructor at the time, Lick The Blade was introduced to Cleveland Metal guru Bill Peters. Lick The Blade signed with Bill Peters’ Cleveland-based heavy metal label, Auburn Records, in 2006. With the support of Auburn Records, Lick The Blade released its debut album, Graveyard of Empires, in 2009. In response to growing popularity overseas, Lick The Blade accepted an invitation to perform at the sold-out Headbanger’s Open Air Festival in Brande-Hörnerkirchen, Germany in promotion of the album. “Royal Blood,” from Graveyard of Empires, earned spots on the compilation CDs from both Germany’s Heavy and Poland’s Hard Rocker magazines. In recognition of these accomplishments, Lick The Blade was voted “Best Metal Band of 2009″ in the prestigious Cleveland Scene magazine’s 2010 installment of its annual “Cleveland Music Awards” feature.
Upon returning from Germany, drummer Greg Behnke was replaced by drummer John Arkey. The addition of Arkey on drums provided a thunderous and dynamic enhancement to the rhythm section. Lick the Blade continued to experience success and opened for legendary vocalists Paul Di’Anno and Blaze Bayley (both formerly with Iron Maiden).
While working on their second album, The Sun and Time, Lick The Blade became acquainted with world-renowned guitarist Neil Zaza. After hearing demos for the new album, Zaza invited the band to record in his studio, Audio Kitchen, in Akron, OH. One late night in the studio while demolishing pizza, Lick The Blade proposed featuring Zaza’s melodic virtuosity on the album. Zaza’s cascading shreds highlighted in “The Blessing” and “Charon’s Obol” were born from this collaboration. Before the album was finalized in 2013, Mowcomber parted ways with Lick The Blade.
Inspired by new vision and revitalized efforts, Lick The Blade is currently focused on the release and support of their new album, The Sun and Time, which is available on many digital outlets. Late 2013 shows are currently scheduled.