I happen to live near the world famous Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, where birders gather to watch all manner of feathered creature. Raptors and birds of prey are awe inspiring to watch. Vultures, on the other hand, tend to inspire dread or disgust, instead of awe, because they feed on dead animals. So when you see vultures circling, something nearby is dead or soon to be dead. Vultures on the wing can be taken as a sign of foreboding. So what’s in a name for collaborative metal project Vultures Gathering? Listen in as we find out from lead guitarist Ryan Roebuck.

Chris Gatto: Ryan, what originally got you into metal?

Ryan Roebuck: I first took an interest in the late 80’s with Metallica.  Then around 1991 I was really into it. I picked up a guitar and was all about it.! It wasn’t until 1993 that I discovered christian metal.

Which christian bands piqued your interest?

I was aware of Stryper from my older brother in the 80’s. But in 1993, it was all about heavy.




Vengeance Rising




Nice. When did you start playing in bands?


Any notable bands?

Nah, local. Unorthodox was my main band from 1993-1998. Christian thrash/hardcore.

Hope to release some of the demos as it really is the precursor to Motivik.

That would be cool to hear. So these days, you are pretty busy juggling multiple bands and projects. Let’s talk about Vultures Gathering, who recently released their debut, The Hunt on Roxx Records. Who plays in Vultures and how did the band come about?

Yeah! So it is Chaz Bond on vocals, Andre Chiang on rhythm guitars, and I play lead. About 2 years ago we all started chatting and it was launched. Basically, both Chaz and I did two different guest spots on Shamash’s album (Andre’s other band.)

And the cover of Bloodgood’s song “America” was the first song the band did?

Yes! That was the first single last year. We were thankful the guys in Bloodgood liked our version. And, Michael did get to hear an early copy of it before he passed.

It’s a great cover and you guys really made it your own. A head turner, for sure. Unless I miss my guess- the entire album centers around that cover, right? America is in a sad state of affairs, the vultures are circling, and the only way to salvation is still through God’s love.

Yeah, it was a big catalyst to launch us in that direction. Chaz, being the lyricist, wrote in layers and really made the listeners think.

The message, I think, is more relative than ever. The more messed up things get, the more people start calling light darkness and darkness light, the more you realize that this was all foretold long ago in Revelations. The band name seems a clever way to encapsulate that. Vultures Gathering. We’re in bad way as a nation and our enemies are gloating, closing in for the kill.

Did you guys record the album in the same room together, or from your respective homes?

We all recorded at each of our homes respectively. Andre lives in Malaysia, Chaz is in Ohio, and I’m in Atlanta. We texted and had video chats a lot. It worked out just fine!

So, I guess it is a safe bet that Vultures will never become a live act?

Yeah, more than likely it won’t be a live act… unless God has another idea about that!

The album is super heavy, not surprising given your collective pedigrees, but Chaz brings a brooding mood at times. Did you guys have a conscious musical direction or style as you were recording?

Yeah kinda. We knew it would be a hybrid of sounds. But the band Evergrey was mentioned a lot.

Vultures is the sonic equivalent of a freight train, but when you listen carefully, there’s so many layers of stuff going on. Any favorites or songs you’d like to discuss?

“Truth Be Told” is one of my faves. I love the lyrics. It does kinda continue what “America” was talking about. Plus, I got a chance to lay down a fast blazing solo early on in the song. Guitarists, I tell ya… 🙂

I’m a sucker for a blazing guitar solo, or for the perfect scream, so I’m here to tell ya I appreciate your dedication to your craft, sir. Lol.

Thank you, man!

Do you think Vultures will be a continuing project?

It’s very possible! Everyone has several other current projects too. We will see what the future holds.

I think you guys did a great job on it. Sonically you’re charting new territory in christian music, and the message takes you dark places, then brings you the hope that only God brings. I would expect it to be well received.

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