Black metal, death metal, thrash metal, speed metal . . . whatever you want to call it, the band Theory of a Deadman immediately conjures up images of a group of dour dudes wearing inverted crosses and growling about dancing with Mr. D.
The quartet’s affiliation with Roadrunner Records — the past breeding ground for satanic metal gurus such as Deicide and Mercyful Fate — adds to the perception that Theory of a Deadman probably belongs on the soundtrack to Six Feet Under rather than Spider-Man.
But despite the macabre name, Theory of a Deadman is about life rather than death, and its brand of thundering melodic rock is more akin to Creed and Nickelback than any group operating south of heaven. And yes, the Vancouver, Canada-bred band does have a cut (“Invisible Man”) on the Spider-Man soundtrack.
The band’s name actually comes from the title of one of its songs, which was subsequently changed to “The Last Song.” And Theory of a Deadman singer/guitarist Tyler Connolly has explained that the number — though about a guy who takes his own life — is an anti-suicide song through and through.
“The Last Song,” which is marked by some arty orchestral shadings, and the catchy “Invisible Man” can both be found on the group’s recently released, self-titled debut album.
The album’s existence on a name record label owes much to fellow Canadians Nickelback. In 1999, Connelly met Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger at a barbecue. After hearing Theory of a Deadman’s demo, the impressed Kroeger hooked up the band with Roadrunner. Kroeger even ended up co-producing the album and taking the band out on tour with Nickelback as a support act.
Connelly says he wants Theory of a Deadman to appeal to 16-year-old girls as well as 35-year-old guys. It’s something that could very well come to fruition if hard rock fans realize that this is a band that strives to exist above ground and not below it.