Former Kaine bassist Stephen Ellis will make a return to the band for the forthcoming Mearfest performance in Nuneaton at the Queen’s Hall.
Current bassist Isaac Healy is now unable to make the show due to work commitments. Stevo was originally pencilled in to play guitar for Kaine at this event, as it was expected that Rage Sadler would be going undergoing surgery for calcific tendonitis and chronic bursitis in his shoulder in July, this would have meant Rage would not be able to play guitar at Mearfest Flame.
This surgery has been pushed back meaning Stevo was stood down from covering on guitar, however, this has fortunately made it possible for him to step in for Isaac on bass instead. This will be Stevo’s first performance with Kaine in 4 years, the last being the tenth-anniversary show in 2019, where the A Crisis of Faith line-up performed together for the very last time. Stevo’s run with the band was between 2015-2018, and he appears on the A Crisis of Faith album. He has also performed in other acts such as Drop-Dead Fred and Mercury Rising.
The line-up of Rage, Liam, Toby, and Stevo has performed together once before, back in May 2018 at The Smokehouse Ipswich, alongside Scream Serenity and Vice, this was during a transitional period when Isaac was still learning the set with the band.
Stevo is learning the bands current set, and the group will be rehearsing together at Unit One, this forthcoming Bank Holiday Monday.
The new version of Kaine was officially formed on May 12th 2018. But How did we arrive at this point?
The original band had been formed in 2009 and had had various line ups over the years, the people in the band would usually gradually change over time so things didn’t seem so radical to the wider audience. However in 2016, following the departure of founding member Dan Mailer (bass/vocals) and Ant Murch (lead guitar) in 2015 the line-up of myself, Chris MacKinnon (drums), Saxon Davids (lead guitar) and Stephen Ellis (bass) formed in 2016. Dan and Ant had been known to most people as they had both performed on our first two albums, Dan had left in August 2015 and Ant left at the close of play in 2015. Stevo had been with us a few months already when Anthony departed, and Saxon first joined the band in 2014 as a substitute for Anthony on a tour he couldn’t do and just remained in the band from that point alongside Anthony so the transition between Dan and Anthony departing didn’t seem that different or radical to those who had followed us for years.
The 2016 version of Kaine would go on to be a very popular line-up, from playing our regular shows at The Soundhouse in Colchester, the Asylum in Chelmsford, the B2 in Norwich and The Smokehouse in Ipswich among others. We built up a real following of regular gig goers and supporters during that period and began to write a new album, which would eventually end up being A Crisis of Faith, an album which we played most of the stuff live before we recorded it. There was a real emotional attachment between that group of guys and audience throughout that period and real desire to see us do well. We released A Crisis of Faith in early 2018, and although our fans loved it, it was largely ignored by the wider Metal audience and it didn’t really pick up much steam. Because it took a more modern, proggier direction from our previous release The Waystone it was met with a lot of criticism from the New Wave of Traditional Metal community and it generally didn’t go down well with that audience. We had a number of gigs booked and were also on the biggest festival billing we had ever been on, at Hard Rock Hell Metal 2018 playing the same stage as Grave Digger. We played the gig and we went down a storm at the sold out o2 Academy, Birmingham and it looked like to many on the outside that things were about to happen for the band.
Sadly, life doesn’t work out that way.
Internally within the band there were a number of personal circumstances that would force change. Chris was the first to depart not long after that in April, but this was largely an expected departure due to Chris own circumstances and thus I had already sounded out Liam Etheridge as a potential replacement. Liam is someone I knew from way back as his old band Asylum had played with Kaine on a number of shows, someone who I knew was a good drummer and a decent guy and someone who I thought would work really well for the band. I did however offer Josh (or original drummer) the opportunity to come on board again if he would like to, but he was busy with A Bribe for the Ferryman and Dismanibus at that time as well as working with Elimination. Chris formally left the band and Liam came in the week later, rehearsed and we were back to gigging almost straight away with no downtime. Stevo however had said to me at this point that he didn’t enjoy playing in the band without Chris and said he would stick it out but was generally unhappy.
A few weeks go by and Saxon calls me to inform me that he was leaving the band to move to America to be with his then fiance. I accepted his resignation and then called Stevo to offer him his release from the band. Both agreed to stay as long as it would take to find replacements.
I called Liam and gave him the bad news, and we agreed that it was probably game over for Kaine but we would see what our options were and try and keep it going.
I offered Dan and Anthony their old spots back, but Dan had recently joined Osmium Guillotine as a vocalist and was suffering from carpel tunnel syndrome which was restricting what he could do on bass. Ant was playing in covers bands and couldn’t commit to Kaine at that stage. People may think its strange to invite former members back to the band but I feel its a matter of courtesy. Josh, Dan and Ant poured a lot of their own time and money into Kaine in the early years and the band simply would have never existed without them. The least I can do is offer them their position back if it comes up. I never want to be one of those musicians who never asks someone back or holds grudges about departures. Life happens. People have their own reasons for leaving bands, usually varied and you can’t take it personally and you have to respect what they did to help make that band happen to begin with. We wouldn’t exist without those guys, or anyone who has been in the band these past 12 years and they deserve the credit for what they contributed. I knew they couldn’t come back, it’s just a matter of respect, and I respect them enough to ask, even if it is a “no”.
So, the night of the departure announcement I put up an advert for both positions and go to bed thinking that it was probably game over. In fact I had written a retirement statement that night anyway as I had fully expected it was game over. At that point in my life things were a bit of a nightmare anyway, I had started shift work in a warehouse after being made redundant the year previous from a job I had been at for a long time. I was working hard and my hours were all over the place, so my brain was scrambled trying to adapt to that on top of the band imploding suddenly immediately after an album release. I also had a ton of unsold CD’s, shirts and vinyl’s from that release which probably cost me close to £10k to produce altogether that without a band, wouldn’t have been sold so I was in a bit of a desperate situation financially as a result. I am not a wealthy man, so spending that sort of cash (not all at once might I add) on making that recording and then printing the CD’s, Vinyl and shirts to not sell them would have been a huge issue as I wouldn’t have had money to survive on! I think it’s worth pointing out that there are no issues between myself and any of the members from the A Crisis of Faith line-up. That is not the reason the split occurred. As with anything, its more complicated than that and I respect their decision to leave the band.
A few people have had digs at me for my decision to continue the band. They probably don’t understand that the A Crisis of Faith line-up wasn’t the original band and we had always had changing members over the years. They also were probably unaware of the financially implications to me personally if the band did end. I swallowed all of the bands costs (and still do) and don’t get that money back without sales so for me to put out a record without selling it would have been financial suicide for me at the time. This wasn’t about my ego.
The next morning I was messaged by a guitarist named Toby Woods about trying out. I asked if he could do Saturday, which he could, which was just a few days away and we booked in a try out. Toby went away and learned the stuff. That day I had a message from Dan suggesting I try out “this guy” and sends me a video. He had tried out for Elimination when Dan was working with them and didn’t get the gig. It turns out that guitarist was Toby. Dan’s pretty good at spotting good players so that’s a good endorsement to have going into your first try-out with Kaine!
On the Saturday session at Pioneer it was myself, Stevo, Liam and Saxon with Toby. We go to start playing Heavens Abandonment from A Crisis of Faith and Toby just didn’t join in. I am thinking in my head, this isn’t good and look over to Liam who looked back at me in silent agreement. We stopped playing and asked if he wanted to join in this time. So we start and Toby then plays the song through exceptionally well. Relief. It turns out he was just watching Saxon to just get an idea of how he played the song! The rest of audition went perfectly and we offered him the gig, well Stevo did actually, which was a bit cheeky as he was leaving the band as well! But that was fine as we were in a agreement. We causally asked him as we packed down if he knew any bassists and he said he had a mate who could play bass. We asked if he could ask him to try out, and by that evening his mate was booked in for a audition the following week. Toby was announced for the band and Saxon had officially departed as of that point. He never did find America though.
The week after Isaac Healy, who Toby had played with in Cannon, tried out for the band. Myself, Liam, Stevo and Toby were present. Again it went well and he was offered the position, which he accepted. He and the new line-up were announced that night. Toby would have his first gig with us on the 19th (the following weekend), which would be Stevo’s last show, at The Smokehouse, Ipswich and the new bands very first gig would be May 26th at the B2 in Norwich and we have been together ever since.
During this period I started writing what would become Reforge The Steel. We would learn and work on the new songs between gigs and even began recording it in November 2018, just months after the line-up had changed and not even a year after A Crisis of Faith. We would continue to gig and work on the new album, Reforge The Steel until it was finally released in 2019. We’ve since played 40+ shows together (which would have been a lot more before Covid hit!) released The Waystone anniversary EP, two live albums, another EP and are just about to record a brand new album. This will also be the first time in the bands history that the same line-up has appeared on back to back albums.
I will cover more detail from the new line-up period in more posts throughout the week, I just thought this would be a good starting point to give more details on how this version of Kaine formed, and why.
The Underground Power EU print of A Crisis of Faith has sold out in the UK. The album was written between 2015-2017 and recorded in 2017 for a 2018 release and is the only studio release from that era of the band. The live album version recently sold out on CD as well. The album is still available in it’s UK format on CD and vinyl from here.
The Underground Power CD’s were only available in a limited run in the UK and have now sold out for good. Some copies are still available online some of which can be found here.
A Crisis of Faith Live has finally sold out on CD. The band will not be reprinting any more of these and the digital version of the album will become a members only release on Bandcamp which can be accessed here. The album was recorded live at the Asylum Chelmsford by Short Stack studios and features the A Crisis of Faith album in full and includes two tracks from The Waystone that features founding members of the band Dan Mailer and Josh Moreton.
December 29th, 2012 – Hole in the Wall, Colchester
Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars Dan Mailer: Bass/Vocals Anthony Murch: Lead Guitars Josh Moreton: Drums
Background: The band were offered a slot as a last-minute support for Coronach at the Hole in the Wall. Chris MacKinnon who had recently joined the band was unavailable for the gig so original drummer Josh Moreton filled in for the night where the band played its debut album Falling Through Freedom in its entirety for the first and only time.
May 16th, 2014 – The Barfly, Camden, London
Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars Dan Mailer: Bass/Vocals Anthony Murch: Lead Guitars James Balcombe: Drums
Background: James joined the band on the final show of the Renegades Tour with Monument when Chris had to perform for his university exams finals in Colchester on the same day. James joined the band for what was the most intense nights in the history of Kaine, as they dropped their association with MGR for management and as a record label that day due to incidents that occurred on that tour.
February 5th, 2016 – The Soundhouse, Colchester
Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars Chris MacKinnon: Drums/Vocals Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and backing vocals Stephen Ellis: Bass Dan Mailer: Vocals
Background: Dan Mailer, who was at that time playing in Ipswich based Death Metal band Daemona joined the band onstage as guest vocalist for Solidarity during the bands set, a song which Rage broke a string and had to perform the final song of the night Quality of Madness as purely a vocalist. It was also the first gig the band played with the new four pieces line-up after Anthony Murch left making it the start of the Crisis of Faith era.
February 24th, 2017 – The Asylum, Chelmsford
Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars Chris MacKinnon: Drums/Vocals Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and backing vocals Stephen Ellis: Bass Dan Mailer: Vocals Josh Moreton: Drums
Background: This was the night A Crisis of Faith live was recorded the band played a large number of the new album songs before they were even recorded at this show and were joined by Dan Mailer on vocals for Iron Lady and Solidarity and Josh Moreton on drums for the Iron Lady, a song he had never played with the band before. Chris joined Dan Mailer in joint lead vocals for Iron Lady.
April 15th, 2017 – Hope & Anchor, Islington, London
Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and backing vocals Stephen Ellis: Bass James Balcombe: Drums
Background: Chris was unable to do the show, so long time band friend James Balcombe of Osmium Guillotine stepped in to perform on the night for the second time. The set was recorded and is available to bandcamp members here.
May 20th, 2017 – The Smokehouse, Ipswich
Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars Stephen Ellis: Bass Ant Murch: Lead Guitars and Backing Vocals Josh Moreton: Drums
Background: Kaine were originally due to play with AJ Kemp of Dismanibus fame on Lead Guitar alongside Josh Moreton and Dan Mailer on bass as a special one of show playing songs from the original album. However, Dan was diagnosed with carpel tunnel syndrome (he and Josh were playing with Elimination at that time and on the same night for the bands 10-year celebrations) so had to drop out. Stephen Ellis was then drafted in to play bass, alongside Anthony Murch to play a set comprising of material from the first three albums. It was the first time Josh had performed with the band since 2012 and Anthony, which was 2015.
May 4th, 2018 – Voodoo Lounge, Stamford
Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and backing vocals Stephen Ellis: Bass Liam Etheridge: Drums Chris MacKinnon: Vocals
Background: Chris joined the band on stage for Frailty of the Blade on vocals, the second time he had performed solo as a vocalist for the band the first being when he joined Dan Mailer to sing Iron Lady at the Asylum for A Crisis of Faith live. This would also be the last show played with Saxon and Stephen as official members of the band.
May 26th, 2018 – B2, Norwich
Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars Liam Etheridge: Drums Toby Woods: Lead Guitars Isaac Healy: Bass Dan Mailer: Vocals
Background: Dan Mailer joined the band on stage, coincidently for another new line-up debut at the B2 Norwich for Iron Lady during his tenure as the lead singer of lone time Kaine friends and collaborators Osmium Guillotine.
July 7th, 2018 – B2, Norwich
Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars Liam Etheridge: Drums Toby Woods: Lead Guitars Isaac Healy: Bass Ant Murch: Lead Guitars and Backing Vocals
Background: Ant Murch joined Kaine on stage to play an encore of songs from The Waystone and A Crisis of Faith eras including a solo trade off with Toby Woods.
August 11th, 2018 – Scruffy Murphy’s, Birmingham
Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars Liam Etheridge: Drums Toby Woods: Lead Guitars Isaac Healy: Bass Dan Mailer: Vocals
Background: Dan Mailer again joined the band on stage for a rendition of Iron Lady with the Reforge The Steel line-up.
September 14th, 2018 – The Cavern CM7, Braintree
Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars Chris MacKinnon: Drums/Vocals Toby Woods: Lead Guitars Isaac Healy: Bass Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and Backing Vocals Dan Mailer: Vocals Stephen Ellis: Bass
Background: Liam Etheridge was unable to perform at this show (which was Osmium Guillotine’s album launch) so Chris MacKinnon covered on the drums, Saxon Davids joined as an additional guitarist for a set which was a mixture of Crisis of Faith and The Waystone material which also featured Dan Mailer again on guest vocals for the Iron Lady and Stephen Ellis joined the band for the encore which was The Mind is Willing, the penultimate time that song would be played and that line-up would play together.
December 22nd, 2018 – Scruffy Murphy’s, Birmingham
Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars Liam Etheridge: Drums Toby Woods: Lead Guitars Isaac Healy: Bass Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and Backing Vocals
Background: Saxon Davids joined Kaine on stage for several songs from the A Crisis of Faith album.
April 27th, 2019 – Arts Centre, Colchester
Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars Chris MacKinnon: Drums/Vocals Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and backing vocals Stephen Ellis: Bass
Background: After the Reforge The Steel line-up performed, the A Crisis of Faith line up closed the night as that line-ups final gig to celebrate the first 10 years of the band. A double album was recorded and released featuring both sets.
Stephen Ellis has posted his official leaving statement following lats nights announcement that he was leaving the band alongside Saxon Davids.
I thought I should post something regarding the reasons I left and the future.
First of all; Rage, Chris and Saxman are still my best friends, that hasn’t changed. There was no fallout, I just felt that this time was right to go. I didn’t want to leave the band, financially and musically I am in the best condition I have been in years but Chris leaving was the catalyst. Despite Liam coming in and doing a fantastic job, I felt like the chemistry the 4 of us had was what drove the band forward the last few years. Then Saxon decided to leave due to personal reasons yesterday and it felt that even if I stayed it would not be the same band as before, without those 2 it would feel very alien. So Rage offered me a chance to walk as well, I took the offer.
I love what we accomplished these last few years, the last album was as good as it could have been. I thank the fans that have stayed with us and the ones we have made along the way, you have my eternal gratitude.
Looking to the future I look to hopefully continue music, Matt and I have a collab album coming out soon and I am looking at working with some fantastic musicians in the future. I am still playing all the dates with Kaine until they have found a replacement.
Good luck to Rage at continuing this band forward, I have never met someone with more passion for what they do than this man.
Thank you for everything, – Stevo
New drummer Liam Etheridge responded with the following statement.
After hearing the news late last night i still haven’t really gotten over the shock of it. I honestly never thought that either of them would leave, and i am truly gutted that they are. That being said, it’s been a real honour to play with them for the short time that i have been. Stephen and Saxon are 2 of the best musicians I’ve ever played with, and i look forward to whatever musical adventures they go onto next. Nothing but love for these guys, and i just wanna say thank you for the good times that we’ve had so far, and also thank you for the good times that will come at our remaining gigs together. I’ll be honest, I currently have no idea how Rage and i will be able to replace you, but these things happen in the music business, and i have every faith in Rage and I’m sure that we will be up and running again with a brand new lineup sooner rather than later. Let’s get out there and absolutely smash it out the park with the gigs we have left this year, starting with Stamford tomorrow night! -Liam
The album is now in the very final stages of mixing and mastering ready for release. As of today the £13 CD/Shirt pre-order has now been taken down as the shirts are soon to be available on general sale. Thanks to everyone who took advantage of the discounted price, as these early sales helped fund the album recording.
The band issued the following statement on social media earlier today..
We’ve been busy working on the mixes of A Crisis of Faith alongside Pointy Halo Productions and we can confirm we are close to a release.
We return to the road next week with the following shows..
Saturday, February 3rd – B2 VENUE NORWICH
Sunday, February 4th – The Horn, Saint Albans
We hope to see you at those shows, if your coming please let us know below and thanks for the continued support.
The new shirts will be available to purchase online in the coming weeks in a variety of sizes.
Kaine has begun recording vocals at Pointy Halo Productions at Red Wall Studios, with a number of lead and backing vocals completed this past weekend with more to be recorded in the coming weeks. The band is putting extra emphasis on vocals for the new record and hope that the performances from the band will be the best yet.
On top of recording the vocals, this weekend all of the guitars recorded for A Crisis of Faith were reamped and re-recorded for the album to be added to the final mix to add yet more weight to the guitars on the album. The album is already sounding huge with the Blackstar HT Metal 100 head delivering a great sound throughout the record.
To see a preview of the vocals being recorded and the guitars being reamped please check the video below.
You can now get special made to order A Crisis Of Faith logo t-shirts, hoodies, caps and bags from Dizzyjam. These are high quality merch items produced and priced exclusively by Dizzyjam and come in a variety of colours and sizes. Click here to order.
Old School Style T-Shirt
There will be an official album t-shirt made available direct from Kaine closer to the album’s release later this year. It can currently be preordered alongside the album for just £13.