Ryan Brink: “[The shark hooks] stretch the skin on my back, and then I begin to sway, which always gets the crowd going.”
  • Ryan Brink: “[The shark hooks] stretch the skin on my back, and then I begin to sway, which always gets the crowd going.”
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Matt Arbaugh and Paul McFaddin of Escondido’s hard-rocking Caustic Felon have formed a new side band with Arbaugh’s son Mitch on drums, James E. Meidinger on guitar, and singer Ryan Brink. “Atropal is visual metal,” says Meidinger, “so we’ll be mixing grindcore music with live flesh suspension, with our lead singer Ryan Brink performing the suspension during the show.”

At six-foot-three and around 200 pounds, with tattoos covering 40 percent of his body and multiple piercings, Brink sings while suspended by four large shark hooks in his upper back. “The experience is one of nervous anxiety coupled with pain, culminating into a weightless feeling of euphoria as I’m lifted into the air,” he says. “It stretches the skin on my back to its tearing point, and then I begin to sway back and forth, which always gets the crowd going.”

Atropal debuts October 29 at Ramona Mainstage as part of Hellaween Screamfest. “In this age of piercing, body modification, subcutaneous inserts such as horns on the head or spherical bumps under the skin, you might think hanging from a thin metal wire with hooks in the body would be a bit more commonplace than it is,” says Meidinger. “But live-flesh suspension seems to remain a taboo thing. Most people have never seen anything like this done, and there are very few who risk their bodies to this particular activity, much less do it for public view.”

So, who do they expect to show up in Ramona? “There’s a huge subculture of people who are fascinated with this type of act, people who don’t necessarily fit into or even care to be a part of regular society.”

What Occupational Safety and Health Administration laws apply to such dangerous performances? “We searched the OSHA database and found no precedent for this act. In our case, the ritual is overseen by an A.P.P. [Association of Professional Piercers]-certified piercing instructor, Chris Glunt, our theatrical engineer.”

Meidinger admits the stage show will be “ominous and brutal. If we could, we’d throw battle axes at the audience!”

Also appearing at Hellaween Screamfest are Sweeteverafter, Contrary to Reason, Silent Vice, Her Bed of Thorns, and Judas Priest tribute Hell Bent.

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Comments

kebrunot Sept. 8, 2011 @ 2:11 p.m.

Everything about this band and its members screams excitement. Intense music. Fascinating visuals. The thrill of flesh suspension... Crowd pleasers in every sense. All fronted by an impassioned and stunning man with amazing artistic expression! So looking forward to the release of their first CD. Not being from that area, I am jealous of those fortunate enough to participate in such an exhilarating event! Good luck Atropal on your upcoming debut. Rock on!

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ammeepearl Sept. 9, 2011 @ 11:50 a.m.

So cool!!! We're stoked to be a part of it!!!

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James Sept. 9, 2011 @ 4:25 p.m.

The Atropal Debut will be held at Ramona Main Stage, Over $1000 worth of prizes and gift certificates will be given away (Costume Contest). Show starts at 7pm, tickets are $10 at the door or text Jim @ 760-715-4479 and we will deliver them to you! Live Flesh Suspension will be during the Atropal Show so get there early, it will be a packed house. Also Video will be shot during the entire night so make sure you get in on the epic time this will be.

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kevankg Sept. 10, 2011 @ 1:11 a.m.

This show is gonna be sick. Silent Vice!!!

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666pantera Sept. 10, 2011 @ 8:51 a.m.

This band and show will be off the hook! or on the hook depending on how you see it.Besides the suspention act is our music.We have been putting alot of hard work into this project and when you here it for the first time, you will think to yourself" who are these guys?" ATROPAL - Get Hooked!

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bassbaby0205 Sept. 13, 2011 @ 10:52 p.m.

Hey all you metal fans, get ready for the sickest show of the year! Atropal's performance for the Helloween Show next month at the Ramona Main Stage is going to be off the hook! These guys totally shred, so dress up in your creepiest costume and come on out October 29th and win some great prizes at an awesome concert!!

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Chantel Sept. 14, 2011 @ 10:20 a.m.

This band Rocks!! I cant wait to see this show its going to be so much fun, what a great way to spend Halloween weekend!!!

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bassdaddy0314 Sept. 14, 2011 @ 10:39 a.m.

COme down and see us at the Helloween Show, October 29th, at The Ramona Main Stage! Costumes, prizes, and lots of kickass music... Atropal will blow you away! Get ready to sweat, and come see our front man do some Live Flesh Suspension!

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jt_jessi Sept. 15, 2011 @ 6:12 a.m.

very excited to be going up the hill to watch this band's performance! Gonna be quite a show!!

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James Sept. 15, 2011 @ 8:29 p.m.

Thank You so much everyone for all the comments and good wishes, tell a friend keep em coming. We love it!

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sonisideup Sept. 15, 2011 @ 10:44 p.m.

So exited about this show!! It's going to be awesome to watch Atropal perform. Lots of great bands performing that evening. I also love Ramona Mainstage!! It has a great stage with lots of room, a great sound system and theatrical lighting. Can't wait to play dress up!! I've got my costume ready, do you??

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