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Atropal

RIYL

Gojira, Trivium

Inception

Escondido , 2010

Influences

Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Pantera, Metallica, Gojira, Trivium, Zakk Wylde

Ex-Band Members

Daniel Sandor:
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Based in Escondido and formed in 2010, Atropal is a heavy metal/metalcore group which has featured Matt Arbaugh and Paul McFaddin (both of Caustic Felon), with Arbaugh’s son Mitch (Deny the Silents) on drums, bassist Dan Sandor (Deny the Silents), 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 debuted October 29, 2011, 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 be their fan base? “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 their stage show is “ominous and brutal. If we could, we’d throw battle axes at the audience!”

Dan Sandor (who left Atropal in 2014) and Mitchell Arbaugh (who stayed with his dad and the group) later joined two other ex-members of their band Deny the Silents to form MAD Z and the Boones.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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