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Pittsburgh, PA's Hero Destroyed made a strong first impression in 2008 with their independently released, eponymous mini-album, which, in intriguingly contradictory fashion, siphoned Mastodon's thinking man's modern metal vision through hardcore's simplifying template and math metal's stupefying algorithms. Formed three years earlier, the group's lineup at the time of this first recording (which, incidentally, was captured by Pro-Pain guitarist Eric Klinger) consisted of vocalist Pat McNicholas, guitarists Zach Moore and Jeff Turko, bassist Dustin Newman, and drummer A.J. Falcione (later replaced by Neal Andrus). Copies of the disc were distributed at Hero Destroyed's local shows, and eventually got the band recommended to Relapse Records, which reissued the EP and followed it with the band's full-length debut album, Throes, in 2010. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia