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Ever since their beginnings in early 2006, Lancaster, PA's This or the Apocalypse have set themselves apart from prevailing metalcore trends, thanks to an uncommonly advanced instrumental technique and a willingness to experiment with other metallic subgenres (thrash, death, groove, math metal, etc.), thereby breathing a little life into an otherwise increasingly moribund scene. Comprised of vocalist Ricky Armellino, guitarists Rodney Fields and Jack Esbanshade, bassist Sean Hennessey, and drummer Grant McFarland, the group debuted with an independently released first album, Sentinels, and, after signing with Germany's LifeForce Records, turned even more heads with their accomplished sophomore outing, Monuments, in 2008. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia