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Metal band Islander releases West Memphis 3-inspired song


'Ritual of Death' release coincides with 31st anniversary of murders

By Ralph Hardin

The story of the West Memphis Three and the 1993 triple child murders in West Memphis has spread around the world in the 31 years since three eight-year-old boys were brutally murdered just a few blocks from their homes on May 5, 1993.

There have been dozens of TV shows, documentaries, films and podcasts about the murders, as well as songs.

Islander, an alt-metal rock band from Greenville, South Carolina, has added their musical commentary on the slayings with their new single 'Ritual of Death,' subtitled 'In Memory of Steve Branck, Michael Moore and Christopher Branch,' the young victims in the infamous case. founded in 2011. Their releases include numerous singles as well as two EPs, Side Effects of Youth (2012) and Pains. (2013), and three studio albums, Violence & Destruction (2014), Power Under Control (2016), and It's Not Easy Being Human (2022).

The band is known for its uniquely dynamic and interactive live performances, as noted in various concert review publications.

Lead vocalist Mikey Carvajal explained the rationale and reason for the song.

'We recently wrote a song called 'Ritual Of Death' for our upcoming album with the intent of spreading awareness about what has come to be known as the 'West Memphis 3' case,' said Carvajal. 'This month, the Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled in favor of further DNA testing, with new technology that didn’t exist in 1993, to be done on the evidence found at the crime scene. This is monumental in moving this 31-year-old case forward. To the three children that had their lives taken away from them…Michael, Stevie, and Christopher, we hope and pray that justice is soon served.'

The murders have fascinated the general public for three decades, including famous musicians, actors and public figures, transforming the three men who were convicted of the killings, Jessie Misskelley, Jason Baldwin and Damien Echols, into quasi-celebrities.

Islander follows in the footsteps of Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins, Marilyn Manson, Leviathan and others in releasing music about the crime, largely championing the possible innocence of the three then-teens convicted for the murders.

Islander's take, described as 'a groove heavy amalgam of aggressive rock rooted in punk rock ethos' compared to acts like Korn and Papa Roach, offers more of the same, with lyrics like: 'The blood cries out from the ground. Help me find them.'

'Castrated. Forgotten. Together. Alone. Afraid.'

See METAL, page A3

Photo courtesy of Broken Bones PR METAL

From page A1

'Stripped and ripped apart, I was my mothers heart. No more breathing, beneath the dirt, beneath the ground, No more dreaming.

'I'll become the flowers, I'll become the field. There's no more future. Time is still, woke up a child but I died a man.'

Goodbye to life. Goodbye to friends.

Cult of influence… participation, manipulation, elimination.'

The song is available to stream on Spotify, YouTube and other music listening services.

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