Auditory Armory is not your average female-fronted band. The influences of the band range from alternative to metal to progressive to jazz and beyond. The lyrical scope of Auditory Armory’s songs skims past the superficial love song or pop hit. Auditory Armory is doing what so little in the music industry are actually doing -- writing honestly. Auditory Armory expertly uses the symbiosis of heavy rock and melody to introspectively explore dark emotions about self-worth and one’s role in the universe. Vocalist, guitarist and songwriter April Montallana says, "I prefer to be honest with my lyrics. I don't care about what is popular or mainstream. I just hope that our music will move and touch some people. Music saved my life...I want to do that for others."
Auditory Armory formed late in 2010, with April Montallana and former drummer, Mike Owens. At that time, April intended on primarily performing as a solo acoustic project; the name of the band was initially spelled as ‘AuditoryARMory,’ the ‘ARM’ representing the initials of April’s full name. Using this play on words, the band’s tagline became “Words as weapons, Music as Assassin to our past.” In 2011, April and Mike started to record their debut album, Anomaly, with independent recording engineer Brian Manowitz. After Mike moved during the summer of 2011, drummer Oscar Garcia joined the band.
At the start of 2012, members Justice Maynard (bass) and Dennis Burns (guitar) joined the band. Justice, Dennis, and April were also involved in another popular symphonic heavy metal band in the Central Florida area, Fields of Glass, in which April played electric cello and Justice played guitar. On March 2, 2012, Auditory Armory independently released the debut album Anomaly, which was recorded with original drummer Mike Owens; a raw, exposed, and mostly acoustic effort reminiscent of early Tori Amos and Elliott Smith. The CD Release show was a complete success and eventually all printed copies of this album sold out. As a four-piece, the band dynamic changed and Auditory Armory became more of a complete package, with the music becoming heavier and harder-edged. It was at this time that April switched primarily to playing electric guitar. Like a sponge, the band began to encompass all of the diverse musical influences of each member of the band, which runs the gamut from Kate Bush to Megadeth to Porcupine Tree to Animals As Leaders and everything in between.
Since then, Auditory Armory continue to be in constant demand and are recognized for their powerful and energetic live performances all over Florida. The band often struggles to define themselves as one genre, but instead prefers to think of their music as “just good sh*t that moves people.” They are versatile -- often playing with alternative bands just as much as with heavy metal bands. There are not many other bands that can juggle as many musical styles with such precision. Not one Auditory Armory song sounds the same. While one song might be riff-driven and make you want to bang your head, another song will have more of a somber, subdued tone that showcases April’s vocal. Bonz, the former front man of Stuck Mojo, described their music as “something vintage yet with a fresh twist.” Each member of the band is a strong musician on his/her own; both April and Oscar have a Bachelor’s Degree in Music while Dennis and Justice have played in thrash metal bands for over 20 years in Florida and Louisiana, respectively. With their talents combined, it’s like puzzle pieces perfectly locking into place. April lays down the foundation and structure of the song as a canvas for the rest of the band to add their own element; Oscar plays with precision and finesse, often opting to accent key pieces of songs with cymbal work rather than play a showy drum fill; Dennis is masterful at creating riffs that ornament a song as well as shredding solos; Justice, who is strongly influenced by djent metal and ambient music, can expertly create a textural atmosphere with his reverb-laden bass as well as tap out technical bass lines. April’s songwriting style does not follow the typical format of a song. In AA songs, there may be riffs or sections of songs that never repeat; there are catchy hooks as well as dissonant chords that shouldn’t work where they are but do. April’s distinctive vocal timbre is both melodic and edgy, ranging from throaty lows to clear, angelic highs. Her guitar playing and songwriting style fuses her classical jazz background with her love of groove metal. She effortlessly blends tight rhythmic patterns with melodic leads and a strong passion and understanding of chord modulation. The band says that they’ve been told that their songs have reminded people of very disparate artists on different occasions -- the comparisons ranging from Tori Amos, Lacuna Coil, Megadeth, Alice In Chains, and even Iron Maiden. It is part of the band’s credo to not confine themselves to any rules of making music, but instead just “writing what they feel.”
Auditory Armory has had the honor of sharing the stage with Full Devil Jacket, Straight Line Stitch, Lacey Sturm, Bonz (from Stuck Mojo), Nothing More, Dead Horse Trauma, Bellusira, Mike Tramp (White Lion), Kelen Heller, and Saint Rebel.
On September 12, 2014, Auditory Armory independently released their highly-anticipated album The Awakening. This was the band’s first release as a full-band. The 11-track album was recorded by Alex Spradling at Alpaca Ranch Recording in Winter Park, Florida. The album release show was a success, with almost 200 people in attendance. The album is now available on CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and Google Play. The album features the popular tracks “Perpetua,” “Device,” and “Beyond Hope.”
Auditory Armory is currently recording in the studio and plans to release a new EP late 2016.