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Adema Visits Aldo's

March 23, 2012 - Jim Price
Although California-based national recording group Adema may have fallen off the radars of some music fans since their breakthrough in modern rock circles a decade ago, their stopover at Aldo’s on Thursday night showed they are still very much alive and well. And for the large crowd that came out to witness their performance, Adema proved their continuing relevance as well.

Adema emerged from the same California region that spawned Korn; in fact, original singer Mark Chavez was the younger half-brother of Korn’s Jonathan Davis. The group was signed to Arista Records in 2001; and their first two CD’s, "Adema" and "Unstable," propelled the group to prominence, including a mainstage slot on the 2002 Ozzfest tour. But the collapse of Arista Records and several personnel turnovers stymied the group’s momentum. The current edition of Adema features founding guitarist Tim Fluckey now singing lead, founding bassist Dave Deroo, founding drummer Kris Kohls and guitarist Marc DeLeon.

Adema brought the firepower during their Aldo’s performance, mixing their best-known songs with new material from their forthcoming seven-song EP, "Topple the Giants," and first full-length album in five years, expected out before the end of this year. Displaying a groove-oriented modern rock/metal sound not far removed from Korn, Adema performed several of their better-known numbers like "Immortal," "Unstable," "The Way You Like It," "Freaking Out," "Trust" and more.

Opening the concert was popular York-based cyber-metal specialists Ninetail. Frontman J. William Heitmann, guitarists Don Belch and Chris Evan, keyboardist Greg Weber, bassist Griff and drummer Chris Appenzeller performed explosive songs from their first two albums, and also previewed material from their anticipated new release, "The Vultures Are Circling…," due out later this year. Their blend of bone-jarring rhythms, intense vocals and eerie electronic accents quickly drew a number of fans to the front of the stage to cheer along.

Following the concert, Dave Deroo provided me with an update on Adema’s current mission and direction. Their Aldo’s show was part of a nationwide tour that has already covered southwestern stops in Arizona and Texas, before the current northeastern leg that includes shows in Baltimore, Pittsburgh (March 28 at the Hard Rock Café), and additional dates in Ohio, Kentucky, New York and New England through April.

Deroo described Adema’s evolution as comprehensive. The group has returned to their roots, and Deroo said that Adema’s new song material is more consistent with the direction of their first two albums. Deroo added that previous Adema singers were hesitant to perform any material from beyond their own tenures with the group; with Fluckey now singing lead vocals, the group is able to perform material from throughout their catalog, past and present.

Adema’s future plans include more touring and their new full-length album. Deroo expressed that he lives to perform for the group’s fans, and nothing is more rewarding than knowing that people appreciate Adema and their music, even to the point of singing the group’s lyrics back to them during live performances. Deroo added that the group’s legacy matters to him, and he appreciates Adema’s fans for enabling the group to keep doing what they do.

For the future, Deroo looks forward to the new album, and remarked, “The best is yet to come.” Adema is excited about creating new music and rewarding their fan base for its loyalty.

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Tim Fluckey of Adema, during the group's performance at Aldo's on Thursday night.