In 2002, while Alchemy X were looking for a new vocalist, I recruited Bob Mitchell for the job. As mentioned earlier, he was completely amenable but needed me to reciprocate the favor. He had just gotten a record deal for his band Vyndykator and needed a bassist.
Vyndykator was a power metal outfit in the mold of Accept/Mercyful Fate - quite different than Alchemy X - they really didn't need my high harmonies or my keyboards, though I did bring them a couple of songs that just didn't fit Alchemy X band. I suppose I did bring along the whole prog stylings and time changes, but the material is quite heavy.
The ensuing album “Heaven Sent from Hell” was a very clever and interesting premise. Bob was and is a huge Bela Lugosi fan. Each song on the record references a different character played by Lugosi in film! Pretty heady stuff for stuff that was Slayer-heavy in many spots.
My favorite song on that record is “Mr. Murder” a 7-minute epic replete with tons of changes, progressions and great melody lines as well!
Vyndykator played some great shows. Most notably, a spot on the Cleveland metal fest and the fans were rabid!
Yet my fondest memory from Vyndykator is reconnecting with one of my oldest friends. I'd known Rob Oriani long before he became a professional guitarist and singer. We'd gone to grammar school together, played baseball and been the best of friends for many years. We'd then lost touch and I was blown away when I went to my first writing session with the guys and saw my old pal was in the band!
Sadly Rob passed away in 2006 while we were writing the follow up record. None of us in the band really considered continuing without him.