Here we are in the stereotypically laid back, out-of-time, musical community of Santa Cruz, where classic rock and throwback bands reign supreme and music venues like The Catalyst and Don Quixotes still define our musical history. One may be surprised to find a heavy metal band just outside the heart of Felton. Yet just down the road from our very own San Lorenzo Valley High School, in popular student lunch location Castelli’s Deli, there broods a tempered and unforgiving heavy metal group by the name of Sentry.
The group, which formed 5 years ago
under the name Plan B, has played in venues all around the area and has just released their first album, The Truth Remains the Same. Centered around elements of perseverance and determination, and rich with metaphor and poetic elements, it is definitely a strong first work with an exceptionally professional sound. The sound engages listeners emotionally, energetically, and intellectually, provoking both emotional awe and intellectual contemplation. The band christened themselves “Sentry” to describe their philosophy of creating art out of what they observe in the world around them. It is evident in their works as well which testify to anger, fear, sadness, loss, and most of all perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.
Despite their work’s emotional intensity, the members of the group are especially friendly and easygoing, as any Castelli’s customer would tell you. I had the chance to interview one Michael Beneli, the band’s lead singer for one and a half years. He may be intimidating to a stranger given his extensive tattoo and body art, but in conversation reveals himself to be a thoughtful and intelligent artist. He has an impressive amount of experience as a musician, practicing music for over 19 years and singing for 12. He has had an exciting career as a musician, playing with bands such as Alien Ant Farm and performing for Chino from Deftones.
Michael Beneli is an impressive musician with powerful vocal force that permeates the album. His advice for young musicians: “Just keep at it… you just gotta keep picking up your guitar every single day… pour your emotions into the music, don’t hold back.”
Here is a link to listen to their music via facebook: http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/fb_share/3346038