Aaron Holt


Fire follows

And that brings me nicely to the EP in question here, Blood And Steel.

If you like your origins of Rock, then this ep would be the envy of many in your collection, and never destined to gather dust for one moment. This collection of tracks has all the attributes of what will be a well-played ep, evoking a memory or two for many rock fans, as it instantly transports you to a bygone era of Rock that’s being kept alive by the boys themselves.

From start to finish, this ep takes care of business as originally intended within its genre all those years ago, capturing the same dynamic from its origin and is a perfect example of the sound of the day, and what gave birth to this band.
The full process from studio to stage is a true recipe of love, brewed from the same cauldron, characterized by loud distorted guitars, emphatic rhythms, dense bass and dynamic drums, and power chords.

Throughout, you can almost smell the atmosphere of the venues of the day that hosted bands of this calibre, as the ep projects that very same gritty imagery bespoke to the era, taking the listener on a whistle stop tour in the mind that only says one thing, and that this tried and tested recipe, that has stood the test of time is here to stay.

Star Rating – 8/10

Star Suggestion-

If ever the was a track to tempt the listener into buying this ep, it would be –
“We All Shall Fall”.

Aaron’s journey started in 2017 at the George Mason University campus in Virginia, playing bass guitar at the grand opening of a local church. After a chance meeting with drummer and percussionist TJ Maistros, their friendship soon grew, and became lifelong friends, writing and recording their first album My Burdened Mind after enrolling vocalist Eric Thurston.
Soon after, Eric stepped down due to family commitments, and now, one man down, they soon enrolled the talents of

Sujit Kumar who was already highly regarded in the Washington DC music scene, and fast making his name known globally. After a few demo’s, Sujit agreed to meet and record a few demo tracks, and was soon apparent that they had found their new vocalist, with a line-up that now consists of Aaron Holt-Guitar/Bass, Sujit Kumar – Vocals and TJ Maistros on Drums.

Aaron started playing guitar and trumpet in 6th grade, learning both simultaneously getting his formal music education through his college years. Self-taught on guitar, Aaron did partake in a few lessons from time to time from the guitarist of a

US Army Band, to clean up his style inspired by Dream Theater, Tremonti, Alterbridge, RED, Ayreon, Haken, Periphery,

Devin Townsend, Ellie Goulding and Astrid S.

Sujit has performed in various bands for the last 20 years, which later turned into a professional career for the best part of 10 years, touring regularly between North America and India, fronting various acts, from Punk to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal.

His diverse inspiration range from, Guns N Roses, Soundgarden, Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin to 60s Bollywood and sounds from Afghanistan, including one of India’s finest rock vocalists, Suraj Jagan.

TJ first started to pound the skins at 9 years old, cutting his teeth with inspirations such as Dream Theater, Animals and

Van Halen. Since that time he has played with many Jazz and Classical groups all throughout high school and college, along with two years with GMU Green Machine, all racking up a vast portfolio of experience that would later set him in good stead with this band.

In a recent interview Aaron what drives them as a band, he told me;

“Our big motivator is honestly focused around creation of music, we’ve got so many ideas and I think we will always be a group where as soon as we finish a release schedule we immediately are back at it writing and recording new demos. Constantly creating new material for our own enjoyment”.

I followed this up by asking what they have learnt about themselves on their journey so far in the music industry, they went on to add;

“I think there are a few things we’re trying to do more of, but one of the main things is to try and incorporate with one another.

Everyone has something to share, so I really want to let them share it”.

So I went on to ask Aaron about his songwriting process and how he would overcome any creative blocks, he went on to tell me;

“It has changed a bit over the years, I used to write all guitar exclusively, then create midi drum demos, TJ would get a feel for my song and then write his own drum parts. After all of that was completed, we would go ahead and start writing lyrics. For our most recent workflow, TJ and I get together to write instrumental demos. We’ve got somewhere close to 15+ songs at this point, we start to revise and get rid of the ones that don’t make the grade. I already have a good backlog of lyric ideas that I want to start with and we’ll bring Sujit in once we have that final song list and rough edits worked out. I think the final lyrics on the next project will come together in weeks rather than months this time around. Just getting together with other guys helps a lot, but also ignoring a particular song for months sometimes helps. If I hear it fresh months later I might instantly know what the song needs to sound better”.

With that said I asked Aaron if they all have the same persona on and off stage, he replied;

“I wouldn’t say I’m much different anywhere I go, but Sujit loves to crowd please. He’s been known to climb on top of things and single people out in the crowd in super fun ways”.

I went on to ask them all what they enjoy most about being in the band, and if there is anything they wished they had known before they started their journey in music, they told me;

“Just spending time with some genuine and awesome buddies. Friendship, and that we get to play a style not a lot of people play around here, and we all get to play music that isn’t a regular request that you might receive in a big ensemble or on a gig. I should have asked for help from others at the start, just because the music wasn’t that good at first, it would’ve gotten better a lot faster than it did”.

And that brings me nicely to the single in question here, Set Free Your Sorrow.

From their forthcoming album In The Palace, available on the 19th February 2021, this beast of a single will most certainly have fans waiting with bated breath, and almost chomping at the bit for what’s to come.
Spewing its dominance throughout, with a reign of fire that ignites the very air that surrounds it, this track leaps from the cellophane and straight for the jugular, almost like a messenger sent to prepare us for the onslaught that awaits us on the in the weeks to come, and a true testament to the blood, sweat and tears excreted in the making of this single.
Throughout, what we have on display here is a master class of musicianship, syncopation and sheer determination and a strong will to succeed.
The journey so far may have been long and hard for Aaron Holt and his band of brothers, but the journey to success has just begun, found evident in this single alone, as now they all can themselves, Set Free Their Sorrow.

Star Rating – 9/10

To close, I asked Aaron if here was anything else he wanted our readers to know, he wrapped things up by telling me;

“Thank you for all your support. Our single available on all digital platforms listed below”.

So why not clear a space in your collection and give Aaron Holt a try for 2021.

                                                                                                               © Stargazer Music Magazine 2020

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