Bassist Jason Viebrooks (GRIP INC., HEATHEN) has joined forces with guitarist Vinnie LaBella (EXHORDER) and drummer Sasha Horn (FORBIDDEN, HEATHEN) in a brand new band called YEAR OF THE TYRANT. The trio is joined in the new project by an as-yet-undisclosed vocalist who “may or may not have a strong [San Francisco] Bay Area connection as well,” according to VieBrooks.

YEAR OF THE TYRANT is finishing up the pre-production on its first batch of tunes, to be made available later in the year.

Regarding how the band came together, Sasha said (see video below): “Jason kind of put this together, and him and Vinnie go way back. And he knew the players he wanted, but we all get along great. It’s kind of a family affair at this point.”

Added Jason: “We’ve just gradually been building material, writing it together. We didn’t really wanna say anything to anybody until we were ready to just basically suckerpunch you — you didn’t see it coming; here we are.

“It’s been amazing to finally play with these guys,” he continued. “I played with Sasha when he did 70000 Tons Of Metal with HEATHEN a couple of years ago, and I clicked with him on a personal level and just jamming around on some riffs and stuff. I had a feeling that he was gonna be the guy to really gel and who we needed to have to come pull the whole thing together.”

Vinnie joked about the YEAR OF THE TYRANT frontman, whose identity will be revealed later in the month: “All I know is this: Our singer can kick your singer’s ass whenever he wants to, and that’s good enough for me.”

LaBella was a founding member of EXHORDER, the legendary New Orleans metal band cited by many as the originator of the riff-heavy power-groove approach popularized by PANTERA.