Student-run metal band, Chained Saint, works toward their official debut

Julia Landy, Editor-in-Chief, Graphics & Design Editor

First, it’s the deep resonance of the drum that fills the room, complemented by the piercing ring of the crash symbols. Then, the lead guitarist starts off the melody as the rhythm guitarist and bass guitarist join in, harmonizing together to produce one simultaneous sound. You feel the reverberation of the music as the thunderous heavy metal music begins.

Taking inspiration from popular rock bands such as Metalica, Nirvana, Mastodon and Led Zeppelin, “Chained Saint” is a newly founded, hard rock and thrash metal band based in Parkland, Florida.

Michael Sorensen, the founder, rhythm guitarist and vocalist of “Chained Saint” is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. After becoming acquainted with music about a year and a half prior at the School of Rock, an extracurricular school for young, aspiring musicians, he set his sights on starting his own band.

“I just wanted to make music,” Sorensen said. “I found more and more friends and just kind of got them all together.”

Around February, Sorensen recruited sophomore Ethan Kahn, who had been playing music for much of his life, to help him start “Chained Saint.” Kahn currently plays bass guitar in a different thrash metal band called “Arsenik,” but he was looking for an additional opportunity in the music industry.

“When I realized Micheal wanted something serious, I really took the opportunity, because that is what I wanted,” Kahn said.
Kahn now plays lead guitar in “Chained Saint,” in addition to playing bass guitar for “Arsenik,” who he has been playing with for about a year. Shortly after joining Sorensen’s initiative, Kahn recruited Coral Springs High School junior Sebastian De Avila to play bass guitar.

Around the same time, Sorensen had met MSD senior Cameron Cottrell, who had been playing drums for nine years.

“I invited Micheal over to my house because I have an electric drum kit,” Cottrell said. “I was like, ‘hey if you’re ever down to jam [you’re invited to come over],’ and in a couple of days, he came over.”

At the time, “Chained Saint” had another drummer, senior Jacob Herzberg. Cottrell offered to fill in if “Chained Saint” ever needed the help, but shortly after, Cortrell ended up taking over as the new official drummer.

“Chained Saint ” practices both at Marque Music, a local studio, and at Kahn’s house. Because all the members of the band are in high school, it is sometimes difficult for the band to find time to practice.

In addition to playing guitar and performing vocals for “Chained Saint,” Sorensen (63) also plays defensive tackle on the MSD varsity football team, so most of the band practices have to take place after football. While the group is sometimes able to practice at Marque Music earlier in the day, they often practice past midnight. Regardless of their difficulties, the members of the band still work hard to ensure that all of them are able to practice together at least three times a week, typically on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays.

“Chained Saint” has also begun to compose their own, original music. The recording of their new demo album began in early October. Although they are still brainstorming titles, they have considered titling their new release “Thirteen.”

“We all have different ideas of where the songs should go but it comes down [all being] on the same page. We all have to understand each other’s vibe,” Cottrell said.

Only a few months into their journey, the up-and-coming, student-run metal band is working towards scheduling their first gig. Up until now, they have been posting several of their practices on their Instagram, @chainedsaintofficial, but have yet to perform for a live audience. While they have all performed individually, performing together as “Chained Saint” will be a new experience that makes them both excited and nervous.

“[It has been difficult to schedule] shows. Not a lot of people are trusting of some 16-year-olds who don’t have anything yet,” Sorensen said.
Despite their recent setbacks, the metal band is working on scheduling their first show in mid-November, where they will be performing their new demo album.

Throughout the few months they have been playing music together, Kahn, Cottrell, Sorensen and De Avila have quickly become very close.
“I plan on being with these guys for a while,” Kahn said. “I really like these guys and I love music. I know I am going to do music throughout my whole life. [‘Chained Saint’] has given me a goal for my life–to make things happen–and I guess I am just more motivated for the future [now].”

Although they are all still in high school, the members of “Chained Saint” are hoping to someday make a career out of their band. In only a few months, being in the band has changed the lives of the members. For Sorensen, the band has been his main source of happiness and has taught him how to work better with other people. For Kahn and Cottrell, being in the band has given them goals to strive toward.

“I want to see how far we can go with this [and] see if we can get a record deal, an album [or] be on tour. It’s definitely changed my life big time. It really keeps me down to earth,” Cottrell said. “[To start a band,] you’ve got to have the passion for it. You’ve just got to find the right people.”

Kahn is hoping to be able to play with “Chained Saints” for the rest of his life. The members believe that after their demo is released, they will be able to expand the influence of their band beyond just playing in studios and at home. Ultimately, the four musicians aspire to someday turn “Chained Saint” from an amateur band made up of high schoolers into an international sensation.

This story was originally published in the October 2022 Eagle Eye print edition.