The Team


Brett Kihlmire – Editor-in-Chief

An award winning journalist, Brett is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, possessing a BA in History and Journalism. Entering the field of journalism in his junior year with an invitation to join the UWM Post, Brett quickly climbed the ranks, becoming co-editor of the Post’s entertainment section by his senior year. He attributes his success to his near constant coverage of the local heavy metal scene. As such, he is a longtime, die hard fan of heavy metal. His first heavy metal album was Metallica’s “Black” album, which he discovered in the mid-1990’s. Discovering a passion for heavy music, he graduated to the likes of Slipknot, In Flames, and Machine Head by the new millennium. Today, Brett remarks that some of his favorite bands are Sabaton, Ghost, Battle Beast, Iron Savior, The Lords of the Trident, Hammerfall, Delain, Iced Earth, and Amon Amarth. Outside of heavy metal, he is an independent filmmaker, novelist, screenwriter, and home brewer. The latter of his hobbies have led to his own column at Urban Milwaukee: The Dial, entitled ‘Beer City,’ which he ran for a year before pursuing Metal at the Gates full time.



Shannon Reardon – Associate Editor

An award winning journalist, Shannon is currently a student at Delaware County Community College, where she is pursuing her passion of writing with a major in journalism. Following closely behind that is a passion for music, especially rock and metal. Since playing music wasn’t ever in the stars, experiencing and writing about music has always been her plan. Writing for Metal at the Gates should be a fun and rewarding opportunity.

“The best way to learn about a person is to see what kind of music they listen to.”




Simon Conradt – Talent Scout

Hi, I´m Simon and I am a metal addict from Southwest Germany. I am married and the father of two children, both at the beginning of their Metaltrip. My first Album I ever heard was Metallica’s Black Album. It was love on the first listen. Since then I’ve come across many bands, but my absolute favorite is Iced Earth. The powerful and galloping riffs make me feel really energized. I’m personal friends with Jon Schaffer of Iced Earth, whom I see at many festivals in Europe. Due to my connections I act as a talent scout and live reporter for Metal at the Gates, but I never forget to bang my head!



The Black Metal Bitch – Staff Writer

While not a professional anything, Nicole is a die hard fan of the extreme underground metal scene with a particular love of the United States Black Metal scene. She has been blogging, writing, and promoting black metal bands since 2013 with her Facebook page, United States Black Metal Militia. Nicole plays bass, loves to write, and has a morbid love with death and the occult, which makes her the perfect fit to cover our Black Metal market. She grew up just outside of Worcester, Massachusetts and at 13 years old dove into the heavier side of the metal underground when she found her first Cannibal Corpse album, “Eaten Back to Life”; it was all downhill from there.  Some of her favorite bands are Cold Northern Vengeance, Lightning Swords of Death, Kult of Azazel, Nachzehrer but calls Slayer her all-time favorite.


Elliot John Doe – Staff Writer

Born and raised in London England, Elliot graduated from Welwyn Garden City College with a B-Tech first diploma in Music and 3 NCFE’s in English, Media and Music Practice. After years of playing in many different bands he moved to Wellington, New Zealand in 2007.

In 2015 Elliot resurrected his first band ‘Go On Dying’ playing Guitar and Vocals, with their debut self titled EP currently being mixed and mastered by Matt Tarach of Joey Jordison’s ‘Vimic’, due for a 2016 release.

An avid fan of all genres of music, Metal is at the forefront of his musical tastes . Playing, Writing, Listening and watching anything Metal related is where his passion lies. His favourite bands include: Marilyn Manson, Coal Chamber, Kittie, Cradle Of Filth, Hypocrisy, Devildriver, Rob Zombie & My Ruin.


Kelly Schroeder – Staff Writer

Bookkeeper by day, metalhead by night.  Somewhere in there, Kelly is also a wife, mother of three mini-metalheads and a multi-faceted musician.  Though primarily a vocalist and keyboardist, she fills in on other instruments as needed in various musical pursuits.  Although enthusiastic about writing and music since an early age, she holds no degree or much formal education in either field.   Amongst her favorite music and influences you would find bands such as Nightwish, Savatage, Opeth, Xandria, Helloween, and Simon and Garfunkel.

When not engaged in music, work, writing or parenting, Kelly enjoys all things Tolkien, dabbles in cosplay, practices stained glass work, and helps with the (slow) restoration of her creaky, old, historic district home.


Rainer Kerber – Staff Writer and Live Photographer

 Hailing from the great nation of Germany, Rainer is one of the best assets to the MATG crew. Covering any European festival he can get a press pass for, he’s no stranger to the press pit or many of the big names in the European heavy metal scene.


Matt Drummond – Contributing Writer

A Chicago-native and old school metalhead, Matt can be found at just about every thrash metal show in the Windy City. Specializing in old school and thrash metal, he’s known for his straight to the point reviews and in depth interviews. Since joining up, Matt has proven to be one of the best on the MATG roster.


Tom Callahan – Photographer

A life long metal head, Tom is an independent photographer that can be found at just about every heavy metal show in the Milwaukee area. He joined Metal at the Gates shortly after inception and has been a part of the crew ever since.


4 thoughts on “The Team

  1. Hello!

    Recently I released my new album ‘ruins’. As I found out about you and your zine today please allow me to introduce my project to you although the release date of the album lies back a few months. On the other hand the release date is somekind of obsolete as I don’t have a proper distribution anyway. You know, it’s so hard to find a proper distribution if you are a small label as I am. Well, actually I am a one-man-band running a one-man-label. Still I try to achieve the best possible promotion for my music and therefore I kindly ask you to accept a promo package for a review and send me an address where I can send it to.

    Thanks in advance,

    Rusty Pacemaker.


    1. Hey!

      We sent you an email. We’ll be in touch soon.

      Stay metal!


  2. Dear Brett

    Loved the piece on Mind Maze, it is how I discovered your webzine. I am handling the PR, Radio Promotion and Social media for Mike LePond’s side project. Please advise how to submit for review consideration.

    New Jersey native best known as bassist for progressive metal giants Symphony X, Mike LePond now presents his first solo project ever: Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins, an onslaught of raw and true HEAVY METAL in it’s purest form. His debut self titled release is a full hour of headbanging riffs, kick ass vocals and epic tales. It is an album that draws influences from the classic heavy bands of the 1980s, all the way to the viking/folk metal of today. It was made “for” metalheads, “by” metalheads. A celebration of the power and glory of that which we call……..Heavy Metal.

    Mike LePond (Symphony X) – Bass, rhythm guitar, backing vocals
    Alan Tecchio (Watchtower, Hades, Non-Fiction) – Vocals
    Metal Mike (Halford, Testament) – Lead guitar
    Michael Romeo (Symphony X) – Lead guitar, Keyboards, drum programming

    Mike LePond is endorsed by Caparison, Tech 21, D’addario, Planet Waves, and Peavey.


    “Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins is one of 2015’s premier metal albums that will certainly find it’s place in my top ten. If you call yourself a fan of true metal fan then you need to hear this album, as Mike LePond has delivered big time” – Sea of Tranquility

    “This is classic heavy metal at its finest! The pounding bass of LePond is in focus here, just as much as you would expect Joey DeMaio’s bass to be in Manowar. But let there be no doubt; this solo effort from Mike LePond is lightyears better than everything Manowar have done the last 25 years. I think that what this all comes down to, is that this album pretty much sums up who Mike LePond is, and what has formed him into the great player musician and songwriter he is. True Heavy Metal, no less! Play it loud! “ – Scream Magazine

    “Mike LePond proves his worth is far greater than that of just a bassist, and on Silent Assassins fans will get a glimpse into the true brilliance of this artist” – Metal Exiles

    “When the album closes, the dust has settled and the neighbors have finished banging on the walls, what you’re left with is a great metal album.” – Unsigned Melodies

    “At one point or another, every dedicated metal fanatic has experienced a studio album and was met with the realization, right from the first notes of the opening track, that you were listening to something that was overtly standout; in our case, it’s with Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins.” – Music Enthusiast magazine

    “Fresh off a new Symphony X album and focusing on his new solo album “Mike Lepond’s: Silent Assassins”, Mike LePond is rising as one of the most influential bassists in music today. Mike LePond really understands the importance and roll of playing bass. LePond is dynamic, has amazing charisma and understands rhythm and most importantly space. Added to this he can generate many amazing different tones and nuances from his instrument. Mike is a bassist with personality! He adds his own character and moves around the stage like a possessed beast or lays down a solid rhythm with his head circling in a frenzy as his long hair flies in waves. To play the bass well you need to move in and out of the kick drum when necessary and accentuate the kick for major impact. Mike does all of this well. LePond may not want to be the center of attraction but when you see him live it’s hard to take your eyes off him” — Ron Turner RockandMtalNewz


    Video Review on RockandMetalNewz:


    Best regards,

    Donna Labate
    Labate Management


    1. Hello Donna,

      You send review material to our email



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