Ten years is a time frame in which anything can happen, especially in the music industry. Relationships begin and end, bands come and go, and trends begin and overturn, causing new heroes to rise and the kings of yesterday to be left in the shadows. But sometimes bands remain on top of their territory past this milestone and beyond.
Enter Chicago’s Pelican, whose ten-plus years on the circuit have taken it around the globe and left it in the higher ranks of post-metal acts. Though 2010 marked the band’s tin anniversary, 2012 is a year of progress, reflected in its new EP, Ataraxia / Taraxis.
Holland’s annual Roadburn Festival begins today, featuring some of the most adventurous names in metal (and beyond) from across the globe over four days of festivities. This year’s ALARM favorites include: Ancestors, Michael Gira (of Swans), Killing Joke, Om, Sleep,Pelican, Manorexia (JG Thirlwell),Nachtmystium,Barn Owl,Jucifer, La Otracina,Justin K. Broadrick, Saviours, Tombs, and The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation.
See the complete schedule here. Though the festival is sold out, it’s never too early to plan for 2013!
Intronaut made its name in forward-thinking metal circles by understanding that pure metal moments hit harder by sandwiching them between other styles — in this case, passages that are closer to fusion or jazz. Rather than a guitar spotlight, the group reaches for a fretless bass solo; in lieu of a unison run, Intronaut deploys a spacey, percussive breakdown.
But whereas the group’s previous releases (especially Prehistoricisms in 2008) suggested a band poised squarely in art-metal territory, Valley Of Smoke shows the band moving simultaneously toward and away from modern metal. It’s moving toward in its increasingly overt nods to the group’s sonic peers (Neurosis, Isis, and, at times, Pelican), but away in its refusal to ever really stick to one thing at a time, resulting in a disc that’s not easily classifiable as metal, but not easily classifiable as anythingelse either.
Producer/multi-instrumentalist Sanford Parker (Minsk, Buried at Sea) and saxophonist Bruce Lamont (Yakuza) have long and assorted ties in and around Chicago, where the two reside and contribute to the city’s vibrant underground.
Parker, in addition to his main gig in Minsk, has produced the likes of Pelican, Rwake, Unearthly Trance, Jai Alai Savant, Lair of the Minotaur, and Nachtmystium, and Lamont, outside of Yakuza, recently finished recording a solo album and regularly plays with other experimental metal and noise outfits (Decayist, Sick Gazelle) as well as improvised-jazz players (Jeff Parker, Ken Vandermark, Dave Rempis).
Each man’s résumé is a mile long, and now the two have come together to pay tribute to Chicago’s late-’80s and early-’90s Wax Trax! industrial scene with their new project, Circle of Animals. A diverse and widely recognizable cast of drummers rounds out the lineup on this release, with names like Dave Witte (Discordance Axis, Municipal Waste), John Herndon (Tortoise), John Merryman (Cephalic Carnage), and Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) lending their talents.
Morrow: Chicago’s Bongripper makes the type of music that you might glean from its name — bleak, crushing doom metal that’s built on stoner riffs and down-tuned guitars. I will preface this by saying that I’m not a huge fan of the genre, but the band already has two strikes in my book for the lame pot-related name and the (presumably tongue-in-cheek) Satanism.
As Helen Money, Chicago-based cellist Alison Chesley transforms a commonly known classical instrument into a mighty weapon for composing and arranging furious one-woman rock concertos. But unlike the explosive and menacing songs on her second album, In Tune, Chesley is unassuming in person.
Chicago’s Pelican, known for hard-hitting instrumental rock, announced two shows in celebration of its 10-year-anniversary box-set release, out October 19 on Viva Hate Records. The set will combine material from four full-lengths and three EPs and will be packaged in a deluxe wooden box. Fans will have to act quickly; it will be released in a limited run of 500 copies.
Veteran psych-blues rockers US Christmas are set to release their fifth studio album, Run Thick In The Night, on September 20 via Neurot Recordings. The new album was recorded by Sanford Parker (Unearthly Trance, Pelican, Twilight) at Fahrenheit Studio in Johnson City, Tennessee and mixed at Semaphore Studios in Chicago, IL.
Freshly signed to a new label, Nails joins the likes of Sunn O))), Pelican, and Goatsnake under heavy metal giant Southern Lord Records with the re-release of their album, Unsilent Death. Comparable to a cross between Amrep bands of the nineties and Cro-MagsAge of Quarrel riffage, Nails’ severe sound is brutal, vicious, and raw, hurtling at hypersonic speeds.
A new release is in the works under the new label for early 2011, but in the meantime Nails is taking to the road with fellow label-mates in the Southern Lord-sponsored The Power of the Riff Festival in LA on August 8. A cross-country tour is also scheduled for early September.