Posted inMusic

Chicago indie-rock mainstays Eleventh Dream Day celebrate their 14th album, Since Grazed

When Chicago indie-rock stalwarts Eleventh Dream Day released their 14th album (and first in five years), Since Grazed, in April 2021, the pandemic prevented them from having a proper release party. The group, formed in 1983, are creeping up on their 40th anniversary, and though they didn’t hold together this long by being impatient, they […]

Posted inMusic

Annihilus’ Luca Cimarusti brings Chicago musicians along on his experimental black-metal journey

Chicago multi-instrumentalist and Reader contributor Luca Cimarusti is having a busy summer. In July his minimalist postpunk trio, Luggage, dropped the album Happiness, and now he’s about to put out the second full-length from his black-metal solo project, Annihilus. Cimarusti originally wanted to keep this project anonymous, but he dropped that idea after releasing his […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago sound wizard Mark Solotroff makes grounding, elegiac music on Not Everybody Makes It

Chicago sound wizard Mark Solotroff has been wielding his powerful electronic grimoire since the mid-80s as the leader of Intrinsic Action, Bloodyminded, and Anatomy of Habit. He’s also collaborated with a who’s who of industrial and metal artists, including the Atlas Moth, Indian, Locrian, Plague Bringer, Wrekmeister Harmonies, Brutal Truth, and the Body. Then there […]

Posted inMusic

The Pine Valley Cosmonauts make Tom Waits’s 1973 debut feel relevant for our times

Led by Jon Langford of the Mekons and the Waco Brothers, Chicago alt-country band the Pine Valley Cosmonauts have covered plenty of ground in their quarter century or so of existence: they’ve made tribute albums for icons such as Bob Wills and Johnny Cash, spearheaded a series of death-themed covers compilations called The Executioner’s Last […]

Posted inMusic

Norwegian noise-rockers Årabrot delve into dark pop on Norwegian Gothic

Norwegian noise-rock band Årabrot have undergone many personnel changes over their two-decade career, and front man, composer, and sole constant member Kjetil Nernes has brought forth a different phase in the group’s sound with every one. In recent years, his main collaborator has been Swedish-Norwegian electronic producer and singer Karin Park; they’re also a married […]

Posted inMusic

Dutch extreme metal band Autarkh transform loss into triumph on Form in Motion

Dutch avant-garde metal band Dodecahedron released two spectacular albums, 2012’s self-titled debut and 2017’s Kwintessens, that promised a bright future for the band with their use of disturbing dissonance, bleak synthesizer textures, and gnashing industrial rhythms. But tragedy struck before they could live up to their potential: front man Michiel Eikenaar (also of black-metal group […]

Posted inMusic

Wardruna’s runes ain’t made for Nazis

Wardruna’s fifth full-length was due last June, but due to the pandemic, the Norwegian neo-prog-folk band bumped the release date of Kvitravn to this January. Though Wardruna were born out of Norway’s black-metal scene—two of the band’s three founders, Einar Selvik and Gaahl, are veterans of the influential Gorgoroth—they’re also inspired by Norse folk traditions, […]

Posted inMusic

Katatonia make the most of a year without tours with the ‘live’ album Dead Air

Katatonia were fresh off a hiatus when they dropped their 11th studio album, City Burials, in April, but the pandemic meant they couldn’t stage the triumphant return tour it merited. In May, the nearly 30-year-old Swedish metal outfit appeased their fans and assuaged their own frustration with a livestreamed concert. More than six months later—with […]