On Friday night I went to see Pallbearer and Royal Thunder at the Beat Kitchen. Main support was supposed to be Seattle doom four-piece Samothrace, but they’d withdrawn from the tour due to a serious illness in a band member’s family. I’d been looking forward to seeing them play material from their most recent full-length, Reverence to Stone (20 Buck Spin). It’s only two tracks, 14 and 20 minutes long, and they both traverse a great deal of ground: light and dark, sorrowful and enraged, delicate and monstrous. When a band gets to the end of a song like that onstage—where the loud parts are loud enough to pretty much shut down your conscious mental processes—it’s like when the lights come up at the end of a Tarkovsky movie. You’re somewhere else.

I hope all will be well soon in the extended Samothrace family, and that they’ll make it to Chicago before too long. In the meantime, today’s 12 O’Clock Track is “When We Emerged.” It’s the 14-minute one, and it’s worth every second.

Philip Montoro

Philip Montoro has been an editorial employee of the Reader since 1996 and its music editor since 2004. Pieces he has edited have appeared in Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing anthologies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. He shared two Lisagor Awards in 2019 for a story on gospel pioneer Lou Della Evans-Reid, and he’s also split two national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and one in in 2020 for editing the music writing of Reader staffer Leor Galil. Philip has played scrap metal in Lozenge, drummed with the Disasters, the Afflictions, and Brilliant Pebbles, and sung for the White Outs. He wrote the column Beer and Metal from 2012 till 2015, and hopes to do so again one day. You can also follow him on Twitter.