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 Main support was supposed to be Seattle doom four-piece Samothrace, but they’d withdrawn from the tour due to a serious illness in a band member’s family.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.