Chicago four-piece Starless launched in 2014 with a lineup including members of local bands Beak, the Timeout Drawer, and Our Earth Is a Tomb. This month the four-piece (not to be confused with the Japanese prog band or the Scottish art-pop band of the same name) are releasing their second full-length, Hope Is Leaving You. […]
About a month ago, I saw a magnet being hurled over the 18th Street Bridge. Initially, I brushed it off and I continued to stroll along the Chicago River bank with my friends. But the sound of the splash carried some weight, like an anchor or rock colliding with the water. I expected the line […]
Chicago in Tune is a difficult festival to describe, since it includes basically all live music happening in the city from August 19 till September 19. How that looks to you depends heavily on which shows are on your radar. The Reader has provided you with a number of assists: a show calendar spanning the […]
Neptunian Maximalism’s recent triple album, Éons, imagines a future Earth dominated by hyperintelligent elephants.
Listening to modern traditional metal can sometimes be a little like meeting up with a special old flame. It’s a blast until you’re eventually reminded why it didn’t work out for the long haul—you moved on with your life while they seemed to stay suspended in time, and the little things you once adored now […]
There’s a lot of room in the vast and aesthetically diverse landscape of metal, but one powerhouse trio occupies its own sound-deconstructing universe: Sumac. The heady metal-centric music that guitarist and vocalist Aaron Turner (Isis, Old Man Gloom), bassist Brian Cook (Russian Circles), and drummer Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists) churn out is such a left-field beast […]
Chicago has no shortage of bands making metal or psychedelic rock (thank God), but relatively few operate in that sweet spot where the two genres overlap. If you’re into that kind of thing, you’re going to want to keep your eye on local four-piece Rezn. Over the past few years, they’ve released a couple of […]
When Racetraitor formed in Chicago in the mid-90s, their uncompromisingly antiracist politics weren’t always warmly received in the hardcore scene, but after their breakup in 1999 their influence continued to spread (especially once drummer Andy Hurley joined occasional Racetraitor bassist Pete Wentz in Fall Out Boy in 2003). More than a decade later, the burgeoning […]
Santa Cruz hardcore outfit Gulch cover a lot of ground in the brief 16 minutes of their new Impenetrable Cerebral Fortress. The four-piece leave no punk or metal stone unturned; they cram every possible take on dark, heavy, and mean into the album’s eight tracks, which all grind to a halt just as quickly as […]
Metal has a reputation as an escapist genre. That could be because some bands indulge in the theatrics and fun of dragons, witchcraft, and swordplay, or because others traffic in gruesome or apocalyptic themes that feel too outsize and horrific to accept as real—even when they’re a staunch reaction to a specific place and time. […]
Named after a Mayan term that roughly translates to “place of fear,” Southern California trio Xibalba have been blending strains of metal and hardcore for nearly 14 years. They’ve increasingly leaned into their Latino heritage (they sing in both Spanish and English) and their death-metal influences, while expanding into new moods and song structures; on […]
When I wrote about these Finnish xenonauts last October, on the occasion of the only stateside tour in their 13-year history, I called their music “wormhole black metal”: “Oranssi Pazuzu plunge you into a tunnel of fatally deformed spacetime, bathe you in a sizzling cocktail of exotic radiation, and spit you out somewhere cold, dark, […]
Anticolonialist hardcore band La Armada discuss their journey from the Dominican Republic to Chicago and the inspiration behind their new EP series, Songs of the Exiled.
Midnight are pretty much the nightmare that heartland parents feared during the satanic panic of the 1980s, when metal bands’ imagined lyrical (and moral) transgressions meant they were considered about as family friendly as murderers. Midnight’s music is nihilism with a beat, rudderless and apolitical; they’re as likely to cover 70s midwest punks the Pagans […]
This week’s featured gig poster was designed by Adam Luksetich for his series Cafe Must Thrash.