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Oakland’s Kowloon Walled City return after six years with a noise-rock masterpiece

Oakland’s Kowloon Walled City formed in 2007 as an intense postmetal outfit who tipped their hat to fellow Oaklanders Neurosis, who’d helped pioneer the fusion of hardcore and sludge. During the 14 years since, the band have slowly pulled back on the aggression and fury, settling into creeping, deliberately paced noise rock. Kowloon Walled City’s […]

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They came, they saw, they smoked: Sleep celebrate their decade-long reunion and impending hiatus at Thalia Hall

Most band reunions don’t live up to the hype, but most bands aren’t Sleep. In the early 90s, the Northern California trio—bassist and vocalist Al Cisneros, guitarist Matt Pike, and drummer Chris Hakius—laid down a guttural strain of Sabbath-worshipping blues metal, filtered through a crusty psychedelic lens. They broke up in 1998 following a years-long […]

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Brazil’s Deafkids celebrate unity and freedom through ear-ripping, percussive punk fusions

For local heavy-music fans, this stacked bill—which also includes pioneering postmetal masters Neurosis and beautifully crushing doom duo Bell Witch—is among the most-anticipated concerts of the summer. But anyone planning to go should make sure to arrive in time for the Chicago debut of Brazilian trio Deafkids, who open the show. Formed in 2010, Deafkids […]

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Almost 30 years later, progressive-metal legends Neurosis redeliver The Word as Law

More than 30 years in, progressive-metal legends Neurosis know exactly how to deliver—their 11th studio album, last fall’s Fires Within Fires (Neurot), is a ruthlessly efficient travelogue of varied soundscapes and altered consciousness. It feels much longer than it actually is (about 40 minutes), and that’s not a function of tedium but of density. The […]