Having had a direct involvement with America’s first post-rock dedicated festival, dunk!usa, I know first hand how hard it is to mount a successful event featuring largely fringe artists. When you live in my bubble and you book Russian Circles and Pelican to headline a two-day event with 20 more high-quality artists in a town neither of them has ever played before, you can become lulled into the mindset that all you have to do is hang out and watch the tickets sell themselves. When you discover how wrong you are, that location is massively important, that timing is a key factor, that even though a band like Russian Circles seems huge to a nerd like you, the reality is that probably one out of every forty people has even heard of them, it can be kind of a bummer. dunk!usa was an amazing event that not a ton of people had the privilege of enjoying. So when Nason Frizzell of the band PILLARS approached me with the idea of doing Post. Festival – essentially a dunk!usa without the post-rock name value, the first two things I felt were (a) excitement, because obviously I was 100% ready to get back at trying to grow this scene and (b) cynicism, because I knew how my expectations of fan dedication had been flattened somewhat by my previous experiences. As it turns out, I’m feeling a bit better about the state of “post” music in America as of this moment.
In case you missed it, we announced a couple of months ago that Heavy Blog will be sponsoring Post. Festival, the US’s only (and thus also premier) major post-rock/metal/whatever festival on October 19th and 20th at Indiana City Brewery Co. in Indianapolis, IN. The festival is shaping up to be an incredible event, featuring the likes of The Appleseed Cast, Outrun the Sunlight, Heron, This Patch of Sky, and far more. I wanted to talk to the festival organizers about what fans can expect from the weekend, about what makes holding a post-rock festival in the US a more daunting challenge than in Europe, and about why they believe the genre of post-rock is as strong as it’s ever been and only getting stronger.
Hello, I have returned! All the thanks to my brother from across the world, Eden, for taking ownership of this place for the past couple of months while I experienced multiple large life events (honeymoon, moving to a new state/metro area, getting a new job). I am back though to deliver you all the best in all things post-rock and metal. And I am doing so at an excellent time because I come bearing an awesome announcement!
It’s hard to translate the meme of the Golden Age to post rock because post-rock’s Golden Age has come and gone. During my (Eden’s) end of year review, I’ll be exploring what 2017 has done to the narrative of the Golden Age in depth but suffice it to say, even…
We’ve sung the praises of the Chicago metal scene for a while now; there appears to be a current of energy running through that part of the States and it’s bringing us plenty of great music. It seems to be specifically fertile in the areas of instrumental post rock/metal and interesting experimentation within those genres, with bands like Outrun the Sunlight and Sioum released their fair share of evocative music. It appears there’s now another name to be ended to the roster, Zaius. These guys are getting to release their debut album, Of Adoration, via Prosthetic Records on October 6, 2017 and let me tell you, it’s damn good. But why take my word on it? Head on below to hear a track from the very same album!
Noyan is gone! He’s probably finally collapsed into his natural, more salty form. In his stead, we have Austin Isaac Peters of Outrun the Sunlight, a fantastic, Chicago based post metal band. Speaking with Eden, Austin opens up about topics like music and mental health (following a discussion on the tragic death of Chester Bennington, of Linkin Park fame), the Chicago music scene, the amazing Audiotree (an amazing studio-space and much more which you should definitely check out a link to below), post metal and post rock, and much, much more!
Another homegrown project we are immensely fond of comes straight from our dear editor-in-chief, the aforementioned Eden Kupermintz, and our good friend Greg Greenberg (Seven Circles), who, with guitarists Doug Van Bevers and Nick Maini and drummer Travis Orbin (ex-Periphery, Darkest Hour) form Instar, a beautiful fusion of post-rock, math-rock, jazz/metal fusion, and spoken word. Those who are at all familiar with Eden know that he is an ardent lover and connoisseur of sci-fi and a writer himself, and he lends his own illustrative prose and mellifluous voice to give the project a distinctly cosmic post-y feeling. The last time we mentioned the band on this site it was to recommend their debut EP, which featured Eden on one track and other guest vocalists on the other two. Eden has since joined the project as a full-fledged member, and if the lead track from their upcoming album Ex Nihilo Cycles “Stepping Stones” is any indication, Instar is prepared to take an enormous leap for their first full-length release.
The annals of post rock will look kindly on the somber parts of the genre. In the past few years, they’ve been some of the most prolific, drawing on the once-not-obvious proximity between post rock and post metal. These bands, like If These Trees Could Talk or Outrun the Sunlight, create an atmosphere that is darker in its shadings than the post rock of the mid 2000’s, relying on booming drums and thick bass to garnish their delayed guitars. Into this context burst Astralia, a Barcelona based band with three albums to their name. Their most recent effort, released just a few days ago, sees them polish their style and cohesion. On Solstice, Astralia make a worthy addition to the realm of ponderous post rock and all the intonations one might expect from that label.
Music is often about the mixing of elements. The theme of mixing light and dark, slow and fast, heavy and light seems only to be increasing as time goes by and music searches for new ways to be expressive. This kind of melange also affords bands opportunities when they consider their own grown, apart from the overall trajectory of music. What was once a judgemental contrast can be broken apart to fuel forward motion, one side given precedence over the other in the quest for individual novelty. Outrun the Sunlight’s latest release, Red Bird, is a perfect example of this. Meditating upon the inherent conflicts extant in their earlier works, the post-rock band have decided to lean more heavily on their more introspective tones.
Just this past week we saw how important the ACLU still is. One of the first to confront the so called “Muslim ban” enacted by the indifferent pen of Donald Trump, it began the long and arduous legal battle against this administration. With not only the presidency but also Congress and Senate painted in the most extreme and reckless red imaginable, their work will grow seven-fold; now they must take on the legislative branch instead. Thus, and despite of the already remarkable success their fundraising has seen in the past week, Bandcamp’s contribution to the ACLU is admirable. We’re here to do our share; below you’ll find a list of artists that are worthy of your support on this Friday.