After a few out-of-genre collaborations with Lume and Catchechism, REZN’s third proper album returns to their signature Electric Wizard meets Elder on Quaaludes style. Chaotic Divine (Off The Record Label) is right in line with its predecessors, for the most part, pairing the sprawling length of 2017’s Let It Burn with the broadened atmospherics and instrumentation of 2018’s Calm Black Water. However, the heightened Ambient and Post Rock influences have resulted in what is easily their most ambitious effort so far.
Fans gathered from around the USA and even the far reaches of the globe to attend the second annual Chicago Open Air festival. Although Rock On The Range, Louder than Life, Aftershock and others wear the crown for the greatest commercial rock and metal festivals in America, COA is poised to challenge both of those fests. Over 70,000 fans from everywhere came out to the fest in one of America’s greatest cities to see 40 bands on two stages. From what Ghost Cult saw, heard, tasted, and imbibed this weekend, this is a legit possibility. Continue reading
Today marked the first total solar eclipse across the entire contiguous United States since June 8th, 1918. While most of us were staring at the sky through overpriced glasses, Ozzy Osbourne was putting on a show. Continue reading
The countdown to the 2nd Chicago Open Air Festival is on, with just 7 weeks to go. Tonight their will be a Pop up party celebrating the Kickoff Dinner hosted by Danny Wimmer Presents as the official Chicago Open Air Kickoff Dinner, held at Kuma’s Corner (2900 W. Belmont) on Thursday, July 13 at 7 p.m. For $50, attendees will be treated to burgers, appetizers and beer, and will have the chance to hang out with host Jose Mangin, from SiriusXM’s Liquid Metal. A limited quantity of only 100 tickets will be available at www.ChicagoOpenAir.com. Tonight’s pop up party is going down at the new Kuma’s location. More details below: Continue reading
The 2017 Chicago Open Air festival will be taking place on July 14th, 15th, and 16th at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, and the lineup is huge. Continue reading
Releasing their fourth album in only six years, all on Earache, Chicago, Illinois’ Oceano don’t do two things – subtlety or surprises. Wading in like a behemoth sumo, with each stab of the guitar representing a tree-trunk leg thudding down and with each pig squeal signifying the friction of flabby thigh slapping flabby thigh, the beatdown-focused Ascendants lumbers into town, modelling deathcore 101 with the open string chug enhanced by some tight and imaginative percussive work.
Taking their cue from Thy Art Is Murder and All Shall Perish’s more staccato moments, Oceano’s is a considered violence, a repetitive ham-hock fist to the head with pendulum regularity and in no particular rush; it’s the troll wading through the sea of bodies that are trying to force it back in an exercise in futility. For those who enjoy their pro-wrestling, they are the Big Show; cumbersome, but effective (and somehow higher-profile than you think they deserve to be, and you prefer the other, more interesting wrestlers anyway….).
Oceano are also beginning to suffer from the inevitable law of diminishing returns. If their debut, Depths, one of the best examples of deathcore to date, showcased diversity in amongst the rhythmic bullying chug and Contagion had a darker, twisted feel, Ascendants is Oceano at their lowest common denominator, most Neanderthal, a notion that is enhanced by ‘Dawn of Descent’ and it’s more atmospheric endeavours, which help it stand out in a sea of proto-human repetitive pounding.
Other acts, in particular Suicide Silence, have shown it’s possible to continue to progress a sound and develop as a band while retaining a deathcore identity (though the further they, and others move from the deathcore “core” the more successful they are and the better they sound), but Ascendants is still a decent, if unspectacular, repetitive brain injury of a deathcore album. With (another) new line up in place, one wonders about the future of Oceano as not even by playing it safe and playing the genre card to the max – for this is dictionary definition beatdown laden deathcore – is enough to bring Ascendants up to the level of their previous outings.