Nile + Soulfly w/ Cleric at Underground Arts
Sunday, April 22nd, 2018
21+ | Doors: 6PM | Show: 6:30PM
With eight critically acclaimed albums, a few EPs and several world tours under their belt, NILE has raised the bar for extreme metal bands musically, lyrically and conceptually. Their withering live performances are nothing short of legendary. Through force of will and dedication to their craft, NILE is one of death metal's brightest hopes for the new millennium. The band's long-awaited new album, Annihilation of the Wicked marks the long-awaited return of one of extreme metal's most revered bands and teems with the blasting extremity and epic arrangements that have become NILE trademarks.
Formed in 1993 by Karl Sanders (guitar/vocals), Chief Spires (bass/vocals), and Pete Hammoura (drums), NILE wasted little time combining their interest in Egyptian history, culture and lore with the ferocity of modern death metal. Using a symphonic approach to songwriting and arrangement, NILE unleashed an uncompromising attack that fused unique, technical death metal with organic Middle Eastern tones.
Soulfly is a metal band formed in 1997 based in Phoenix, Arizona. The original lyrical themes revolved around spirituality and religious themes, though religion is usually criticized, with later albums encompassing other themes including war, violence, aggression, hatred, and anger, with the spiritual elements now almost non-existent. Soulfly are led by former Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera, who formed the band after he left the Brazilian group in 1996. The band has released seven studio albums, one tour EP, several singles, and one DVD video. Their seventh album Omen was released on May 25, 2010.
Soulfly incorporate many styles of metal with Brazilian tribal and world music. The band has had all six of their studio albums debut on the United States Billboard 200, with a peak position at number 32 for their second album, Primitive. Their debut album, Soulfly, has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
The band has gone through numerous line-up changes, with the most recent loss being bassist Bobby Burns, who is currently being filled in for by Cavalera Conspiracy bassist Johny Chow.
Founded in Philly in 2003, Cleric resides in the circle of bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Car Bomb – elite musicians playing avant-metal that wows on both a cerebral level and a gut level. Cleric's brand of metal is marked by dark, cinematic atmospheres and free jazz-informed forays, bursting through a base of highly technical, mathy shred. As a review in Chicago Reader phrased it, the sound is «a kind of metal, the way [David Lynch's] Lost Highway is a kind of movie. It's an elastic tissue of creepy electronic noise and barely-human screaming, impregnated with patches of riff-salad grind and hypercube mathcore.»
On Retrocausal, Cleric has pushed its style to new heights. Meshuggah-esque hypnosis, doomful synths, spastic skronking, and blastbeats weave together into highly unpredictable, kitchen-sink epics, many surpassing the 9-minute mark. An ominous vibe, straight off a movie screen, underlies everything; lurking in the shadows are mysterious samples and field recordings evoking deep sea and outer space.
None other than John Zorn is a fan and collaborator who lent his talents to Retrocausal. Elder statesman of musical freedom, a man whose massive body of work incorporates jazz, classical, metal, klezmer, film scores, and more, Zorn guests on Retrocausal's closer, «Grey Lodge.» Cleric's relationship with Zorn began in 2013 when he invited the band to work with him on his ongoing Masada project, and continued with his tapping guitarist Matt Hollenberg to join his band Simulacrum (along with John Medeski of Medeski, Martin, and Wood).
In addition to Zorn, Retrocausal features guest appearances by Mick Barr (Krallice, Orthrelm, Ocrilim) and Timba Harris (Secret Chiefs 3).
A concept album, Retrocausal is an adventure story set in a dystopian future. Cleric vocalist/keyboardist Nick Shellenberger explains: «Lyrically, Retrocausal opens a window into a bleak sci-fi landscape plagued by environmental fallout, in which corrupt governments send their citizens to die, and centers around one submarine crew that learns of their intended fate and chooses to pursue the beyond, despite the terrors that await. Told from different perspectives throughout the record, it's a story of hope, fear, uncertainty, and constant struggle in the face of failure and death, and in search of something that may never be.»
The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Colin Marston (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia) at The Thousand Caves in Queens, New York.
The artwork was created by Cleric's Nick Shellenberger.
Label boss Spruance states, «When we here at Web of Mimicry ran across Cleric's music it almost seemed as if some kind of prophecy was being fulfilled. The music registered in our minds as a kind of missing link, like an inevitable stage in metal-oriented music that has needed to happen for a long time now.»