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It’s been a long journey for Pelican—from their sludgy
reductionist beginnings in the DIY spaces of Chicago, through their
tenure as forerunners to the burgeoning international community of
artists fusing post-rock’s dramatic melodicism with thinking man’s
metal, and to their ascension into the canon of the elder statesmen in
the brainy and brawny realm of the underground rock world. The band
encountered no shortage of ups and downs along the way, and those peaks
and valleys often found an analog in the moods and timbres of
Pelican’s sonic palette, with youthful frustrations channeled into the
unrepentant dirges of their self-titled debut or new opportunities
afforded by their increasing popularity manifested in the expanded
vistas of City of Echoes. In the process of writing their sixth
album Nighttime Stories, the quartet endured a slew of realizations,
tragedies, and glimmers of optimism that guided the creative process to
the most potent album of their eighteen-year career.

Inter Arma
“‘Middle finger’ might be the best way to describe some of it.”

Inter Arma vocalist Mike Paparo talking about the band’s new album,
Sulphur English. “It’s definitely a fuck-you to people,” he adds. “I
wish it was more eloquent than that, but it’s not.”

After 13
years and three full-lengths, these Richmond, VA-based extremity artists
are throwing down the proverbial gauntlet with their fourth. Though the
band has never really fit into any of underground metal’s
ever-splintering subgenres, they’ve
often been lumped into the
“sludge” or “doom” factions—largely by folks who haven’t been paying
attention. “We do share qualities with those types of bands, but we’re
not that,” Paparo points out. “We’ll get to a lot of cities and the
promoter will be like, ‘Oh, here’s our local talent, Doomfuck. They’re
playing with you guys tonight.’ But we all hate that.’”

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