METAL | A new album from the Atlas Moth and another visit from Deceased
Chicago five-piece the Atlas Moth released their second full-length, An Ache for the Distance, Tue 9/20 on Profound Lore, and I'm pleased to report that it maintains the band's distinctively excellent sound. On one hand you've got bluesy, swaggering sludge of the Slow Southern Steel persuasion, and on the other you've got the sort of austere and crystalline guitar ambience favored by Isis fans and the beardy contingent of the black-metal community—a duality mirrored by the pairing of paint-scouring screams and clean, melodic vocals. In a departure from their first album, though, the Atlas Moth wrote most of the material in the studio, where they got snowed in midsession by February's blizzard. ("Figuring out how to smoke was definitely an issue," says guitarist and vocalist Stavros Giannopoulos.) This intensive process, directed by the band's synth and guitar player, Andrew Ragin—he's been lead producer on both of their records—encouraged a focus and clarity that seems to have led to tighter songs. "We are a loud band with a lot going on," Giannopoulos says, "so it's not always the easiest to figure out what you should be playing in a rehearsal room with amps cranked up."
The Atlas Morth are happy to be working with Chris Bruni at Profound Lore—this is their first release with the label, which has quickly become one of the most respected in underground metal—but they're not expecting the association to have a transformative effect on their career. "My father told me to hope in one hand and shit in the other," Giannopoulos says. "So instead, we are just going to do what we have always done. Get in the fuckin' van and not come home until we are ready to make a new record."
If you aren't going to see 40 Watt Sun or Rwake on Saturday, you'll want to be at the Red Line Tap for Deceased. These Virginia death-metal veterans, who in 1990 became one of the earliest signings to Relapse Records, recently released their first full-length in six years, Surreal Overdose (Patac), a gleefully ghoulish epic of mad-scientist prog and throw-the-horns thrash. "This will be Deceased's third show in three years in Chicago—all at Metal Up Your Tap!" says booker Trevor Fisher. "We've become their exclusive annual Chicago stop." The concert is $8 and starts at 9 PM. —Philip Montoro