Dawnbringer, Oblong Box, Terra Caput Mundi | Red Line Tap | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Dawnbringer, Oblong Box, Terra Caput Mundi Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Sat., March 26, 9 p.m. 2011

Why does this Dawnbringer show have local metalheads aflutter? Because it's only the third one since multi-instrumentalist Chris Black, Dawnbringer's only permanent member, founded the group in 1995—and the most recent was in '98. Black generally hasn't thought of Dawnbringer as a live act, and at any rate it's not like he doesn't play out elsewhere: he drums for Pharaoh, based in his previous home of Philadelphia; he's the front man and bassist for local trio Superchrist; and he has a project called High Spirits, which started as a solo thing but has turned into a proper band. (He also runs a label called Planet Metal and works behind the scenes with Nachtmystium.) Dawnbringer albums aren't too frequent either: last year's Nucleus (Profound Lore) was the first in four years, which considering its greatness is rather a shame. Nucleus is a gritty, blowsy, and occasionally downright groovy blast of classic melodic metal that mashes up half a dozen familiar flavors, and it pulls you up short every song or two to think to yourself, "Oh, right—metal is rock 'n' roll, isn't it? Still?" Black overdubbed bass, drums, synth, and vocals, producer Sanford Parker added occasional unobtrusive synths, and four guitarists filled in the rest, but despite this labor-intensive process the album has a stripped-down feel, which helps create the illusion that you and your buddies could do this in your garage. But you probably can't, because the quality that Dawnbringer seems to be going for isn't one that metal traditionally emphasizes. It's innocence, of all things—the pure but awkward earnestness of learning to play an Iron Maiden song for the first time. Onstage Black will sing and play bass, Matt Altieri and Scott Hoffman (Black's main Dawnbringer accomplice since '97) will play guitars, and Ian Sugierski of Superchrist will play drums. —Monica Kendrick

Price: $7


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