I live a mere 2,200 miles due east of Salt Lake City, so needless to say I’m not too familiar with many musical happenings there (other than Gaza, RIP). Fortunately, Rebecca Vernon and the rest of SubRosa were more than happy to educate me about their hometown via the quintet’s SLC music playlist. I’ll let the guitarist/vocalist take it from here: “SubRosa is a product of the Salt Lake music scene and we like to take any opportunity we can to brag about our friends. There is no way to list all the bands and songs fomented from Utah’s dark, moist spawning grounds which inspire us (Red Bennies, Settle Down, Night Sweats, Puri-Do, Spork (who I used to drum for), Eagle Twin (Southern Lord), Gaza (Black Market Activities), Dwellers (Small Stone), Iota (Small Stone), Visigoth (Metal Blade), Ether (Extreme – the same label that puts out Merzbow), Moths, and the list goes on and on), but here are a few tracks from some of our favorite currently active Salt Lake City bands. Each member of SubRosa picked one to a few tracks and wrote about them. It should be noted that the songs we ended up choosing are almost all from albums that our drummer Andy Patterson (also SLC’s most prolific producer) happened to record and produce (except Lindsay Heath’s, recorded by Mike Sassich, and Cult Leader’s, recorded by Wes Johnson).” In fact, the band gave us so many picks that we’re going to spread the SLC love over two weeks.
I have no idea what kind of top 40 list Albert and company have cooked up this year, but for what it’s worth, SubRosa’s More Constant Than The Gods is my favorite album of the year, so please check it out below–you can pick up a copy here. You can also still help the band recover from a devastating robbery by bidding on this Profound Lore eBay auction.
Cicadas’ “There Is No Way Out” (from 2013’s upcoming There Is No Way Out EP)
Cicadas is the project of SubRosa violinist Kim Pack. Although recordings will not be available to the public until later this year, everything Kim does with Cicadas is incredible. Heavy, technical music coming from a violin may be an odd thought until you hear it the way Kim and Anson Bischoff do. They blend breakdowns as heard in hardcore songs with ambient drone and technical metal riffs that make you bang your head off. Two very talented people.–Christian Creek
Cult Leader’s “Mongrel” (from 2013’s upcoming TBA)
Cult Leader is composed of former members of Gaza (Anthony Lucero, Michael Mason, Casey Hansen) with Sam Richards on bass. This video is from their first performance at Shred Shed in Salt Lake City (with Full of Hell, Seven Sister of Sleep and Rile) and it captures Anthony’s raw, emotional vocal delivery with lyrics that evoke animosity, poetic sorrow and modern punk rage. Jagged, unrelenting riffs bludgeon like a meat tenderizer, providing an unruly foundation to the hypnotic destruction.–Rebecca Vernon
Day Hymns’ “Track 1” (from 2013’s upcoming TBA EP)
Day Hymns has former members of Gaza, Parallax, Iota and Bird Eater. Tapping into a ’90s post-hardcore mindset, Day Hymns is all about the riff, the groove and the message. This is the first track of the new yet-to-be released EP.–Andy Patterson
Gravecode Nebula’s “Abhorrent Absorbent” (from 2013’s Sempiternal Void)
Gravecode Nebula makes other doom metal bands sound like kids with SpongeBob band-aids on their skinned knees, crying in a sandbox. Invoking an unholy atmosphere of swirling guitar and bass that sound as large as the caverns of the bell jar, they ratchet up the blackness at the 6:12 mark of “Abhorrent Absorbent” with some seriously almighty shredding. Gravecode Nebula has been a pillar of the Salt Lake metal scene for many years and played the Denver Doomfest this October alongside Evoken, The Skull, Fister and many others.–R.V.
Huldra’s “Twisted Tongues And Gnarled Roots” (from 2013’s Monuments, Monoliths)
Channeling the thoughtful post-rock/metal leanings of ISIS and Neurosis and maybe a dash of Red Sparowes, “Twisted Tongues and Gnarled Roots” is a good example of Huldra’s ability to cover the gamut dynamically, slowly shapeshifting and building from beautiful guitar-picking and mournful and strangely soothing chanting to all-out urgent yearnings of heavier riffing, silky snare work and growls starting around the 5:50 mark. This song takes me across icy shining tundras to ember-filled hearths in 800s Greenland.–R.V.
INVDRS’ “Worship” (from 2010’s Electric Church)
INVDRS have long held the title of loudest band in Salt Lake City. To see them perform live is to be obliterated and reborn, physically and mentally. INVDRS is Phil White (vocals), Dave Moss (guitar), Gavin Hoffman (drums) and Julie Stutznegger (bass). Julie is a former member of SubRosa, and she and Rebecca played together in all-female SLC punk project Stiletto. Each of the four members are friends of mine, have been in many bands and are SLC music legends in their individual rights. They have honed their craft into an aural missile that seeks the heat in your soul.–Sarah Pendleton
*Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!
**Photo by Brandon Garcia
***Order More Constant Than The Gods here.
****Past entries include:
God Is An Astronaut
Scale The Summit
Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Mouth Of The Architect
Call of the Void
Saint Vitus Bar
Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid)
Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2)
Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2)
Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2)
All That Remains
A Life Once Lost
Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander)
Vision of Disorder
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Meshuggah
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)