Over the 30 years of OXBOW's operations, no one has come comfortably close to classifying the Bay Area group. This could arguably be the result of their ongoing evolution, but accurately describing any particular phase of the groups’ seven-album career is no easier than describing the broader metamorphic arc of their creative path. This is especially true with their seventh album The Thin Black Duke, where OXBOW's elusive brand of harmonic unrest has absorbed the ornate and ostentatious palate of Baroque pop into its sound, pushing their polarized dynamics into a scope that spans between sublime an completely unnerving.
As throughout its history, OXBOW grapples with channeling man’s most primal urges through a framework of meticulous, culture and cerebral instrumentation, but the unadulterated electric roar and percussive barbarism of their past wasn’t as wholly satisfactory as it had been. Other flavors were deemed necessary, both to slake unnamed thirsts and to suitably fit The Thin Black Duke’s lyrical themes, while also exploring the further reaches of Oxbow’s studied approach to tension and release, structure and dissonance, melody and abstraction.
Led by multi-instrumentalist Dan Adams (bass), guitarist Niko Wenner and vocalist, lyricist, and author Eugene S. Robinson, OXBOW is known for its extremely intense and at times confrontational live performances. The bands headline appearance at Scorched Tundra VIII marks the bands first appearance in Chicago in almost ten years.
BEHOLD! THE MONOLITH was formed in 2007 by guitarist Matt Price and bassist/vocalist Kevin McDade. As a trio – inspired by death, doom, and thrash metal - the Los Angeles based group released an EP and self-titled debut followed by the Billy Anderson produced sophomore full length Defender, Redeemist. Following the sudden passing of McDade and regrouping period, BEHOLD! THE MONOLITH returned as a four piece, self-releasing Architects of the Void to domestic and international acclaim. The band toured Europe with CHRCH and BROTHERS OF THE SONIC CLOTH 2016, including an appearance at the legendary Roadburn Festival. BEHOLD! THE MONOLITH continued its destruction in the American West - performing at Psycho Vegas – and capping the year off by showcasing the latest addition to its ranks, vocalist Ekaterina Gorbacheva, at Southwest Terror V. Scorched Tundra VIII marks the first BEHOLD! THE MONOLITH's first Chicago appearance.
RLYR is a Chicago-based instrumental trio founded in 2013. Featuring Trevor Shelley de Brauw (PELICAN), Colin DeKuiper (BLOODIEST, ex-RUSSIAN CIRCLES), and STEVEN HESS (Locrian) the band released its debut album Delayer in June 2016 via Magic Bullet Records. Known for its energetic live performances, RLYR has quickly made a name for itself across the Midwest and East Coast, touring with CLOAKROOM and YOUNG WIDOWS, while locally supporting COLISEUM, DEAFHEAVEN, MUTOID MAN and more. Following the band's Do Division performance in early June, they've begun recording new material to be released by The Flenser.