Czar, Blood of the Tyrant, Chicago Thrash Ensemble | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Czar, Blood of the Tyrant, Chicago Thrash Ensemble Recommended The List (Music) Soundboard

When: Tue., Dec. 29, 9:30 p.m. 2009
Price: $5, $3 in advance
This local art-metal trio is a side project of Chicago industrial institution Acumen Nation—vocalist-guitarist Jason Novak and drummer Dan Brill are both in that band too, and guitarist Brian Elza, formerly of epic indie-rock outfit Chiral, joined them for a spell in 2003. Czar have only been gigging since late last winter, and in May they released a self-titled EP on their own Cracknation label. Its five tracks include a rich diversity of guitar sounds and textures, riveted in place by inventive percussion; there are only occasionally vocals, and they're not a high point. To my ears Czar have a great deal of promise but no fully developed identity yet; they seem to have realized that highly structured, panoramic landscape metal is fun as hell to play, but because they're still unloading their entire arsenal of songwriting tricks on every tune, none of them ends up with any particular character. It's unfortunate too that Mastodon beat Czar to the last-days-of-the-Romanovs theme—those aren't guys you want to be stuck following. —Monica Kendrick

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