Rwake, Earthen Grave, Zebulon Pike, Czar | The Abbey | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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A. Peterson

Rwake, Earthen Grave, Zebulon Pike, Czar Early Warnings (Music) Recommended The List (Music) Soundboard

When: Sat., Sept. 24, 8:30 p.m. 2011
Price: $15, $13 in advance
Northern city folk tend to think there's some sinister, swampy, Deliverance-type aura surrounding Arkansas, and sludge-metal monsters Rwake do nothing to dispel that mythology. The sextet have previously given us such fantastic album titles as Hell Is a Door to the Sun (2002) and If You Walk Before You Crawl, You Crawl Before You Die (2004), but their newest effort—the first in four years—is simply called Rest (Relapse). Now, don't let that lull you—resting is exactly what Rwake haven't done. The album features four songs that stretch past the ten-minute mark, and each one could almost stand alone as an EP—just when you think they've exhausted all the possibilities of an impossibly heavy riff-ooze, something new burbles up from the depths and erupts with a cry of despair so vehement it's life-affirming in spite of itself. If there's any lulling happening, it's in the 16-minute track "The Culling," though the illusion created by the eerie clean-guitar instrumental intro is destroyed thoroughly just when you've gotten used to it—it's like "Stairway to Heaven" going the other way. Rest is one of my favorite doom records of the year, and live, Rwake won't disappoint. —Monica Kendrick Earthen Grave, Zebulon Pike, and Czar open.



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