In March of last year Prosthetic Records released Lunar, the surprising debut album of Chicago’s Without Waves, a constantly morphing collection of music that displayed a form of artistic experimentation which brought into play a range of influences, from extreme metal to jazz fusion, from electronica to atmospheric rock. Next month Without Waves will embark on a six-state tour with label mates Zaius, and to mark the occasion they’ve prepared a music video that we’re bringing you today, for one of the eye-opening tracks off Lunar.
If you haven’t heard “Victorian Punishment” before, you’ll discover that it rarely stays in the same place for very long, nor does it follow a predictable course. It’s a study in sharp contrasts of style, volume, and mood. It puts your head in a blender set to puree, and then smoothly untangles everything. It’s a shock to the system, and a spell.
Swirling, finger-tapped strings and flickering melody go off like fireworks over battering drums and jolting bass notes. Swarming chords and shrieking vocals vent blazing intensity. Without warning, the music pulsates and the rhythms shift, jerking the listener off-balance. The sound reaches near-cacophonous levels of riotousness, only to have the vocals level off into gliding clean-sung melody. The tornado begins to whip again… only to be replaced by a beautiful, dream-like passage of fluid jazz fusion… and then everything seems to stop… but that’s another head-fake, as you’ll discover.
It’s a crazy trip, and one that’s made even more interesting by simultaneously watching how the performers execute all these topsy-turvy twists and turns.
As for the meaning behind “Victorian Punishment“, the band tell us: “It’s about having your free will slowly stripped away through society and technology; losing yourself through no fault of your own.”
Lunar was produced by Without Waves, engineered by Pete Grossman, mixed by Sanford Parker, and mastered by Colin Jordan/Boiler Room. Below you’ll find a schedule of dates for the upcoming tour, as well as ways to get the album and follow the band’s future activities.
WITHOUT WAVES on tour:
7/23 @ Reggies – Chicago, IL
7/24 @ Mag Bar – Louisville, KY
7/26 @ 13th Floor – Florence, MA
7/27 @ Lucky 13 Saloon – Brooklyn, NY
7/28 @ Trees – Columbus, OH
7/29 @ Black Circle Brewing – Indianapolis, IN
This is my favorite progressive metal album of last year. Not my favorite metal album of last year. But my favorite in the prog genre.
Mildly disappointed that new news from them is for a 16 month old song, but it’s a great one so it’s all good.