Earthen Grave with Rachel Barton Pine

Earthen Grave with Rachel Barton Pine

Formed in 2008, Earthen Grave is a six-piece Chicago metal band that marries the sounds of metal past and future with a sweaty, pummeling live show. Bassist Ron Holzner served a 15-year sentence with Chicago doom legends Trouble and Rachel Barton Pine brings her frightening classical chops to a relatively new instrument, the Viper. Finding groups like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Saint Vitus, Trouble, Pentagram, Candlemass and Slayer to be common influences, the band wrote and played shows around Chicago for the first half of 2009, culminating in the release of the“Dismal Times” EP in June. Featuring three original songs that meld classic, crunchy doom and NWOBHM vibes with a solid dose of thrashy bludgeoning alongside covers of two choice doom classics by Pentagram and Witchfinder General, the EP was hailed by critics as “astounding,” and “pure, head-banging bliss” ( and prompted to write, “Can’t wait till the band gives us a full length with all originals...they have all the songwriting capabilities to make one of the best albums ever.”

Question Of Madness

After leaving The Chasm in 2003, bassist Alfonso "Poncho" Polo (left) felt that after almost 20 years of playing in different bands, the whole "music thing" began to feel more like a chore or a job. Rather than quitting the music business for good, Poncho decided to take a break from music completely. But in the spring of 2009, Poncho's love for his music resurfaced but rather than just joining a band, he decided to work on his own project. Harnessing musical inspiration from bands like Root, Candlemass, Mercyful Fate, Solitude Aeternus, Trouble, Black Sabbath, My Dying Bride, Cathedral and Bolt Thrower, Poncho incorporated lyrics based on reality, fantasy and personal experiences into his songs. After forming the basis of the sound he was after, Poncho named the project Question Of Madness.

Within a few weeks, a 4-song demo was completed and a deal with former The Chasm bandmate Daniel Corchado's Lux Inframundis Productions was secured. By the end of 2009, Poncho had written nine songs for what would eventually become Question Of Madness's debut CD. Since the beginning of the project, Poncho toyed with the idea of recording the entire album by himself by playing every instrument but drums (which is why he asked former The Chasm bandmate Antonio Leon for help). Being aware of his limitations as a lead guitar player and vocalist, he sought out assistance from Julio Viterbo (The Chasm) in the lead guitar department and Albert Rybka (from progressive metal act Katagory V) for the singing duties

The recording process for the album began in January 2010 and continued through various points of the year. The drums were tracked at The Ensomberoom Studios (Fort Wayne, IN) with engineer Geoff Montgomery and all of the remaining recordings and mixing took place at Lux Inframundis Studios with Daniel Corchado as producer. In addition to playing bass, Poncho also provided rhythm and some lead guitars for the CD. The debut CD entitled “The Dark Corners of the Mind,” was released in December 2010. A heavy doom concept piece in nine parts, the album takes the listener inside the mind of a psychiatric patient that suffers from depression, anxiety, and an overactive imagination. With the addition of Luis Ceja on rhythm guitar, the band aims to perform this material the spring of 2011.

Deep Space Pilots

Blending a unique style of, psychedelic rock, doom, ambient, and shoegaze, DeepSpacePilots is a three piece heavy rock band that has been playing around Chicago since 2006. Current line-up: Guitar/vocals: Ron Strojny; Drums: Bill Shanklin; and, Bass: Paul DiPego. Their latest release, entitled simply, “deepspacepilots”, was released on January 31, 2012. The album consists of nine tracks and runs approximately fifty minutes. The band has shared the stage with the likes of Bongripper, Angel Eyes, the reformed Kevin Wood & Malfunkshun, Salt of the Earth, Unfortunaut, Couldron, and the now defunct Trifog. Their live shows can achieve ear-bleeding volumes. The band is currently working on a follow-up release.



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