Originally conceived as a casual side-project in 2000, Portland, Oregon’s Grails have patiently developed into a rather radical study in tension and meditation, inhabiting a netherworld where virtually all earthly and otherwordly sounds are equally explored to reflect the disparate influences of its four members. After releasing their first two albums on the Neurosis imprint Neurot Recordings, Grails followed up with Black Tar Prophecies Vols. 1,2 &, 3 on Important Records before ultimately finding their home at Temporary Residence Ltd., where they released two full length albums, 2008´s “Doomdayer´s Holiday”, and 2011´s “Deep Politics”.
2017 will see the release of “Chalice Hymnal”, their first album in 6 years.
Rather than pick up where they left off, Grails take the sky-high riff-based heaviness of their earlier albums and distill it into a nuanced, widescreen opus. The perennial influences of mid-20th century Western film scores, obscure library music, and psychedelic krautrock are indelibly imprinted, but Chalice Hymnal exudes an eerie patience in unfurling the many layers of its subtle details. Produced by the band over the past five years, Chalice Hymnal bears some of the European psych and experimental hip-hop production techniques of founding members Alex Hall and Emil Amos’ other group, Lilacs & Champagne. Amos’ meditative metal band, Om, and longtime singer-songwriter project, Holy Sons, also naturally find their way into the Chalice cauldron. Rounding out their line-up, cofounder Zak Riles (also of experimental kraut-psych trio, Watter) layers synths and programming into an electronic-prog hybrid that pushes Grails further into the deep end, displaying a profound resonance, both musically and emotionally. No one else sounds like Grails, and on Chalice Hymnal they sound more like themselves than ever before.
Majeure is the alter ego of A.E. Paterra, multi-tasking extraordinaire and one-half of progressive synt-rock duos Zombi, and Contact. Decidedly more dance-oriented than Zombi, Majeure combines the dark Moog-driven film scores of Vangelis with the relentless drive of Can and the transcendent minimalism of Steve Reich and Philip Glass. The brilliant mix of live and electronic rhythms is the heart and soul of Majeure’s music, which has a funny way of making time either speed up or stop entirely.
Arena Vienna / small hall / adv 15 € / doors 18 € / 20.00h