Rock & Pop

Aquarius Records co-presents:

When: Sat., Nov. 19, 4 p.m. 2011

Metal has traveled light-years from where it began. Today, metal bands are streamed on NPR, reviewed by major tastemakers like Pitchfork, and studied by books, blogs, and serious documentaries. That's in large part because bands have greatly expanded the parameters of what used to be considered heavy metal, mixing and mashing elements from all kinds of sources: psych-rock, blues, punk, noise, pop, post-rock -- not to mention all the various metal subgenres that already exist. The Atlas Moth has taken this genre-mashing to extreme heights: The Chicago band's second full-length, An Ache for the Distance, sounds at first like prog metal, with soaring, swirling guitars. But then there's shrieking; epic, post-rock breakdowns; bluesy riffs; sludgy riffs; clean singing; atmospheric keyboard effects; even a free jazz moment. The band has earned comparisons to Isis and Pink Floyd, and in many ways is also in line with fellow Chicagoans and black-metal experimentalists Nachtmystium. But perhaps all you need to know is that Profound Lore Records released its album, which for many open-minded metal fans is all the endorsement needed. The Atlas Moth plays an early show with local heavyweights KowloonWalledCity and Pins of Light at the Hemlock Tavern (1131 Polk St., San Francisco) on Saturday, Nov. 19. 4 p.m., $6.

Kathleen Richards

Price: $5

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