Kickstand Productions Presents


Druids, Scumlord

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:00 pm


Chicago, IL


This event is 17 and over

Arriver (Dan MacAdam and Dan Sullivan on guitars, Rob Sullivan on bass and Joe Kaplan on drums, with the Sullivans and occasionally MacAdam sharing vocals) constructs sonic monuments to the tragic anti-heroes and inexorable inanimate forces of real and re-imagined history on its third full-length release Emeritus (2016). Arriver stands apart from its contemporaries in Chicago's burgeoning art/metal underground both in its remarkable sonic diversity and its unique conceptual focus, releasing what amounts to complete books in musical form. Emeritus chooses the Chernobyl event as the inflection point of its narrative.

The band's members draw direction from over two decades' creative experience together and apart, and the aftershocks of their earlier efforts can be heard now, from Rabid Rabbit's abstract doom, to the Butcher Shop Quartet's classical rigor, to the the post-hardcore velocity of Viza-Noir. By contrast, Arriver's most well known predecessor is all but inaudible: MacAdam and the brothers Sullivan figured prominently in the Chicago lineup of Songs: Ohia, and all three play on Jason Molina's seminal masterpiece, Magnolia Electric Co. (2005).

Emeritus declares allegiance and proclaims mastery of The Heavy Riff right out of the gates, and returns frequently to this anchor point. "Liquidators" presents a Zeni Geva-esque overlay of primal thud with textural spaciousness as it follows the doomed Chernobyl firefighters up the ladder; the only hint of what they faced in a tingling sensation and a metallic taste.

"The Demon Core" cuts away at great speed to witness the folly of human atomic carelessness in an intensely focused thrash led by the Dans' blistering guitars and Rob's larynx-shredding death metal roar. But the sudden shift mid-song to looping hypno-rock anchored in Kaplan's motorik pulse flips the table, to evoke Finnish kraut-metal tricksters Circle.

This transition is a sign of things to come, as the remainder of Emeritus overlays its plutonium core with heresy after heresy, exploding the sonic palette. "True Bypass" drops the album's most doom-laden moment amid a wall of 12-string chime as it recalls minute-by-minute the events of April 26th 1986, while "URSa" (the shortest track at a fleeting five minutes) drives inexorably forward in Loop-like throbbing repetition to set up the centerpiece "Emeritus: The Zone Of Exclusion". This 13-plus-minute epic-within-an-epic begins with a tumbling arpeggiated fugue, suddenly striking bottom at Emeritus' foundational, heaviest passage, an Obituary-esqe figure which is then subdivided and finally broken apart entirely. From there, the song proceeds through an episodic progression so aurally varied yet thematically focused as to recall Yes at their peak, to resolve once again, feet planted on stage monitors, in an ecstatic and unabashedly melodic closing statement.

Where Arriver's past recordings have presented robo-hallucinatory fiction (Vanlandingham and Zone) and footnoted historical essay (Tsushima), all their works share the objective of discovering hope amid hopelessness; from disaster, triumph. Emeritus as a whole and this closing track in particular present the bands re-telling of Chernobyl as magical realism. The despoliation of the land by man's folly is animistically reimagined as the moment of rebirth; establishing in a post-human landscape a new Eden, awash in the glow of the sundered atom's rays.

Arriver - Emeritus was recorded over a period stretching through 2015-2016 at Electrical Audio In Chicago with Greg Norman. The recording was mastered by Bob Weston.
We formed in September of 2008 due to boredom. What came was a rough outline of what we wanted to do...influenced by High on Fire, Coliseum and Isis, but progressing with each jam into something more our own each time. It's getting heavier, louder and more fun.
Venue Information:
2011 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL, 60647