OHPEN AHRMS: MetalSucks Premieres Lying Beside You From Chicago Progressive/Post-Rock Outfit; Debut To See Release This Friday

Photo by Quinn Curren

MetalSucks is currently streaming Lying Beside You, the debut full-length from Chicago’s OHPEN AHRMS, in its entirety. The premiere comes on the eve of the record’s official release this Friday, March 15th.

OHPEN AHRMS worships at the altar of heavy progressive rock and 1980s/’90s album-oriented rock romanticisms. Songs inspired by canonical riffing and post-rock noise feature winding layers of guitars, synths, and vocal harmonies that emerge through a landscape of metal, arena-rock, and shoegaze influences. Both the band’s moniker, OHPEN AHRMS, and their debut album, Lying Beside You, are in reference to Escape, the classic 1981 Journey album. Lying Beside You was driven by post-pandemic exploration in 2021, as Alan Strathmann (guitar/vocals/synths) and Quinn Curren (drums/percussion) – both of Chicago’s purveyors of melodic doomgaze Starless – began fleshing out songs with Sam Ross (guitar/vocals), and later recruited Sheldon Kessel (keys/organ) and Andy Wulf (bass) to arrive at a lineup.

Thematically, OHPEN AHRMS sings about morality, trauma, spirituality, and mental well-being, examining from their corner of the world, times complicated by tension and conflict. The lyrics look with melancholy at the futility of grand and ill-informed action. A parable, and a warning: we may never be able to look at things with shared clarity or belief; we are woefully unprepared to deal with the universe, or – despite our best efforts – witness anything but our own guaranteed destruction.

Observes MetalSucks, “If you read the band name OHPEN AHRMS and the album’s title, you may be thinking ‘hey, wait a minute — is that a Journey reference?’ And you’d be right. These guys are apparently fans of Journey’s 1981 classic album Escape and both the band name and the album title are direct nods to the saccharine, yet insanely popular love song, ‘Open Arms.’ And while you can certainly hear the progressive rock and some metal in their music, there’s definitely an air of shoegaze to add a extra something, something to the mix… What stands out in the music below is how big it all sounds. Each member… comes together to add to the sonic goulash that’s sweet and heavy at parts without ever getting so bitter to give Jeppson’s Malört a run for its money.”

Stream OHPEN AHRMS’ Lying Beside You, exclusively at MetalSucks, HERE.

Lying Beside You was recorded throughout 2021-2023 at Narwhal Studios and Hypercube Studios and engineered by Sanford Parker. The record includes guest contributions from Ian Richter (bass), Evan Dale (bass), and Jennifer Lee Dumont (flute and sax).

Lying Beside You will be released independently on CD and digitally through all streaming services on March 15th. Find preorders HERE.

OHPEN AHRMS are Journey if they lived long enough to see themselves become the villain. Sitting somewhere between heavy progressive rock and shoegaze, OHPEN AHRMS harken to a golden age of theatrical rock and iconic riffs, complete with anthemic power and imagery of grand destruction.” – Everything Is Noise