California-based psychedelic prog metallers OWL will release their third full-length, Geomancy, February 17th via Lummox Records today unveiling the record’s artwork, track listing, and latest single.
OWL was forged in 2007 in the infernos of proto-metal, twin harmonies, and doom. By 2010, an album’s worth of minimal demo(nic) riffage and draconian indulgence surfaced in Jackson, California, propagated by brothers Axell Baechle (guitars, vocals, piano) and Alexander (A.K.) Baechle (guitars, vocals) and piqued the interest of industrious local artist, drummer, and yes, third brother, Clint Baechle. OWL played their first show at a barbecue in the proving ground of Oakland’s then house scene.
Somehow it all clicked. DIY funds materialized from hard work and dedication and their self-titled LP followed in November 2012, as principal songwriter A.K. sweated out the resins of literature, the Bush years, and job loss. OWL toured for more than two years before releasing the full-length road-bomber Screech on tape in 2014 and vinyl in 2015. Original bassist Melanie Burkett eventually fled the band amicably to pursue endeavors outside of music.
Enter Jamie Sanitate, the ultimate Iron Maiden fan. Sanitate’s athletic, NWOBHM-influenced bass playing buoyed OWL through a period of intermittent touring while the band grappled with new ideas. Finally in 2018, “Awaken The Mountain” was released as a single, highlighting the band’s heavy-prog interests and the Pompeii-inspired songwriting of guitar animal, Axell. A true prog metal epic and cautionary tale of dwelling too close to volatile geologic formations, the track offered up a small taste of what would follow.
OWL’s ambitious Geomancy long player enhances baroque elements of guitar composition while maintaining a defiant, barbed-wire anti-sociality. Ten-minute sagas erupt from inspirations bestial as cougar maulings, odes to Earth’s continued viability rend consciousness in humanistic terms, and trenchant dual guitar leads echo Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Thin Lizzy, and King Crimson.
Geomancy was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Justin Weis at Trackworx (Hammers Of Misfortune, Swamp Witch, Orthodox) and comes swathed in the cover art of Chris Corona. In advance of the record’s release, today the band unveils new single, “Minion Of The Amethyst Cave.”
Issues Axell of the track, “‘Minion Of The Amethyst Cave’ started from the name: an epic and whimsical quip from drummer Clint at OWL‘s second practice in 2008. Much later, fractured riffs from over the years and some new ones were fit to bear the name. It began as a tale of being trapped in cavernous dungeons as an allegory lover’s lament, but it seemed too hollow for the music. Two books, The Flight Of The Nez Perce and Touch The Earth, were huge influences on me at the time, and I instead steered the song to tell of the American Indian’s brutal confinement to reservations and the loss of their way of life; how they are cut off from the beauty and prosperity of their tribal homelands, while being surrounded by it. The final line of the song is a quote from Harold Cardinal addressing the Canadian government, ‘If we surrender, we die.’”
Stream OWL’s “Minion Of The Amethyst Cave” at THIS LOCATION.
Geomancy will be released on 2xLP and digital formats. Find preorders HERE.
Geomancy Track Listing:
1. Awaken The Mountain
3. Pyramid Builder
5. Minion Of The Amethyst Cave
6. Jupiterian Ocean
7. Ghost Lanes
8. Runes Reprise
9. A King For Every Mountain
10. Floating Island
11. Shadow Of Ehecatl
12. La Luz Compartida
Axell Baechle – guitars, vocals, piano
Alexander (A.K.) Baechle – guitars, vocals
Clint Baechle – drums, percussion
Jamie Sanitate – bass guitar
Danika Ingraham – backing vocals
Keenah Fassett – backing vocals
Laurie Sue Shanaman – backing vocals on “King”
Hailey Chase – backing vocals and percussion on “Shadow”
Xaina – backing vocals and percussion on “Shadow”