Chicago-based ethereal heavy psych outfit REZN will release their monolithic fourth full-length, Solace, on March 8th.
For the uninitiated, the music churned out by Chicago quartet REZN manages to convey both crushing mass and cosmic weightlessness. The seed for the band’s megaton riffs and psychedelic journeys was planted when guitarist Rob McWilliams and bassist Phil Cangelosi began jamming together at age twelve in the DC commuter town of Leesburg, Virginia. They relocated to Chicago in 2015, recruited local sound engineer Patrick Dunn to bash on the drums, and, after playing just three shows together, set about recording their debut album — the molten amp worship service, Let It Burn. They invited their friend Spencer Ouellette into the studio to round out their bottom-heavy sound with the hum-and-squall of modular synth, and the added textural component immediately became a key facet to their sound.
The band’s 2018 sophomore album Calm Black Water created an aqueous atmosphere of molasses-thick guitar-and-bass punishments with soaring minor key vocal melodies, but Ouellette further pushed the dreamscape envelope by supplementing the synth duties with blissed out saxophone passages. REZN’s 2020 offering Chaotic Divine continued their melding of gargantuan heaviness and lysergic calm, as well as the band’s penchant for tying the music to a new visual landscape. Here it became apparent that their use of saxophone was more than just a cameo, letting the instrument’s richness shine confidently in the spotlight throughout the record. It’s yet another device in REZN’s sonic arsenal that makes classifying their sound into a genre even more challenging.
With Solace, REZN once again blurs the boundaries of their psych and doom labels by exploring more delicate and introspective emotions in the lyrics and instrumentation, using the feeling of empty space to build into towering moments of maximalist density. The appearance of piano, flute, and acoustic guitar are intricately woven throughout the record, and their dynamic range seems expanded even at the heavy end with odd time signatures and thicker, more colossal walls of sound built by the rhythm section.
“This was the first time we were able to immerse ourselves 24/7 in the studio,” says guitarist and vocalist Rob McWilliams, “and it was essential in giving us the headspace to take risks with the songs. After a week straight of recording for twelve+ hours every day, you start to go crazy in a good way. We wanted it to push us into new territories musically, but also transform the record into something much bigger than what we initially envisioned.”
In advance of the release of Solace, the band has unveiled their first single, “Possession,” now playing at THIS LOCATION.
REZN’s Solace was recorded in July of 2021 at Earth Analog in Tolono, Illinois, engineered, mixed, produced, and reduced by Matt Russell, and mastered by Zach Weeks at God City Studio in Salem, Massachusetts.
Solace — which features cover art by Adam Burke/Nightjar Illustration — will be available on March 8th on vinyl, CD, and digital formats. Find ordering info at the REZN Bandcamp page HERE as well as the band’s website HERE.
Solace Track Listing:
- Allured By Feverish Visions
- Faded And Fleeting
- Webbed Roots
“Over the past few years, they’ve released a couple of more-than-solid records that marry familiar stoner riffing with heady, thoughtful exploration… they blanket their intrinsic heaviness and darkly mystical lyrics in calming cosmic atmospheres.” – Chicago Reader
“There is a plethora of doom, stoner, and psychedelic music out there to which REZN‘s mellow, atmospheric sound compares. But the band has an extra element that pushes their music to more gripping, emotionally satisfying territory, setting them apart from many other bands in these three genres that are simply cycling through the motions with the usual fuzz, riffs, and occasional atmospheric interludes.” – Invisible Oranges
“Of molten intent and cross-subgenre execution, REZN offers a psychedelthickness that seems to be as much a sign of things to come as of its moment.” – The Obelisk
Rob McWilliams – guitar, vocals
Phil Cangelosi – bass, rainstick
Patrick Dunn – drums, percussion
Spencer Ouellette – sax, synth, piano, flute
Marie Davidson – spoken word on “Webbed Roots”