Last September saw Snow Burial release their debut Prosthetic Records album called Ostrava, which maps where life’s beauty and terror collide.
With their roots deep in the vibrant core of Chicago’s heavy music scene, Snow Burial already have two EPs, one full length, Victory in Ruin, and a split tape with Aseethe under their belts. Mere moments after Victory In Ruin (2016) was unveiled writing for Ostrava commenced; and the resulting tracks were recorded in early 2019 at Electrical Audio, Chicago, with Shane Hochstetler at the helm.
Born from their defining experiences at home and on the road the unifying theme of Ostrava is one of duality – failure and triumph, celebration and mourning, isolation and family. The precarious balance of their lives are laid out across the nine tracks in Ostrava; the costs of glory given equal billing to meditative contemplation and blazing riffs. The complexities of modern life and politics weigh heavily and color the narrative of the album. The result is a compelling collection of songs that resonate universally, with equal parts grief and gratitude bundled up into digestible chunks of post-metal fury.
We asked the band about their influences, which you can read here:
Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind
This album is not only top-to-bottom crushing riffs, but it SOUNDS absolutely savage. It’s hard to believe that they’re musically a three piece at times. Every song sounds full and perfectly chaotic, but somehow clear. ‘Sadness Comes Home’ especially nails this highwire act by progressing through rock ‘n roll riffs and blast beats.
The record also somehow feels like the best concert you’ve ever attended. The songs all flow seamlessly into each other and never feel mechanical or perfect – they’re just tight as hell. The transition from ‘Sadness’ into ‘Empty on the Inside’ is wonderfully brutal with the musical stereo feedback layers and the intensity never wavers.
Refused – The Shape of Punk to Come
For starters, their wonderful hubris in just naming the record The Shape of Punk to Come cannot be topped. They were right, of course. The whole record is pure bombast and had a huge impact on both the hardcore/punk scene, but us as well. Every song has a level of creativity and freedom that was sorely missing at the time.
Russian Circles – Enter
Ben was lucky enough to catch Russian Circles back in early ’06 when they only had home-made demos and opened for Pelican at the Empty Bottle. During ‘Death Rides a Horse’ he started elbowing a friend (and drummer in his band at the time) and saying “HOLY SHIT DUDE. You gotta bust out some shit like this!”. He mouthed back “GO FUCK YOURSELF.” They 100% stole the show that night and all were humbled.
To this day this record slays and that song remains our favorite. We’re stoked every time they come out with a new record and nights like that one are part of what makes Chicago such an incredible place to play heavy music. Also, that pitchfork review of that show can go fuck itself. That night destroyed start-to-finish.