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Professor Black Makes “Every Second” Count

Professor Black

As a Chicagoan, it is pretty much understood that Chris Black rules all around these parts. I mean, we don’t call him Professor Black for nothing, right? Across his tenure as leader of The High Spirits, Superchrist, Dawnbringer, and more, it is obvious that the Professor has a deep, learned understanding of what makes music — especially metal — tick. However, what makes Chris Black especially unique is his versatility. As a session member of bands like Sculptured and Nachtmystium (there are more, of course), Professor Black left his mark on the world outside heavy metal. In short, the man is the most versatile member of the greater Chicago (if even wider, let’s be real) metal scene. He is truly a master of his craft.

In a new album featuring Circle (yes, the masters of Finnish oddity) founder Jussi Lehtisalo and American bassist extraordinarily Jason William Walton (Khorada, Especially Like Sloth, ex-Agalloch), Professor Black’s LVPVS leaves a new mark on the strange middle-ground between krautrock’s uniquely repetitive, sci-fi textures and metal’s heavy, riff-based nature. Listen to an exclusive premiere of “Every Second” below.

Securely wedged in the unique space between krautrock and metal (something which people other than session bandmate Lehtisalo rarely attempt), the Carpenter-meets-Lizzy sound aesthetic is immediate and unique. LVPVS itself is an anomaly, a smattering of repetitive classic metal riffs and spacey, 1970s horror movie keyboards. Known more for the more over the top nature of his oeuvre, Professor Black plays the true academic here. Stepping outside his perceived comfort zone, Black chooses to let this special music flow, and flow it does.

When paired with the notable experimentalists Lehtisalo and Walton (use this as an opportunity to check out Especially Like Sloth. Really.), Black’s kraut-metal dissertation runs wild. Hypnotic and rife with a growing energy, each second of LVPVS is a growing, back-of-the-throat scream waiting to be unleashed. Letting their freak flags wave high, Black, Lehtisalo, and Walton find a center in the disparate and set it free.

LVPVS will be released by High Roller Records (with two additional Professor Black records) on October 5th. Follow Professor Black on Bandcamp.

From the artist:

As far as LVPVS, I give a lot of credit to Jason and Jussi. I recorded the rhythm guitars and drums almost ten years ago, then more recently let the two of them run wild with it. I didn’t add much later on, just a melody here and there, and then I mixed it myself. Jussi and I of course have worked together in Aktor, and I’ve known Jason since the mid-90s. We did a lot of tape-trading and fanzine-making type stuff, and a little later we had an imaginary black metal band together. It’s cool we kept in touch and finally made some actual music together 20 years later.

professor black

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