No, that's not a giant back-scratcher in the album art: it's the Claw of Archimedes, a fabled ancient weapon for seaside defense. This kind of esoteric subject matter is at the heart of Lucius Fox's new EP, Red Giant—and on previous releases, the progressive-minded band has covered topics like a 20,000 year progression of the Great Lakes and the planets orbiting the dwarf star TRAPPIST-1, turning these odd, gigantic concepts into intricate instrumental music. To get a sense of their diverse sound, which weaves in everything from mathy post-metal to grindy sludge, here's the riff-packed "Claw of Archimedes," which, like its namesake, is an architectural marvel.

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There's no vocals on Red Giant or the band's other works, but they're not needed: the duo gets their point across with acute clarity. Often, that happens in strange, heavy ways that just click, genre disparity be damned. The Mastodon-ish riffs that start off "Claw of Archimedes" steer into the post-metal-leaning bridge mid-way through, and the song's crescendo, replete with increasingly frantic riffs and ascending, absurdly note-heavy bursts, escalates the tension in a vivid picture of nautical distress. Just like the three subjects the EP covers (which also include an ancient dinosaur and the future expansion of the Sun) combine in the nifty album art, the seemingly disparate elements of Lucius Fox's sound create a whole much larger than the parts.

Red Giant is the band's first EP in about 4 years, with a hefty amount of full-lengths in between. Impressively, no two of those works sound the same. I would argue this is perhaps their heaviest yet, and certainly the most compact expression of the heavy insanity the band has to offer. As such, it's both an ideal starting point for new listeners and a jumping-off point for whatever's next for Lucius Fox—like an ingenious, tightly-wound instrument of ancient war, they're poised to inflict some major damage.

From the band:

"Claw of Archimedes" was the first song that we locked in while writing the Red Giant EP. Early on in the pandemic, I was inspired by a reading from a science philosophy course I was taking that detailed the complete work of the philosopher Archimedes. Archimedes primarily spent his time in Syracuse working to understand the world around him as a scientist, but he also used his keen intellect to design a ship-sinking weapon called the "Claw of Archimedes". The claw was a large grappling hook that was fired from atop the city walls of Syracuse to grab enemy ships, lift them into the air and then drop them back down onto the water. The impact from the drop would sink the ships or shatter their hull upon impact. "Claw of Archimedes" begins with the pounding of the drums of war before evoking battle at sea with intersecting sections of heavy, adversarial riffs and emotive post-rock, ending in a splintered hull at the bottom of the Ionian Sea.

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Red Giant will be released independently on March 12th, 2021 via the band's Bandcamp page.