by Black Bubblegum

Amber Asylum (photo by Taija Lynn)

Neurosis. Weakling. Noothgrush. Graves At Sea. Saros. Swans. Ludicra. Members of some seriously heavy bands have contributed to the Bay Area beast known as Amber Asylum. But towering stacks and bowel-shaking riffs aren't at the root of their heaviness, it's a much deeper source that draws from chamber music, post-rock, dark ambient, and the avant-garde.

Amber Asylum is the brainchild of Kris T. Force, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and collaborator with Neurosis, Matmos, Swans, and many many others. Over the years, AA has featured a revolving door of collaborators (including Steve Von Till and John Cobbett). For their new album, Force collaborated with Leila Abdul-Rauf (Saros, Bastard Noise), Jackie-Perez Gratz (Giant Squid, Grayceon), Eric Wood (Bastard Noise), and Chiyo Nukaga (Noothgrush, Graves at Sea), in addition to guests Sigrid Sheie (Hammers of Misfortune) and Jarboe. Amber Asylum's new album, Bitter River, is out now at the Profound Lore site (and coupled with the new Saros for a discount), but the band has dropped off a pair of tracks from their upcoming LP for download above.

With a rap sheet like that, you can bet that Amber Asylum's collaborators are busy with their other projects.

Giant Squid and Grayceon are hitting the eastern shores this August, and have lined up a date at Union Pool on August 12th with the mighty Hull (who recently dropped Sole Lord). Full tour dates are below. Giant Squid's new Matt Bayles (Minus The Bear, Mastodon) produced effort, The Ichthyologist, is out now independently. Pick it up through the band, and download one of those tracks above.

As we discussed back in November, Saros recently released their new album Acrid Plains via Profound Lore (get that here) and have a few dates lined up of the west coast including one with Yob (who released a new song and has a record coming). Full tour dates are below, download "Reversion" from Acrid Plains above.

Tour dates for Saros and Giant Squid, as well as Amber Asylum and Giant Squid videos are below...

Amber Asylum LIVE @ Gilman, 11/8/08, Pts 1- 3

Giant Squid- "La Brea Tar Pits" LIVE @ Gilman 4/19/09

Giant Squid- "Blue Linckia" LIVE @ Gilman 4/19/09

Jun 13 2009 Annie's Social Club w/ INSANITY - ELK - TARRAKIAN San Francisco, California
Jun 27 2009 Slims w/ YOB (reunion show) - Will Haven San Francisco, California

Jun 26 2009 The Phoenix Theater, Petaluma, California*
Jun 27 2009 Cafe Coda Chico, California**
Jul 30 2009 Thee Parkside San Francisco, California***
Jul 31 2009 Old Ironsides Sacramento, California^
Aug 1 2009 Rotture Portland, Oregon^^
Aug 2 2009 Gusto's Boise, Idaho^^^
Aug 3 2009 Burt's Tiki Lounge Salt Lake City, Utah $
Aug 4 2009 Bar Bar Denver, Colorado$$
Aug 5 2009 O'Leavers Omaha, Nebraska $$$
Aug 6 2009 The Aquarium w/ Grayceon, Sleeping In Gethsemane Fargo, North Dakota$$$
Aug 7 2009 U.S. Tour Minneapolis, Minnesota$$$
Aug 8 2009 U.S. Tour Chicago, Illinois$$$
Aug 9 2009 Mac's Bar Lansing, Michigan$$$
Aug 10 2009 Howlers Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania$$$
Aug 12 2009 Union Pool Brooklyn, New York%
Aug 13 2009 Machines With Magnets Providence, Rhode Island$$$
Aug 14 2009 U.S. Tour Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$$$
Aug 15 2009 U.S. Tour Chapel Hill, North Carolina$$$
Aug 16 2009 U.S. Tour Athens, Georgia
Aug 17 2009 U.S. Tour Birmingham, Alabama
Aug 18 2009 U.S. Tour New Orleans, Louisiana
Aug 19 2009 U.S. Tour Little Rock, Arkansas
Aug 20 2009 U.S. Tour Lawrence, Kansas
Aug 21 2009 U.S. Tour Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Aug 22 2009 Red 7 Austin, Texas
* w/ Slough Feg, Cormorant, Helms Alee, La Fin Du Monde%%
** W/ La Fin Du Monde, Helms Alee
*** w/ Black Cobra, Grayceon, Cormorant
^ w/ Grayceon, Them Hills, Young Aundee
^^ w/ Thrones, Grayceon, Sedan
^^^ w/ Grayceon, Pussygut
$ w/ Grayceon, Nine Worlds, Eagle Twin
$$ w/ Grayceon, Kingdom of Magic
$$$ w/ Grayceon
% W/ Grayceon, Hull
%% w/ Lions Of Tsavo, Watching The Moon

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