In 2010, Steven Douglas Ross, a guitarist and vocalist, worked at a haunted house. There he met Blizzard at Sea’s original drummer. Together they found Jesse Cohen, a bassist and recorded their first EP, “Invariance.” Later that year, Pat Took joined the group to replace the original drummer.
The guys in Blizzard at Sea have been interested in metal since they can remember, specifically a lot of punk and progressive metal. But what they want to bring to the table with their music is creativity; something with staying power that is beyond what is played on the radio.
With that ideology in the backs of their minds, they dove into writing the music to their newest EP, “Individuation.”
Moving away from the conceptual style of their first album, “Individuation” focuses on the philosophy of technical singularity and the transformational process of an individual’s self awareness.
The music off the album isn’t the only thing that is impressive; the artwork also has been well planned and is thought provoking.
Ross used oil and paint on the album art. Because of the length of the songs and lyrical themes, images of space felt appropriate. He was inspired by the art of John Baizley of Baroness and using physical art rather than digitally created images.
Recently, Blizzard at Sea has been listening to an eclectic variety of genres, including 8-bit electronic, folk, and classic rock; trying not to let any particular set of genre conventions guide its style. Lyrically, band members draw inspiration from science fiction, theoretical physics, cosmology, literature and philosophy.
So, now that you know a little bit about the complex places the band draws its influence from, what can you actually expect at a live show?
Loud and heavy. Blizzard at Sea’s music is powerful and is beyond a form of communication for them, it’s a feeling and energy through the vibrations. It uses the stage and feeds off the crowd’s reaction. It thrives through the dynamic between the band and the audience.
Friday — or the Apocalypse as some would like to call it — is the release concert for “Individuation.” This is the first time the album will be played live in its entirety. Joining the band is Take Me Tick Tock from Madison and Mad Wheel Starfish from Des Moines.
This is not a show for the faint of heart. It is sure to stimulate your senses and even open your mind to new ideas and philosophies.
This article’s author Lauren Murphie’s band Caterwaulla will play its final show at another End of the World party Friday. CATERWACALYPSE meow! starts at 9 p.m. at Iowa City’s Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St. Old Man’s War will open. Performances also by Project Entrophy, Savage Hacks and Item 9 and the Mad Hatters.