Since the release of their acclaimed 2011 debut album Vertical Mass Grave, the members of CZAR have been busy playing shows, swinging east for a short tour and writing their follow up album. The sudden passing of long time collaborator and producer Jamie Duffy this past summer put the band on hold for several months to mourn, reflect and memorialize this great asset to Chicago music.
But now, CZAR is back with a new album entitled "No One is Alone if No One is Alive. Again faithfully recorded and engineered by Matt Talbott (Hum) the new tracks head in a more brutal and thought-provoking direction.
Czar features members of Acumen Nation and DJ? Acucrack, stalwarts of Chicago's fabled industrial and electronic scenes. Indeed, Czar's precise rhythms and dark ambience point to these roots, but on Vertical Mass Grave the band detonated the limitations of any genre, opting instead for an anthemic, emotive sound that transcends time and place. Czar pilots freely across the musical map - parallels can be drawn to the machine-like punishment of Helmet or Gojira, the skyward majesty of Jesu or Mastodon, and even the damaged melodies of Failure - but the result is not chaos,
but a cathartic tapestry of seamlessly crafted songs, an absolute feast for the ears. The sound is warm and heavy, and begs to be cranked.
All 3 Czar releases are out on Cracknation, the label founded in 2002 by member Jason Novak. In addition to releasing music by Czar, Acumen Nation, and DJ? Acucrack, Cracknation has functioned as a production house, creating instrumental tracks for TV shows (True Blood, MTV Music Awards), original scores for videogames (Vogster Entertainment's Unbound Saga [PSP]), and remixes for the likes of KMFDM, Frontline Assembly, and Prong.
In spring 2012, CZAR supported the legendary KILLING JOKE for their North American dates. CZAR recently opened for ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead in Chicago, KMFDM, Rwake, Skindred, Gates of Slumber, Cancer Bats and Prong, with an April 2014 slot in Chicago with GODFLESH. Their shows feature a punishing trio delivering the goods amidst psychedlelic visuals.