Old Man Gloom

About Old Man Gloom

Old Man Gloom is an experimental sludge/doom supergroup founded by former Isis guitarist/vocalist Aaron Turner and featuring members of Converge, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, and Cave-Ins. Emerging in 2000 with the versatile Meditations in B, the band continued to develop their sound, which can veer from crushing metallic hardcore to ambient electronic drones in the blink of an eye, on ambitious efforts like the No (2012) and the multi-part The Ape of God (2014). Originally formed in New Mexico by guitarist/vocalist Turner and drummer Santos Montano, the Massachusetts-based group quickly became a force to be reckoned with in the Boston hardcore/metalcore scene. By the time of their first album, Meditations in B, the lineup had expanded to include Converge bassist Nate Newton (guitar, vocals) and Cave-Ins' Caleb Scofield (bass, vocals). Old Man Gloom play a mix of heavy hardcore/metalcore songs and quieter electronic/ambient drones, at times juxtaposing these two elements, while at others blending them together in the same space. Their lyrics and packaging make repeated references to primates -- apes, chimpanzees, etc. -- and also to science, research, and (de-)evolution (among their song titles are "An Evening at the Gentleman's Club for Apes" and "Test Result: Alien Ape Distress Signal"); the band also sometimes refers to itself as "the OMG Institute." These references tend to be pretty cryptic, and if anything, seem to reveal that there is a sense of humor behind the group's intense, doom-laden sound exterior. Meditations in B came out in 2000 on Turner's Tortuga Records imprint, a subsidiary of the larger Hydrahead label, which he also runs. It was followed a year later by two simultaneously released albums, Seminar II and Seminar III. A fifth member, Luke Scarola (electronics), came on board for the latter two records, and Seminar II also featured contributions from fellow Boston locals Steve Brodsky of Cave-Ins, who wrote lyrics for one song, and Agnostronic Blunt (aka Jay Randall of the grindcore band Agoraphobic Nosebleed) on electronics, further expanding the all-star cast. More rapid-fire releases followed, with the EP Christmas Eve 1 + 2 arriving in 2003, followed by the full-length Christmas in 2004. Their output slowed after that, and it would be eight years before the band emerged with a new album, unleashing their Kurt Ballou produced fifth album, No, in 2012. Working once again with Ballou, the band Profound Lore released the two-part Ape of God LP in 2014, which garnered significant critical acclaim. Tragedy struck in 2018 when bassist/vocalist Caleb Scofield was killed in a car accident in New Hampshire. Electing to continue in his honor, the band played a tribute show which saw Scofield's Cave-Ins bandmate Stephen Brodsky filling in, a position he took on in earnest with the releases of Seminar VIII: Light of Meaning and Seminar IX: Darkness of Being in 2020. ~ William York & James Christopher Monger

Santa Fe, NM, United States
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