Urizen at Magfest

by Joseph Baldovin

Magfest hosted over 23 major bands, performing on 2 alternating stages and seen by over 5000 devoted fans over the course of 3 days.  This of coursing not even daring to count the countless chip performers, djs, roving musicians and every other musical phenomena that occurred over the 72 hours in a rather spacious, but still confined space.

I’m bothering to throw all of these numbers your way for people to get the proper sense of distinction from me saying that Urizen stood out among this sea of beeping blips thanks to a insanely dedicated showing of theater and performance.  A uniquely boisterous act bottled up safely between a never-ending line of big name hits in direct conjunction to their bar-none showmanship.

Urizen is a Texas born band around 2005 that’s made its fair share around the US riding off tours with numerous other nerd-centric star talent like The Protomen and Dr. Awkward.  Framed by two brothers with Rustin Luther on bass, Urizen made their namesake with a stage show more akin to the Blue Man Group with a serious shredding addiction than a traditional symphonic metal band.  

You could describe the band simply as metal-rock performers but you’d be hard-pressed to ever pick up on that with such a wide range of influences evident in their music that originate from outside the US; the hard crushing tones of industrial and European techno pop mixed with a slew of UK reminiscent early rock vocal tones.  Urizen’s single, “Boxmakers” comes off more Final Countown then any native Texas noise, throwing slow building grunge and mechanical intros alongside near screaming bridges and a chorus that grabs you till the end.  Cascading piano pieces drop down against the rhythm into soft and somber vocals before frantically climbing into a yell of instrumental nonsense.  

There is something both bizarre and wholesome to witness an ongoing plot of Albert Einstein attempting to destroy a band through legal forms with said band thwarting his plans and winning the day with a hydraulic toilet paper gun.  But then it’s the sort of show you come to expect from this quirky, moody hits-hard Midwest band. Their stage presence is like an internet rendition of Devo where they combine this early Industrial Sci-Fi motif with action pieces involving robots, time travel and muscly men beating up nerds.  

A worse off band would devolve into anarchy, which while fun to watch like a car wreck, also burns down the cohesion between band members quickly, yet they’ve survived for more than 10 years and have managed to put out 6 albums in that time.  They just finished off a month long tour inside the US with their Magfest performance a proper sendoff to its end and the only proper hope right now is that we don’t need to wait much longer for some new material to surface from Urizen.

You can see more about the band at their website; http://www.urizenonline.com/ and follow them on social media on their Twitter @UrizenOnline