"An unforgettable soundtrack to a tumble toward the abyss."Chicago's Rezn cut their psych-doom with shoegaze, sludge, prog and post-metal on new album Burden

Shelved for three years, Burden has finally been dusted off and released, showing a bold new vision for Chicago psych-doomers Rezn

Rezn press pic 2024
(Image: © Press/Sargent House)

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After blazing a trail in the underground with four self-released albums, these once-fiercely DIY psychedelic doomsters have joined forces with Sargent House to help forge their next chapter. Born alongside previous album Solace three years ago in a studio in Illinois and then promptly put on the shelf, Burden is an altogether different beast compared to its brother. 

While their fourth album, which was sent out into the wild last year, was an ethereal, sometimes euphoric listen, their latest LP is a murkier, heavier and more menacing experience that sees them turn the amps up to the proverbial 11 and sound all the better for it. 

Lean in length but loaded with ideas, the seven-track album explores themes of delirium, claustrophobia and misery, and the Chicago quartet fortify their celestial and cinematic doom with elements of shoegaze, sludge, prog and post-metal. 

Built around singer/guitarist Rob McWilliams’ dream-like angelic vocals and nightmarish riffs, which have been summoned up from somewhere south of heaven, the likes of the hypnotic and hook-laden Instinct and Middle Eastern-inspired space rocker Bleak Patterns really impress. 

Synth, sax and flute player Spencer Ouellette sits on the subs bench for most of the record due to Rezn’s more primal and direct approach, but when he does appear, he delivers some stellar performances – especially on the Pink Floyd-flavoured, slow-burning fever dream of Soft Prey, which boasts some soulful soloing. 

Album standout Chasm closes proceedings in jawdropping style. Featuring chugging riffs, spine-chilling white noise and a dizzying guitar solo from Russian Circles’ Mike Sullivan, its depiction of the final phase of an existential descent is an unforgettable soundtrack to a tumble toward the abyss. Bleak and abrasive, Burden signals a bold and brilliant new era for the band.

Burden is out June 14 via Sargent House.

REZN - Chasm (Official Video) - YouTube REZN - Chasm (Official Video) - YouTube
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