Take a listen to Antarticus’ album—you almost won’t believe it was released this year. The prog-rock record is packed with extended solos, synthesizers and sci-fi/fantasy themes. As if that’s not old-school enough, it’s also being released on vinyl.
“I think it makes sense for our style and mentality,” said bassist, keyboardist and vocalist Mack Smith. “It’s more of a personal, nostalgic choice, but we feel that fans of our music will appreciate having it on vinyl.”
On March 23, Antarticus will be putting on a special show at the Elks Lodge, where fans can get their hands on the physical album for the first time. Though the album is already up on online streaming platforms and will see a CD release as well, the desire to have vinyl records manufactured was shared by the whole group.
“We just wanted to have a real deal 180g vinyl physical copy you can hold in your hands that’s just as good as what any other band or label would release,” said guitarist and vocalist Addam Parsons. “Plus (Heavy Metal North artist) Chris Caldwell did such a great job on the album art, it deserves to be shown off as an LP!”
Rounded out by drummer Dustin Parsons (Addam’s twin), Antarticus has been gigging on Whitehorse’s local circuit since 2017. All three members had been playing in various bands for over a decade beforehand.
“We played a lot of shows together and always talked about music gear and our love of Rush,” said Smith.
The three musicians were involved in doom quartet Flora Colossus for some time before branching off.
“We all kind of lost interest as Flora Colossus started to fade away so I brought forward some different songs that I had been working on in my spare time and we formed Antarticus.”
While Antarticus has an impressive list of live performances under its belt already, including a main stage spot at the 2017 Atlin Arts & Music Festival, with a record now out, the band is garnering more attention.
“We’ve been getting more interest than I initially expected,” said Parsons. “Folks all over the world have been reaching out and telling us they really enjoyed the record or have been playing it on their podcasts and radio stations. So hopefully it can keep building momentum one fan at a time.”
With a strong musical chemistry, Smith and the Parsons twins were able to collaboratively create songs that showed their influences, but still took off in their own directions. While the album’s musical elements were inspired by a variety of decades-old bands including Rush and Black Sabbath, the lyrics revolve around themes and imagery from books and movies, such as Bladerunner, Heavy Metal and Dune.
“We get along musically quite well,” said Parsons. “It’s a blessing that we can work off each other and develop ideas without much arguing or struggling.”
Antarticus’ album was recorded at Green Needle Records with sound engineer Jim Holland. It was co-produced and mixed by Holland and Smith, and mastered by Craig Waddell. The band released it themselves on their own label, Stoneburner Records. So far, the music has been featured on podcasts in Poland, Germany and the U.K. It has received positive critical reception. Vinyl copies can be pre-ordered on Bandcamp now.
The album’s vinyl release party will take place on Saturday, March 23 at the Elks Lodge. The doors open at 7 p.m. The all-ages show is also a licensed event, so ID is required to get a liquor wristband for the cash-only bar.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at Triple J’s Music Café , or at the door at an increased cost. The show will feature an opening set by local rockers Abscess of the Dog.
To see more information and read a review of the album, head over to Antarticus’ Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Antarticus.