Brooklyn's rootsy progressive metal collective Family has been wowing audiences since 2011 with its unique and earnest blend of classic rock meets modern heaviness, alongside a healthy dose of behind-the-beat New Orleans groove and progressive rhythmic patterns. The dynamics and musicality of organic groups such as Led Zeppelin, Tool, Mastodon, Baroness, and Torche come to mind in comparison, but it is apparent from the first note that Family's fiercely original style is very much its own.
In a time when so many cookie-cutter replicas, rehashings of the past, and gimmicky niche bands run rampant, Family strives to forge an autonomous identity that earns its place on a list of the classic greats. The brainchild of musician/filmmaker/MetalSucks writer/native Manhattanite turned Brooklynite Steven Gordon, Family has embraced an amorphous collective approach, enduring lineup shifts that have continuously evolved the band's sound. Throughout the process, previous members have maintained involvement, contributing to live performances and forming offshoot bands together.
Family's electrifying debut Portrait, a concept album about a dysfunctional family that develops supernatural powers, was released in 2012 on Robin Staps' (The Ocean) label Pelagic Records (Cult of Luna, Mono, The Ocean). Portrait was produced by bandleader Gordon, engineered and mixed by Justin Mantooth at Translator Audio (Unsane, Cave In), and mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music (Mastodon, Baroness, Torche).
The same production team has reunited for Future History – Family's new album and first collaboration with Prosthetic Records – which features compositions and interludes performed by Gordon on guitar/keyboards/percussion/vocals, Kurt Applegate (Beast Modulus, Last Hours) on bass/vocals, Joshua Lozano (Fashion Week, Cobalt, Jarboe) on guitar/harmonica/upright bass/vocals, and Jody Smith (Beast Modulus) on drums/percussion.
The distinctly cinematic vibe of Future History is directly related to its creative process: lyrics and themes throughout are based on a screenplay about the evolution of the human race that Gordon and Michael Arginsky devised when the two were classmates at Boston University's film school. Future History also features guest vocals from David Castillo (Primitive Weapons, White Widows Pact, booker at Brooklyn's Saint Vitus Bar), Jesse James Madre (Tiger Flowers), and Mike Keller (Meek Is Murder).