It’s been pretty amazing to witness the evolution of A Pregnant Light. The one-man project from Grand Rapids, MI, began its life in 2011 as a post-black metal act in America’s vast, loosely connected cassette-trading underground. Back then, the band’s auteur was a shadowy figure who wouldn’t reveal his identity — he went by the handle Deathless Maranatha, and he ran the DIY label Colloquial Sound Recordings, a collective whose equally anonymous associated members included bands like Aksumite, Bound Bible, and This Station Of Life. The man called Deathless Maranatha played in all those bands, too: In Aksumite, he was credited as Dukula Menelek; in Bound Bible, he went by D; in This Station Of Life, he was credited as Master. At some point over the last couple years, he decided to reveal himself further, identifying himself as Damian Master and establishing a consistently hilarious Twitter presence where he shares selfies, incisive critiques of pop culture, and random thoughts that are both self-aggrandizing and self-aware — for example:
Ask yourself, who has the best and most consistent melodies? And sickest riffs? Anyone that's not me, sit your ass down.
— DAMIANMASTER (@DAMIANMASTER) October 4, 2014
He’s not wrong! APL have been a hook factory since Day 1, and as Master’s public persona has evolved, so too has his music. Master has always referred to A Pregnant Light as purveyors of “purple metal”: That’s his coinage, and Stereogum/Black Market contributor Wyatt Marshall defined it aptly last year: “It’s a genre tag that seems to nail APL’s gutsy, contemplative, shape-shifting, and lo-fi sound, and is just quirky enough to show a little leg.” For the most part, that still fits: Purple, of course, allows for countless hues and degrees warmer than black; I’m not sure, however, APL’s new stuff is really “metal” anymore. There’s metal in there, no question, but there are so many additional ingredients that I can’t quite define a base. Hardcore, shoegaze, pop, noise, post-rock, indie-rock, alt-rock … maybe this is just another shade of purple, and maybe that should come as no surprise from a guy who burst out the gate covering Madonna’s “Live To Tell.” APL has released 13 records — EPs, splits, etc. — since 2011, but next month, the band will drop its first full-length. The album is called My Game Doesn’t Have A Name, and on its sleeve (which you can see above) is a glamour shot of Master stunting like a young Mike Ness. None of that is black metal at all! But that’s by no means a bad thing: Master is taking APL somewhere else altogether. We’ve got the first single from My Game Doesn’t Have A Name for you to hear today. It’s called “Fresh Flower Offering (Purple Night),” and it’s fantastic. Listen.
My Game Doesn’t Have A Name is out 11/11 via Colloquial Sound.