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Metal and Moonscapes

The first time I went to a Ninth Moon Black concert it was 2009 and some crusty trainhopper-type tried to fight me for my sneakers. He was the doorman, and when I got past him into the raging house party, I found a legion of fans shoulder-to-shoulder in a dark basement, completely entranced by the gradual escalation of a dynamic and refined sound.

“We play post-rock psychedelic metal,” says drummer Kasey Marcusky. “It is sort of introspective.”

Though the idea of introspective metal music sounds oxymoronic, this is in fact what Ninth Moon Black has achieved. Founded in 2000, the band is a powerful mix of dark aesthetics, guitar thrashing and audio hypnosis. Not the type of hypnosis you’d encounter at a whomped-out dubstep show; it’s more like the internal soundtrack of a slow-motion car crash — in a good way. No one gets hurt, but time is slowed down and thoughts become amplified.

Aside from the novelty of Marcusky, who is distinctively alone in her role as a female drummer in Eugene’s almost entirely male-dominated metal scene, Ninth Moon Black is well-known for its visual accompaniaments. The band often projects silent films or cut-ups of cult classics behind them as they play — creepy and meditative films, like E. Elias Merhige’s Begotten

The next phase of Ninth Moon is about to show itself, as the group prepares to release its third album, Chronophage. “The title and concept of the album was inspired by John C. Taylor’s Corpus Clock and the Buddhist notion of Samsura,” says Marcusky. The band is also going to project cut-up scenes from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis at this upcoming gig.   

Ninth Moon Black’s album release show is 8 pm Saturday, May 19, at WOW Hall; $5.