JUCIFER

JUCIFER

BIO

Jucifer, founded in Georgia in 1993, are pioneers of the sludge / doom / death metal two piece. They are notorious for their use of massive amplification, and for their entirely nomadic lifestyle. The band has been nomadic for two thirds of its 24 year existence. 

Jucifer have stated that this homeless life was undertaken to facilitate playing "as many shows as we possibly can". Their endless tour typically covers 20 or more countries each year.  Jucifer literally has no "home base" having spent all year, every year on the road since moving into their tour vehicle 17 years ago.

Unlike heavy duos which use loops, backing tracks, or triggers to fill out their live sound, Jucifer relies on compositions designed to decimate with only real-time drums and distorted guitar.  And for sonic reinforcement, a wall of speakers that typically rises 10 feet high and sprawls 15 feet wide.

Jucifer's use of many different amps and cabinets to create a full-spectrum, full-body sound experience predates the 00's 'amp wall' trend.  As well as being originators of using stadium-appropriate amplification in clubs, Jucifer's rationale for their gear differs from later bands' approach.  Although Jucifer is renowned as one of the loudest bands in the world, both members have stated that volume is not their primary reason behind owning so much equipment, but rather a byproduct of their desire to be immersed in sound and of Valentine's method to create her ideal tone.  Guitarist Gazelle Amber Valentine has stated in interviews that she never turns her amps up all the way and that playing guitar through such a dynamic array of gear is "like building sound sculptures in the air".


Jucifer shows are known for being extremely heavy and loud, blending elements of sludge, black metal, doom, death metal, powerviolence, thrash, crust, grind, drone, and noise with occasional psychedelic passages. The band has expressed distaste for conforming to a genre but has sometimes called themselves "deathdrone" or "sludgethrashdoomgrind".  Confining description of Jucifer to a single genre would truly be misleading, as within their live show they incorporate aspects of almost every type of metal, and on albums have been known to veer from shoegaze to grindcore to doom and folk within one side of a single LP.

Live performances are ritual and cathartic. Valentine and drummer Edgar Livengood possess a rapt intensity and physical abandon as they play.  The drums are outsized and guitar is downtuned to various non-standard tunings, which lends an unexpectedly pleasing quality to the high volume employed. 

Jucifer's live sound has been compared to Celtic Frost, Melvins, Slayer, Black Sabbath, Necrophagia and Napalm Death, as well as bands of their own generation (Jesus Lizard, Darkthrone, Neurosis, Morbid Angel, Harvey Milk, Electric Wizard, Eyehategod, Acid King) and younger groups Lightning Bolt and Sunn0))).  Because of their knack for odd compositions and onstage improvisation, some have also likened Jucifer shows to the work of Miles Davis and John Zorn.

Jucifer have performed steadily and released albums through the 90's and 00's on both major and indie labels as well as founding their own Nomadic Fortress label in 2010, distributed by Relapse. Their most recent releases are the two historical concept albums 'District of Dystopia' and 'за волгой для нас земли нет'.


RECENT DISCOGRAPHY AND TOUR HIGHLIGHTS


Jucifer's albums are impressively diverse, though often perversely non-representative of their core sound. 2010's 'Throned In Blood' album was the first full length to draw almost entirely from this core, but its sparse production (planned to sound "old school" according to the band) fails to do justice to their massive tones live.

In October 2011 the 1994 EP 'Nadir' was remastered by Scott Hull (Pig Destroyer, Agoraphobic Nosebleed) and released for digital download by Grindcore Karaoke, J. Randall of Agoraphobic Nosebleed digital-only label.  LP version of 'Nadir' was released in October 2012 by Mutants of the Monster, a label collaboration between Rwake's Christopher 'C.T.' Terry and Canadian filmmaker David Hall,

July 17, 2013 saw the release of Jucifer's eighth studio album 'за волгой для нас земли нет'. A second CD pressing was issued in November 2013.   The album, conceptualized around the history of Russian city Volgograd (former Stalingrad) better represents the depth and vast feel of Valentine's live guitar tone than its predecessor Throned in Blood.

Gatefold double LP of 'за волгой для нас земли нет' was also released in November via Alternative Tentacles.

'за волгой для нас земли нет' made several "best of 2013" lists including iTunes, NPR Music, and artist lists by members of Fuck The Facts, SubRosa and Deafheaven.

Throughout 2013 Jucifer's "Twenty Years Slaying Ears" tour traversed 32 countries across North America, Europe, Russia, and Scandinavia.

Jucifer's endless tour continued with U.S. dates in 2014 as well as a mainstage appearance at England's Temples Festival in May alongside Neurosis, Brutal Truth, Electric Wizard, Clutch and Gehenna.

In December of 2014, Jucifer released their ninth album 'District of Dystopia'.  As with all of Jucifer's recordings, 'District of Dystopia' is built on a theme.  It is a concept album wherein each song is inspired by historical Acts of Congress or Executive Orders which were enacted around controversial topics.  For liner notes, guitarist / vocalist Valentine wrote a series of essays explaining the subject matter, which are available as limited edition posters.

Unlike any previous Jucifer record, 'District of Dystopia' is heavily focused on a grindcore sound.  Long time fans will not be startled, as Jucifer has always incorporated grind into their shows and at times in small doses on their albums.  'District of Dystopia' seems like a logical step for a band which has only in later years prioritized documenting its live fury on record.  Decibel described the album as "a full-scale assault on the very institution of democracy" and About Heavy Metal called it "almost infectious, in a sinister manner".  Both members' performance on this pared-down recording, engineered themselves on four track in their Winnebago, reveals a prowess not as easily noticed on some of their slower tempo or more lushly produced studio work.
 

Early 2015 saw Jucifer traversing the West and Midwest United States. In July the band joined Black Cobra on an extensive Australia tour dubbed "Twins of Evil".

A split 7" with Japan's Sete Star Sept was released in July via French label Witch Bukkake,  LP version of Jucifer's last album District of Dystopia was released in October 2015 courtesy of Alternative Tentacles

In summer Jucifer began work on their next full length as well as recording for several side projects and a biopic, then toured in North America through early 2016 followed by a massive 27-country tour of Europe, UK and Russia from March through July.   Festivals included Destroy the Humanity Fest (Moscow), Roadburn (Netherlands), SWR Barroselas Metalfest (Portugal), and Temples Festival (England).

August 2016 saw Jucifer back to the states for Psycho Las Vegas Festival, followed by their 'Autumn Destruction' US tour.  In November, guitarist/vocalist and historical liner notes author Gazelle Amber Valentine had a new essay published as part of the anthology 'Spirits of Place' (Daily Grail) alongside veteran writers Alan Moore and Warren Ellis.

As 2017 begins, more US dates are in the chamber for 'Spring Savaging' and another lengthy European tour will bridge summer and winter.