There have been plenty of artists that have succeeded in introducing experimental ideas and sounds into more mainstream genres, and the most successful attempts have been made by musicians playing metal. The drones that blur underneath black metal songs and the off-kilter time signatures that mark many technical metal bands, for example, are easily adaptable for experimental models.
One local group that is embracing those concepts best are a duo known as Taurus. I was introduced to them last night as one of the opening acts for black metal heroes Agalloch (who themselves add an experimental edge to their epic-length songs). It was striking enough to find an all-female group playing heavy music (other opener Eight Bells is also fronted by two women), but to have them introducing repetitive vocal samples and long drones into their sludgy attack felt startling.
As you’ll hear from this track, taken from the group’s LP Life, guitarist/vocalist Stevie Floyd leads the charge with piercing feedback and growling vocals, with drummer Ashley Spungin keeping her only slightly in check. You almost want them to fly off the rails, but their path remains steady and balanced and absolutely brutal.