Scattered between the sleepy city of Peoria and metropolis of Chicago, Illinois, and drawing inspiration from a remote Belarusian city that has been burned to the ground only to be rebuilt like a phoenix rising from its own ashes, MINSK is an enigmatic collection of opposites. The music is at once modern, organic, and other-worldly; songs are stirring sonic journeys channeling the rhythms of the earth and the resonance of the human voice with the synthetic sounds of machines, amplifiers, chaos, and effects. Founded in Peoria in 2002, Minsk has been cultivating sonic exploration and deeply spiritual and emotional outpourings since its inception. The early years were furtive; harboring a locally produced demo (enitled 'Burning'), a West Coast tour, an appearance at the inaugural Templars of Doom Festival in 2004, and a contribution to a Peoria-themed compilation, If It Plays.
In early '05, while recording it's first full length ('Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive') at Volume Studios, the band's producer Sanford Parker (PELICAN, UNEARTHLY TRANCE, RWAKE) joined on bass guitar, and the final lineup fell into place. Out of a Center was released later that year on At A Loss. 2006 saw the band touring from coast to coast in support of Out of a Center performing with acts as diverse and inspiring as BRUTAL TRUTH, HIGH ON FIRE, BORIS, SUNN O))), TORCHE, PIG DESTROYER, RWAKE, ASSCHAPEL, and BARONESS. Overwhelming press in the likes of Kerrang, Decibel, The Village Voice, Punk Planet, coupled with the band's work ethic and ground-shaking live shows generated an excitement that carried over into SXSW 2006 and the Emissions from the Monolith Festival. By mid-year, MINSK signed with Relapse, and the sophomore full length was underway.
The summer and fall found the band pouring over new material and hammering out their Relapse debut, The Ritual Fires of Abandonment at Volume Stduios once again w/ Parker at the helm. Transcending the current crop of heavy music imitators, The Ritual Fires of Abandonment bleeds MINSK's tribal convictions with an atmosphere of total psychedelic delirium. Hypnotic percussion thunders beneath thickly layered guitars as synths and samples provide a backdrop for searing melodies and deeply spiritual vocal ruminations.
Superbly produced by bassist/vocalist Parker, The Ritual Fires of Abandonment is a profound and provocative experience that will have an intense and lasting impact on all who dare approach.. The Ritual Fires of Abandonment has moved MINSK further into the world of the psychedelic and the progressive. Perhaps more organic and musical than the previous efforts, The Ritual Fires delves deeper into sophisticated tribal motifs, vocal melodies, and psychedelic passages. Deeply passionate lyrical ruminations about personal struggle, mental illness, societal and generational guilt, the suicidal urge, and philosophical destruction and re-growth echo the sentiments of the varying moods and textures of the hour-long journey. The Ritual Fires of Abandonment is scheduled for release by Relapse Records on February 20, 2007. Early tour plans include a trip to SXSW 2007 and an April East Coast tour with brothers/label mates RWAKE. Also in the works are a split 7" of Roky Erickson covers with label mates UNEARTHLY TRANCE.
Minsk is Christopher Bennett, Timothy Mead, Sanford Parker, and Tony Wyioming