With a moniker that screams “enigma,” Asheville, North Carolina instrumental rock duo Ahleuchatistas belong to the beyond-category sector of such iconic, genre-flouting combos as John Zorn’s Naked City, Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, Swans, Tortoise, and Sun City Girls. A duo armed only with guitar and drums, Ahleuchatistas combine wicked precision with intense abandon, droll humor with analytical construction, and a sly gregariousness with uncompromising vision. This pair interweaves elements of punk rock, jazz, classical music, speed metal, grindcore, progressive rock, noise, folk musics from Asia and North Africa, electronic music, and ambient aesthetics, along with volatile, unpredictable improvisation, flowing organically in a virtual world of their own. With a devoted international cult following, Ahleuchatistas is considered by many to be one of the most innovative and ever-developing instrumental groups of the past decade. Cerebral but never ponderous, Ahleuchatistas make immediate music that reaches for the mind, heart, and gut.
On their seventh album, Ahleuchatistas’ Heads Full of Poison is a sonic brew that reveals new flavors, new spices with every aural taste. Now a duo of charter member Shane Perlowin (guitar and bass) and Ryan Oslance (drums), Heads Full of Poison was developed over a two-year period, road-tested and honed with numerous performances, including nearly 100 in Europe. It combines highly detailed composition with a looseness that encourages a range of interpretation. Throughout the album, Perlowin and Oslance perform with a rare unity of purpose, without any self-indulgence or water-treading, displaying a virtually orchestral palette.