Birth Set July 15 Release for Born

birth (Photo by C. Martinez and Z. Oakley)

It’s a very specific and kind of confusing brand of fun to trace the full lineage of Birth and who’s played in what with whom, whether it’s Conor Riley and Brian Ellis jamming together in the Ellis/Munk Ensemble or the still-missed Astra, Thomas DiBenedetto drumming for Sacri Monti or Monarch, Trevor Mast having been in Psicomagia with Paul Marrone, also of Radio Moscow, and so on. Certainly anything Ellis and Riley do together at this point is going to immediately and rightfully catch some ears, and from the time when Birth‘s “Descending Us” (posted here) showed up in 2017 to last year when the band signed to Bad Omen and streamed their three-song self-titled demo (review here), the murmuring anticipation for this record has been set. Of course they called it Born.

July 15 is the release date, and I’m somewhat curious as to the situation, since the press release below confirms that Bad Omen will be handling it while at the same time having come down the PR wire via Metal Blade Records. Does that mean that Bad Omen is now a Metal Blade imprint? Or that Metal Blade will handle the US release and Bad Omen the UK? I have no idea, but it’s something to be curious about while I listen to “For Yesterday,” the first streaming track from the record, which you’ll find at the bottom of this post.


Progressive-Psych outfit Birth to Release Debut LP, ‘Born’, July 15

San Diego Stunners Set Summer Date for Stargazing Full-length Album; Hear Celestial New Track “For Yesterday”

Southern California psychedelic/progressive rock unit, Birth, will release its full-length debut LP, ‘Born’, on July 15 via UK rock label Bad Omen Records (Wytch Hazel, Spell, Satan’s Satyrs). Featuring members of San Diego’s revered retro rockers Astra, along with current or former members of Joy, Radio Moscow, and Sacri Monti, Birth owns a cavernous cache of credibility rarely found in developing musical groups. Described as “a magic-eye journey into kaleidoscopic sound”, and “a dystopian take on the here and now”, ‘Born’ is available for pre-order purchase at:

A first listen to what Birth’s ‘Born’ holds in store can be experienced now as the band is streaming its new song “For Yesterday”. Hear it now at:

Featuring guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Conor Riley and lead guitarist Brian Ellis, musicians who burst onto the prog-psych scene in the late aughts with Astra, a formidable, foundational group who would shape the sound of things to come alongside co-conspirators such as Earthless, Diagonal and Dungen, and whose albums ‘The Weirding’ (2009) and ‘The Black Chord’ (2012) stand proud as two of the greatest progressive achievements of this century thus far, there is a palatable excitement surrounding Birth and the group has been pegged as one to watch in underground circles, an excitement which kicked into a new gear once a now-deleted demo ep was unleashed, on a pay-what-you-will basis, on the Bandcamp platform in 2021, which marked the spark of creation for the Birth universe and delivered a blast of vibrant progressive rock rich in cinematic scope and psychedelic intensity and laid the groundwork for what was to come.

“Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world” . So wrote Mary Shelley in Frankenstein, arguably the first science fiction tale. A full 204 years later, the quest remains – how best to elucidate our daily lives with some form of inspiration that moves the spirit beyond its earthly shackles?

On ‘Born’, Birth musically and creatively constructs a science-fiction-inspired sound-world in which bleak tumult and skybound rapture co-exist. The result is an intoxicating album haunted by earthly concerns while its sonics aim simultaneously for the stars. “I’m a scientist by trade and I read a lot of dystopian sci-fi, which I believe is relevant to many of the events that have been occurring lately,” notes Riley. “These views feed a dark, spiritual and mystical relationship that I have with scientific thought”.

Track listing:
01. Born
02. Descending Us
03. For Yesterday
04. Cosmic Tears
05. Another Time
06. Long Way Down

Birth features Conor Riley (vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar), Brian Ellis (lead guitar, keyboards), Trevor Mast (bass), and Thomas DiBenedetto (drums). Drums on ‘Born’ performed by Paul Marrone.

Birth, Born (2022)

Birth, Birth (Demo) (2021)

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