Istari was just making headway in 2006 when things fell apart.
The genre-skipping avant-garde art-metal band from Indianapolis, by way of Muncie, Ind., issued its debut EP, Four Bloodcurdling Tales of the Macabre, and made its presence known on the local club circuit.
All that ended when Istari co-founder, vocalist Gabriel Glass, left the fold, in bassist Marshall Kreeb’s words, “at the drop of a hat.” The split was less than amicable, according to Kreeb. “He’s out of the picture completely,” he says.
More woe befell Istari when second guitarist Toby Russell left the band for personal reasons. Sean Natelic took his place.
With two departures, the remaining members of Istari have decided to regroup under a different name and musical direction. This time their sound will have more focus. Kreeb says their earlier approach left many listeners confused.
“We were always appreciated more by other musicians than we were by general music fans,” he says. “There’s nothing wrong with that, but we cut stuff up so much. We didn’t always do the verse-chorus-verse thing. We’re still going to do a lot of that type of songwriting, but we’re writing longer riffs. We’re going more into a metal style now.”
Istari will live on, however. Kreeb envisions it as a side project where guest vocalists and guitarists can contribute whatever they want. It’ll be an opportunity to make new friends and experiment. Any output will probably just be posted by means of the Internet.
“In the past I’ve been involved in random recording sessions,” Kreeb says. “Everybody would come in and contribute to what was going on. That’s what we view Istari becoming — a community band.”
A singer is still needed for Istari’s new incarnation. Those interested can contact the band at firstname.lastname@example.org.