Winter Solstice 

Wednesday, August 10; Pop's (1403 Mississippi Avenue, Sauget, Illinois)

The winter solstice, December 21, marks the darkest day of the year. This alone makes Winter Solstice an ideal metal moniker, but supporting facts make it an academically appropriate match for this specific band. Aboriginal people celebrated this occasion but selected December 25 to denote the death of the crop-killing season and the advent of spring salvation. Romans kept the date but dubbed it Saturnalia; Christians then co-opted the pagan holiday for convenience (though scripture suggests Jesus was born in the fall). Winter Solstice too is a Christian group, spelling out its spiritual beliefs in its lyrics. The band is also interested in Roman history, given that its latest release, The Fall of Rome, draws parallels between the ancient empire and contemporary America. Studiously constructed identity aside, Winter Solstice churns out blast beats and breakdowns with a brutality that belies its intelligence.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12; call 618-274-6720 for more information.

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