Combine the take-no-prisoners attitude of hardcore metal and the raw intensity of a symphony orchestra, and you’ve got Requiem for the Dead, a band that speaks to the macabre with a dark eeriness that would make Tim Burton squeal with glee. The band, led by Santa Cruz native Steve Juliano, the former frontman for the world-touring metal band I Am Ghost, emerged locally in 2011. Juliano walked away from I Am Ghost, despite the band’s immense popularity, because, he says, all of the fun was being sucked out of the project by the overwhelming demands of business and ceaseless touring schedule.
Requiem represents a fresh start and a new spark of inspiration for Juliano. The band released its sophomore EP, Memories—a collection of songs that reflect on past experiences, loss and true love—on Feb. 14. The sound is lighter than I Am Ghost, but encapsulated by a brooding haze—a brand of rock similar to that of AFI and My Chemical Romance, Juliano says. “There’s this beautiful darkness there,” he adds. The album takes a different approach than Requiem’s debut album, Always and Forever, which Juliano describes as a “kind of rock opera about two teenagers who fall in love, but then die together.” He says that Memories, on the other hand, is made up of “separate stories about people I’ve met and places I’ve been.” The moniker “Requiem for the Dead” draws on the title of I Am Ghost’s debut album, Lovers Requiem, requiem being a repose for the souls of those who have died, derived from the Latin word “requies,” and also a musical composition. “So,” Juliano explains, “our meaning is really about both music and peace for the dead.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Saturday, March 16. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $7. 603-2294.