Arts & Culture

HIGH PRIEST ‘Sanctum’ Brings the Chicago Doom

Although they formed in 2016, the members of Chicago’s HIGH PRIEST have known each other for a good portion of their lives.  Guitarists Pete Grossmann and John Regan, singer/bassistJustin Pence and drummer Dan Polak have been playing together in various bands for over 15 years, with Grossman and Polak’s friendship going back to actual childhood (Pete remembers Dan getting the training wheels off his first bike).

Dan and John were already playing together in Southern Lord death/hardcore fusion outfit Like Rats when, during a night out seeing Electric Wizard, John yelled to Dan, “we should do a band like this!”

Given how well they knew each other personally and musically, things came together fast.  Within a few weeks, High Priest was demoing its first songs, full of loud riffs in unique homage to both classic metal and modern doom.

Each member of High Priest is part of the band for his own reasons, but themes of overcoming internal darkness, leveraging painful experiences for growth, and pursuing transcendence beyond the physical world provide common ground within the songs.

High Priest Sanctum was produced, engineered and mixed by guitarist Pete Grossmann at hisBricktop Recording studio in Chicago.  The 4-song EP contrasts dark, soulful doom with massive riffs and delicate undertones, bringing to mind the juxtaposition of despair, hope and resignation across a foundation of churning heaviness that bands like Alice in Chains and Trouble make so appealing.


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News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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