Owl from Oakland, CA
OWL was forged in 2007 in the infernos of proto-metal, twin harmonies, and doom. By 2010, an album’s worth of minimal demo(nic) riffage and draconian indulgence surfaced in Jackson, California, propagated by brothers Axell Baechle (guitars, vocals, piano) and Alexander (A.K.) Baechle (guitars, vocals) and piqued the interest of industrious local artist, drummer, and yes, third brother, Clint Baechle. OWL played their first show at a barbecue in the proving ground of Oakland’s then house scene.
Somehow it all clicked. DIY funds materialized from hard work and dedication and their self-titled LP followed in November 2012, as principal songwriter A.K. sweated out the resins of literature, the Bush years, and job loss. OWL toured for more than two years before releasing the full-length road-bomber Screech on tape in 2014 and vinyl in 2015. Original bassist Melanie Burkett eventually fled the band amicably to pursue endeavors outside of music.
Enter Jamie Sanitate, the ultimate Iron Maiden fan. Sanitate’s athletic, NWOBHM-influenced bass playing buoyed OWL through a period of intermittent touring while the band grappled with new ideas. Finally in 2018, “Awaken The Mountain” was released as a single, highlighting the band’s heavy-prog interests and the Pompeii-inspired songwriting of guitar animal, Axell. A true prog metal epic and cautionary tale of dwelling too close to volatile geologic formations, the track offered up a small taste of what would follow.