Locals: War Elephant visits Carabar in support of its debut

Andy Downing, Columbus Alive

Long press times are one side effect of the surge in demand for vinyl LPs. Couple that with the financial outlay (manufacturing costs are seriously expensive), which required months of scrimping and saving, and it's no wonder the self-titled debut from local duo War Elephant surfaced nearly two years after the pair completed initial recording sessions at Club Sandwich Studios in the fall of 2014.

Of course, patience is nothing new to drummer Colin Liechti and singer/guitarist Nick Christensen, both 31, who have been playing in bands together from age 19 and only this year got around to putting out their first official recording.

"We've recorded stuff and had fun and just did whatever, but this is the first serious release," said Christensen, who joins Liechti in concert at Carabar on Saturday, June 18. "We love to play music, and we love to play music together. But it was just something we did. With this one … we decided we wanted to take it a little more seriously."

The musicians ascribe much of this new mindset to the maturation process - "You take everything more seriously [as you get older]," Christensen said - as well as a desire to have a physical document marking their time together.

Prior to forming War Elephant in 2011, the musicians auditioned various genres. The two started playing together in a high school punk band before splintering off to form a post-rock duo. In the years since, this musical evolution has continued unabated, with the pair exploring increasingly doom-laden, violent sounds (War Elephant kicks off with "Corrupted," a foreboding, metal-tinged march to the gallows).

"Obviously, I really enjoyed the politics of punk ... but the instrumentals [in metal] are so much faster and heavier and crushing," said Christensen, who studied political science in school and has long had a fascination with the subject. "We started getting interested in heavy guitar sounds and different tunings."

More recently, however, the musicians have started to take the foot off the accelerator, exploring a slower, more melodic sound. Indeed, the pair only revisits a single LP track in concert these days (the menacing "Desperation Consumes," built on tireless drums and Christensen's skin-aflame shrieks), filling out the set with new material.

"We have a better understanding of our strengths together as musicians and just what we enjoy," said Christensen, adding that the pair hoped to begin recording a follow-up album by year's end - virtually light speed by War Elephant standards.

And it's not just the music evolving, either. While early songs reveled in political machinations, taking a generally dark view of mankind - note song titles like "Godless" and "Violence" - more recent tunes have exhibited increasingly personal dimensions.

"As you get older there's more life experience, so you're not just heated and saying things," Christensen said. "You're past being 18 years old. There's more foundation behind the things you say, and there's more credibility."


10 p.m. Saturday,

June 18

115 Parsons Ave.,

Olde Towne East

ALSO PLAYING: Maranatha, Lunglust, Siouxplex