Born of the Lafayette, Louisiana heavy music scene, experimental duo Radiant Knife has been laying down their unique brand of riffage since 2016. With Greg Travasos on drums/percussion and Stephen Sheppert on guitar, vocals, and synth, the band creates a monstrous sonic landscape influenced by Mahavishnu Orchestra, Yes, Zeni Geva, Dazzling Killmen, Keelhaul, Loincloth, Today is the Day, and King Crimson. Radiant Knife is now preparing to release two separate albums later in 2020: The Body on August 28th, and The Ghost on October 9th.
Travasos and Sheppert began making music together four years ago, after meeting by playing shows with past bands. Sheppert played in Raedon Kong and Collapsar, while Travasos was a member of The Object at the End of History as well as the touring drummer for international act Brother Dege. Sheppert says of their artistic compatibility, “We both like doing something different and experimental so it just felt natural. Once we began jamming together we never looked back.”
And indeed, it’s been a fruitful collaboration. The duo released their debut s/t album in 2017 and quickly followed it with Science Fiction in 2018; both albums were met with accolades from Metal Injection, Invisible Oranges, and more. Liam Savage of Echoes and Dust said of Science Fiction, “I can’t get these songs out of my head after repeated listens. […] I have a distinct feeling that this will be on many people’s year-end lists. It’s that good. It’s not overblown and fancy, and it sticks in your head. What an excellent album from start to finish.”
Now on the eve of putting out not one but two albums, this band’s future is looking, ahem, radiant. Sheppert explains how Radiant Knife’s writing process led them to be releasing two albums in such a short time span:
“We typically have songs that can be lumped in two broad groups: one group being tech/riff-driven, heavy compositions and the other group being looser and more focused on letting the music breathe. In this go-around we just ended up with enough material to fulfill two releases. Lyrically speaking, The Ghost deals with a lot of spiritual themes (death of the physical body, afterlife beliefs, etc.) so the title seemed to fit pretty well. In contrast, The Body was a fitting title for the tech/heavy album. Although different, they are very much connected and I believe should be listened to one after the other to get the full picture of what Radiant Knife is about.”