Appleseed Cast

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The End of The Ring Wars ( 1998), 6/10
Mare Vitalis ( 2000), 6.5/10
Low Level Owl: Volume 1 ( 2001), 6.5/10
Low Level Owl: Volume 2 ( 2001), 6.5/10
Hundred Hands: Little Eyes ( 2001) , 6/10
Two Conversations (2003), 6/10
Peregrine (2006), 5/10
Sagarmatha (2009) , 5.5/10

Appleseed Cast, based in Kansas, is an emo-core band that plays lushly arranged, oddly melodic and painfully personal music. Chris Crisci (vocals), Aaron Pillar (guitar), Louie Ruiz (drums) and Jason Wickersheim (bass, saxophone, piano) formed the band in the second half of the 1990s.

The End of The Ring Wars (Deep Elm, 1998) was a formative work of great promise, as the singer took front stage with his mournful, soul-baring, cathartic stories, while the players displayed a knack for crafting atmospheric soundscapes and integrating saxophone and piano in rock's arsenal. The overall effect was that of a heavier, sadder Sunny Day Real Estate.

New drummer Josh Baruth joined the band for the single Skatter Ik Ignito. The second album, Mare Vitalis (Deep Elm, 2000), assimilated the instrumental lesson of Built To Spill and the oneiric quality of dream-pop, while keeping the vocals centerstage.
Tracks: The Immortal Soul of Mundo Cani, Fishing The Sky, Forever Longing The Golden Sunsets, Mare Mortis, Santa Maria, Secret, And Nothing Less, Poseidon , Kilgore Trout, Storms.

Appleseed Cast continued its evolution by recording two ambitious albums, each a mixture of instrumentals and songs. The compositions are lengthy and the arrangements are thicker, laden with psychedelic drones, sound effects and tape loops. Low Level Owl: Volume 1 (Deep Elm, 2001) includes Blind Man's Arrow and Flowers Falling from Dying Hands. The standouts on Low Level Owl: Volume 2 (Deep Elm, 2001) are Strings and A Place in Line, plus the instrumentals Ring out the Warning Bell and Sunset Drama King. Lengthier pieces such as The Argument and Confession are mixed bags: intriguing and bizarre, but quite self-indulgent too. The two albums were later collected on the triple-LP Low Level Owl I & II (Gilead, 2006).
Tracks: Low Level Owl: Volume I A1 The Waking Of Pertelotte A2 On Reflection A3 Blind Man's Arrow A4 Flowers Falling From Dying Hands A5 Messenger A6 Doors Lead To Questions B1 Steps And Numbers B2 Sentence B3 Bird Of Paradise B4 Mile Marker C1 Convict C2 A Tree For Trials C3 Signal C4 View Of A Burning City Low Level Owl: Volume II D1 View Of A Burning City D2 Strings D3 A Place In Line D4 Shaking Hands D5 Rooms And Gardens E1 Ring Out The Warning Bell E2 Sunset Drama King E3 The Last In Line F1 Decline F2 The Argument F3 Reaction F4 Confession

Chris Crisci and Aaron Pillar are behind a side-project, Hundred Hands, whose debut EP, Little Eyes (Deep Elm, 2001), could be appended to the Low Level Owl albums. The six songs are formally even more to the point. The main difference is that here the guitar is centerstage.

Lost Songs (Deep Elm, 2002) collects unreleased material.

Appleseed Cast's Two Conversations (Tiger Style, 2003) is a much more accessible shoegaze/slocore effort.

Peregrine (Militia Group, 2006) was a concept album that simply lacked the emo-grade intensity of their beginnings while creating little of substance in the sonic department.

Sagarmatha (Militia Group, 2009) was full of instrumentals that better displayed their post-rock credentials.

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