Hidden Gems: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

If you’ve never heard of the band before, their name alone might cause some hesitation, but I promise you that King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is the perfect example of a hidden gem. The Australian rock band was first formed in 2010 and has slowly grown a cult following with their bizarre and experimental rock music. They’ve been a breath of fresh air for the stagnant rock genre by exploring new musical territory with amazing success. More impressive than their musical range is their commitment to concept albums with authentic instrumentation and gripping narratives. I’ve mentioned in the past how concept albums hold a special place in my heart; they’re the perfect example of how different artistic elements can be incorporated into one project. They usually feature thoughtful narratives over multiple tracks, musical themes and callbacks throughout the album, and a unique aesthetic that is developed in every aspect of the project. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is a master of this medium, to the point where they have developed an entire musical universe. Each album is a unique immersive experience, but with enough distinct elements that the band is consistent and easily recognizable. Since their discography is huge (and I mean HUGE, they released 5 album in 2017 alone), I can only cover some of their material, but I think these two albums represent what I love most about the band.

Infest The Rats’ Nest

Infest the Rats' Nest

Infest The Rats’ Nest is by far my favorite thrash album; the narrative is crushing and perfectly complemented by some of the most heart-pounding instrumentation I’ve ever heard. I’m not usually a fan of the thrash subgenre, mostly because it tends to be overwhelming and headache-inducing, but King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard knows what they’re doing. The instrumentation is clean and concise throughout the entire album, with some parts even sounding symphonic, like they were composed by a heavy-metal Mozart. Along with this, the band is not afraid to experiment with a variety of instruments: many songs feature electronic glitches used to great effect, while they also employ choirs, microtonal instruments, and heavily distorted guitars. The entire sound of this album can be summed up as an army rising up in rebellion, it’s absolutely visceral. If the instrumentation wasn’t enough, the narrative of Infest The Rats’ Nest is just as gripping. The core message of the album is environmentalism (believe it or not), with the first half detailing a science fiction hellscape that used to be Earth, which is now decimated by climate change, plague, and poverty, while the rich have left to live on Mars. The second half of the album details the perils of an escaped spaceship of refugees looking for safety in the vastness of space. Both halves are equally well written and developed, but I especially love the environmental themes of the first half and how well they’re conveyed through the music. If you want to hear more of my thoughts on this great concept album, you can read my previous post here which dives more into the lyrics.

Murder of the Universe

Murder of the Universe

Murder of the Universe is an even more obscure hidden gem, and is even unpopular in the King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard fanbase. Many criticize the spoken word passages, the overall aesthetic, and some of the more experimental parts of the album, but all of these features make this one of my favorite albums. The first third of the album is a fantasy inspired nightmare about a man transforming into an Altered Beast, and from the first notes of the first track you know you’re in for a wild ride. I think this is one of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s most developed compositions, both thematically and musically. The entire narrative is incredibly cohesive and gripping from start to finish, with the listener experiencing pure chaos as the protagonist descends into madness. I also love how the main musical theme is developed throughout this portion of the album; just as the protagonist is altered into some monstrous beast, the musical theme is altered into a beast of its own, ultimately culminating in an explosive climax on the last track of this portion of the album.

The second third of the album is just as insane as the first, but now with a story featuring The Balrog and the Lord of Lightning. Again, this is an absolutely electric part of the album, with many of the same features that made the first portion so great: incredible musical motifs, fantasy storytelling that is dark and chaotic, and an overall aesthetic that is reminiscent of Greek mythology and epic battles. My only complaint is that this is the shortest section of the album and seems to be the least developed as far as the narrative concept.

However, the last third of the album makes up for what the second part was lacking in a narrative concept. Right from the start of the introduction track you can tell that there is something different; a monotone and robotic narrator welcomes the listener to “an Altered Future”, and suddenly you’re in a science fiction horror story, detailing the murder of the universe. This portion of the album follows the cyborg Han-Tyumi as he tackles what it means to be half-human, half-computer in the most unsettling and imaginative way. I can say without a doubt that this is my favorite part of the album, both because of how experimental the instrumentals are and because of how outrageous and mind-bending the story is. I don’t want to spoil the narrative, so all I’ll say is that it is a completely unorthodox take on artificial intelligence and what it means to be human, and could only be thought up by a band called King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Overall, this is an incredible album that lives up to the high expectations of a concept album. It has something for everybody and is a testament to the versatility of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

+KHAOS+ EP.3: Other Half



Unit 3 SALV, also known as Ed, and Milo are hanging out together in Doctor’s room as they start to develop a special bond. Ed and Milo are jokingly discussing how one day they should escape to another planet just in case the earth fails to hold human life. Ed is getting ready for his final test if it has enough empathy to be able to shelter and protect humans.

+Author’s Comment+

Hi all! Hope everyone is doing well and is hopefully stress-free now that the elections are over. Have a great rest of the week 🙂

Follow my Art Instagram Account: @kats.art.folder

+KHAOS+ EP.2: Beginning of a Chapter



Unit 3 SALV also known as Ed meets with Milo, a child who Unit 3 is assigned to protect whenever a meteorite strikes in the bleak and arctic climate of the Earth. Milo is the younger brother of Doctor who contributed to the production of SALV, specifically Ed.


+Author’s Comment+

Hi all, hope everyone’s doing well and had fun celebrating Halloween. Christmas getting closer…but wait! There’s Thanksgiving.

For those who are curious about how SALV is meant to stop the extinction of humanity: SALV protects people in various ways, such as sheltering people when the Earth’s weather conditions become too harsh or when an unexpected meteor hits earth.

My Art Instagram account: @kats.art.folder

Hidden Gems: The Twilight Zone

Unfortunately it’s already the last week of October, which means that this is the last post of the horror-themed Hidden Gems series. I can’t believe how fast it flew by, especially being busy with midterms and existential dread about the state of the world. I’ve really enjoyed sharing some of my favorite works of horror art, I just can’t believe how much I didn’t get to cover; there’s pretty much an endless amount of art that I could talk about when it comes to horror. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t see a spooky post now and again, especially if the inspiration strikes or I watch a particularly good movie. For my last post of spooky season, I found it fitting to talk about a work of art that is extremely close to my heart, a show that inspired my lifelong interest in the supernatural, science fiction, and horror: The Twilight Zone.

Depending on your generation, you might already be extremely familiar with the show; it was groundbreaking when it aired it 1959, and has inspired countless knock-offs and remakes due to its incredible popularity. However, I’ve noticed that has been brushed under the rug recently; I find less and less people who have ever seen it, let alone enjoy it. Unfortunately, the show’s age has been a large deterrent to modern viewers. It is filmed in black and white, as expected for the time, and not all of the acting has aged well. Although it is certainly an old show, I would argue that it has an unmatched amount of charm, and that the intellectual ideas presented in each episode are incredibly fascinating and still relevant today.

The original Twilight Zone of 1959 lasted for 5 seasons and spanned over 150 episodes, making it an incredible catalog of science fiction. Each episode is a self-contained short story and usually features some sort of social commentary or moral. The range of the show is incredibly broad: examples of topics include aliens, time travel, beauty, living inanimate objects, and other unexplainable phenomena. The one thing shared between all episodes is the haunting and iconic introduction by Rod Serling, the show’s creator. Each introduction is unique, but they all convey the same thing: anything can happen in the Twilight Zone, a place where not everything is as it seems, but a place where any of us could end up without knowing. It’s an incredibly powerful introduction, and one of my favorite examples of how art and media can create such strong emotions in the viewer, which in this case happen to be fear and uncertainty. The black and white filming of the show is also extremely conducive to the aesthetic being portrayed in each episode. One might expect it to be a barrier from realism, but I find it to be incredibly immersive, since so much attention is drawn to the characters and the story, not so much the visuals and special effects. More often than not, the immersion is actually broken when they attempt to use ambitious special effects; on the flip side, they use clever practical effects to achieve surprisingly convincing results. Episodes like Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up? are a perfect example of this duality: some unfortunate prosthetics are especially jarring, while some of the practical effects are clever and so well done that it almost beats anything that could be accomplished today. In general, all of these aspects of the show make it extremely charming and memorable. Even if not every episode is perfect, they all come from a place of creativity and attention to detail is evident in every one.

With that being said, I can’t recommend the show enough; some seasons are currently on Netflix, and it’s the perfect show to watch during the month of October. Although the show has a notable reputation, it certainly doesn’t receive the amount of appreciation it deserves, especially considering how groundbreaking it was and how much it influences horror and science fiction writers today. If you do decide to watch it, these are some of my favorite episodes, and ones that I would recommend watching first: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, Time Enough at Last, The Monsters are Due On Maple Street, Eye of the Beholder, and To Serve Man.

+KHAOS+ Birth I



The period of mass production of robots known as ‘SALV’ has begun in the year 2067 to protect humanity’s extinction from deadly meteorites that continue to destroy the earth, making it inhabitable for life. The unfinished UNIT-03 is the first model that will soon be tested to see if it is suitable to connect with humans.


+Author’s Comment+

Hi all, welcome to the first blog post of my art collection. Drawing robots and science fiction related settings have always been an interest of mine, so this is a very exciting opportunity for me. A new illustration will be published each week that follow the plot from the previous week’s post, indicated by a short description below the image. These images, however, can also be freely interpreted by the readers as well, so let your imaginations flow along!

Art Instagram account: @kats.art.folder

Science Fiction For Dummies: Orphan Black

Although I’m not proud of it, I spent almost all day Saturday marathoning season three of Orphan Black, this crazy awesome show that some people have heard of but most people haven’t. But for those of you that don’t know, Orphan Black is a show about clones. Crazy, cool, awesome, kick-butt clones. And I absolutely love it.

My time with Orphan Black started this past summer, when I was studying abroad in England. Although I definitely had zero time for Netflix, and to be honest who wanted to spend time watching Netflix when you could literally explore Oxford, I still explored the offerings that UK Netflix had to offer and was pretty satisfied. And though I wanted to watch all the things, I decided that perhaps starting one show would be good. So when the pubs closed at midnight, I grabbed some food from the awesome food trucks and started a new adventure with Orphan Black.

Needless to say, I was hooked, and burned through both season one and season two pretty quickly, although I ended up stopping around episode 6 of season two because I couldn’t completely ignore my papers, even if I wanted to.

Although I tried to pick it back up once I got back stateside, I never really had time for it, and since I didn’t have it on the convenience of Netflix, I ended up kind of giving up, at least for the time being. Instead, I picked up awesome shows like Jane the Virgin and Quantico on TV right now, and I was satisfied.

But for some reason, last week I decided I wanted to watch Orphan Black, and my roommate chimed in “it’s on Amazon Prime,” which we have on our amazing smart TV in our apartment. So, of course, the order of the day was to finish it as soon as possible. Last night I finished season three and season four thankfully starts next week, and actually at a time when I can watch it live.

As I was watching it, though, I started to wonder what made me like it so much. I do like sci-fi, and I love that the lead is a woman, and it’s definitely a woman-empowerment show, without it necessarily being in your face about it, because Sarah Manning definitely has other things to worry about besides the patriarchy. I love watching the intricacies of Tatiana Maslany’s acting, how freaking amazing she is at portraying all of these completely distinct women. Like seriously, she often has to play one version of a character pretending to be another version, which is honestly mind-blowing from an acting standpoint. Give this woman an Emmy already.

But I also realized that one thing I love about it is that it’s not just sci-fi. It’s almost a whole new genre, realistic sci-fi. I remember when I learned about magical realism and how it essentially blew my mind. That’s what Orphan Black is. It’s sci-fi realism. Although the science, I’ve been told, is pretty far from being accurate, it’s really fascinating how they use the science throughout the show. It grounds the entire plot, making it not “clones from another world,” but real people dealing with this scientific thing. It sometimes gets out of hand, and you are thrown into a world where things happen not as logically as they would in real life, but for the most part, everything seems plausible. Everything crazy that happens on the show happens for a reason.

Science fiction is definitely a strong, diverse genre that often does not get enough credit, being written off by people who don’t like “that Star Trek stuff.” And I’m sure Orphan Black is not the first sci-fi narrative to use science as a way to make something unrealistic seem plausible. But it’s possibly one of the most successful, which is really, really cool, and I hope there’s more like it in the future.