Camas, WA-based band Sculptured play an experimental brand of atmospheric, melodic, and often surprisingly calm death metal -- at least to the extent that they can be categorized. Their thoughtful lyrics, as well as their use of brass instruments and unusual guitar dissonances are just a few of the elements that set them apart from their peers, stylistically speaking. Sculptured was formed in 1996 by guitarist/songwriter Don Anderson. He recorded the band's first demo, Fulfillment of Tragedy, largely by himself, handling everything except for the drums and vocals. That demo led to a deal with the small European label Mad Lion Records and the recording of the first Sculptured full-length, The Spear of the Lily is Aureoled. Eventually licensed to The End Records, who released it in the U.S. in 1997, the album featured a core lineup of Anderson on vocals, guitar, keyboards, and bass; Brian Yager on vocals; and John Schlegel on drums. For the follow-up, 2000's Apollo Ends, the lineup expanded to include Jason Walton on bass, Burke Harris (who also guested on the first album) on trumpet, and Clint Idsinga on trombone, while John Haughm took over on drums. Apollo Ends was surprisingly well-received in the metal underground, given its experimental tendencies and general strangeness; however, the fact that the band does not play live -- in part because several of its members live in different states -- has kept their following relatively small.
Sculptured has also contributed tracks to tribute albums for heavy metal icon Iron Maiden (Maiden America on Twilight Records). Additionally, Anderson, Walton, and Haughm all play in the band Agalloch, another member of The End Records' roster. ~ William York