The Laconic

Songs without words

Boldly uniting a passionate curiosity for the exploration of sound, with an unwavering ear for melodies and grooves that engage and embrace, Chicago creative The Laconic devotes time and intention to the sheer escapism of songs without words.

Unrivalled for individuality, Marc Pelath’s work as The Laconic unites a multi-instrumental backdrop with a deeply-focused mindset for programming. The data scientist and musician is known largely for his leading instrument the U8 touch guitar, but also plays bass and synths, whilst crafting electronic drum-lines from scratch. His compositions are fearlessly melodic, often unpredictable, but self-defined, not as solos alongside chords, but as songs without words: structured and harmonised, purposeful and precise in their imaginative ventures.

Amor Fati

The aim of The Laconic's debut album, ‘Integrals’, was to revive a half-dead genre that is songs without words. Prior examples could be found within projects like ‘Second Home by the Sea’, ‘Duke's Travels/Duke's End’ or ‘Los Endos’, all by Genesis. Also within Flower Kings' ‘Flora Majora’, ‘Don of the Universe’, and ‘Babylon’, as well as collections from Trevor Rabin, Yes, Gong, and Mike Oldfield. 

His sophomore album, 2023’s ‘Amor Fati’, delves into the eclectic progressive realm once more. Not quite a concept album, but not quite not a concept album either, it revolves are the topics of fate and eternal recurrence.  Not really not progressive rock, but not really progressive rock either, it draws from other genres, from salsa to spaghetti western.  

'Amor Fati' features a range of guest musicians, all of whom are highly-regarded for their own musical careers to date. Gary Husband (keyboards), Juan Dahmen (drums and percussion) and Aralee Dorough (flute) all make appearances, as well as Tim Gardner (touch guitar), Iapetus artists Christina Ruf (cello and electric cello) and Erik Emil Eskildsen (touch guitar), Colin Gatwood (English horn), and brother Scott Pelath (guitar). 'Amor Fati' was produced by Markus Reuter [Stick Men, centrozoon, Anchor & Burden], mixed by Stefano Castagna at Ritmo e Blu Records, and mastered by Lee Fletcher.


[Amor Fati] is a very eclectic product on a solid electronic base, but Pelath's guitar sound borders on the sixties soundtrack (Dust); sometimes the evolutionary strength of the melodic motif is capable of creating symphonic prog drapery close to the Genesis or the Footsteps (Fate) and the same goes for the second part of the closing Equinox which, thanks to the insertion of the transverse flute and some Hackettian guitar, leads the listener from the parts of Gabriel and companions. On other occasions we proceed instead starting from articulated rhythmic patterns to create a static and hypnotic atmosphere, a bit like in certain pieces by Pink Floyd in the 1980s or by Ultravox (Nona and Decima) or the Kraftwerk (Morta).” - Riccardo Storti

Scrittore Progressivo

The Laconic brings a fine selection of prog rock from the studio to your ears. Here is an artist who has expanded his palette to something he might not be able to identify at this point. All we know, is that it has elements that are constantly evolving and growing to make an epic story that is made of dreams.”

The progressive rock approach with regional elements and diverse instruments creates an enriching musical experience, transporting the listener to a unique sound universe. The eclectic mix of influences and the emotional depth present in the tracks make this album a captivating and engaging work.” - Jessica Marinho

Headbangers News

For his second album, the Chicago multi-instrumentalist and composer Marc Pelath has drummed together illustrious helpers such as fusion drummer Gary Husband (here on the keyboard) and touch guitar ace Markus Reuter (as producer) to record an hour of imaginative instrumental prog with some harder passages. If you like the solo works of ex-Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian and Fates-Warning guitarist Jim Matheos or the Gordian-Knot project from the wider Cynic orbit, you should love Amor Fati.” - Andreas Schiffmann

Rock Hard

Chicago-based touch guitarist Marc Pelath, by way of his band The Laconic, has created an album that is remarkably engaging from Note One. Straddling the lines between progressive rock, post-rock, and perhaps a touch of classical, Pelath has created a sonic landscape that is as pleasant as it is ambitious....No matter how aggressive the music gets, the groove is always there. Marc Pelath had created a work that will go down smoothly next to the likes of Trey Gunn, Tony Levin, and Markus Reuter. It is well worth exploration.” - Cedric Hendrix


Amor Fati

The Laconic

Amor fati is a Latin expression meaning "love of [one's] fate". The Stoic philosopher Epictetus stated its essence as: do not seek for things to happen the way you want them to; rather, wish that what happens, happens the way it happens: then you will be happy. Amor fati is not only associated with Stoic philosophy, but also with Nietzsche and the
Amor fati is a Latin expression meaning "love of [one's] fate". The Stoic philosopher Epictetus stated its essence as: do not seek for things to happen the way you want them to; rather, wish that what happens, happens the way it happens: then you will be happy. Amor fati is not only associated with Stoic philosophy, but also with Nietzsche and the concept of eternal recurrence.

It took me nearly half a century to discover the power and joy of collaboration, and so there are many people that made Amor Fati possible. Thanks to all of the the guest musicians for their consistently beautiful and thoughtful contributions. Additional thanks to Tim Gardner for fundamental contributions to “Refuge”; Juan Dahmen for being a treasure; Gary Husband, for somehow making my music sound even more like what I intended; Aralee Dorough and Colin Gatwood for their generosity; Christina Ruf for giving me an entire string section, twice; and Stefano Castagna, my brother-in-adversity, for his ears and heart. Special thanks to Scott Pelath for listening and being a top-notch brother; Erik Emil Eskildsen for advice and support; Markus Reuter, for making this all possible, and a hundred other things; and finally, my wife Diana, for her support throughout my at-times obsessive quest to make music for myself.
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Press / Reviews of Integrals

Gone (almost) are the days of 10-minute guitar solos, or sprawling post-rock anthems that stretch as far as the eyes can see, now is the time for instant gratification, and short-lived euphoria, which makes The Laconic’s release even more insanely challenging.”


[Integrals] sees The Laconic weave a fantastical musical journey of stunning originality to deliver a hypnotising sound of dynamic and kaleidoscopic sonic tapestries.” - Paul Vine

Plastic Magazine


Press photos