Post-metal trio Sumac made a striking debut last year on Profound Lore with The Deal (review here), and while the members of the three-piece might otherwise be busy in bands like Mamiffer (who also have a new one out and will tour), Russian Circles and Baptists, they’ve also worked quickly to follow-up their first offering with What One Becomes. An ominous title for the sophomore work, and the newly-shared first audio from the record, “Rigid Man,” as well as the new album trailer, bear out that dark and oppressive foreboding. It’s an hour long and it has five tracks though, so I’m guessing there’s room for more than just being pissed off, which “Rigid Man” also showcases.
Just off the PR wire:
SUMAC ANNOUNCE NEW FULL-LENGTH ALBUM & PREMIERE FIRST SINGLE
What One Becomes out June 10th on Thrill Jockey
Sumac, a highly-lauded new band with the impressive lineup of Aaron Turner on guitar (ISIS, Old Man Gloom, Mamiffer), Nick Yacyshyn on drums (Baptists), and Brian Cook on bass (Russian Circles, These Arms Are Snakes, Botch), has announced its sophomore album due out June 10th on Thrill Jockey. Titled What One Becomes, this hour-long, double LP was tracked at The Unknown in Anacortes, WA and mixed at GodCity Studios in Salem, MA with Kurt Ballou and the resulting 5 songs are dense aggregates of rhythm, force, and vigor. The album’s first single, “Rigid Man” (streaming now on YouTube), begins as a lurching epithet that finds the trio in a shadow boxing lockstep for the song’s first half of pugilistic rhythm and noise, only to smash itself on the ground amidst a diabolical feedback whorl from Turner’s guitar and to tear free from the rhythmic underbelly.
Following their critically acclaimed 2015 debut The Deal (Profound Lore), the trio has elevated the songs’ complexities with a greater entanglement of velocity, density, form, and function. These results are a testament to the tour-honed collective intuition and technical skills of drummer Yacyshyn and bassist Cook alongside Turner. The music of What One Becomes requires that each player be attuned to the dynamics and the tension within the multilateral structures, and the band invests in the recursive exercises of chaos and control.
On What One Becomes, Sumac’s choreographed structures parallel the internal and personal struggles with anxiety. They seek to identify the source, devise a course of action, and confront that condition at hand. Turner explains, “Much of it has to do with questioning fabricated structures of identity and what it means when those structures are destabilized by contact with the outside. That has been a unnerving process to undergo, but also fruitful in terms of discovering the path to individuation and realized connection with the self. Another facet of experience I’m working to convey is about living with the sustained presence of anxiety, and avoiding reliance on musical devices of cathartic release to provide escape from this condition.” Sumac channels psychic distress into their rigorously algebraic maneuvers and syllable-crack dissonance. These are acts of honesty in the face of a particular conduction as well as acutely prescient designs of musical intensity that commands attention to all of this detail. The songwriting on What One Becomes is unparalleled, unhinged expressionism in all forms.
What One Becomes will be available on double LP format pressed on virgin vinyl, packaged in a wide spine jacket printed on uncoated stock with custom debossed slipcase and free download card. A limited amount of copies have been pressed on clear vinyl and are exclusive to Thrill Jockey mailorder. Additionally, the album will be available on CD format packaged in a 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold jacket printed on uncoated stock with debossed cover and 6 panel fold-out insert. For pre-orders and more info, visit Thrill Jockey.
SUMAC, What One Becomes Track Listing:
1. Image of Control
2. Rigid Man
3. Clutch of Oblivion
5. Will to Reach
SUMAC – ON TOUR:
October 20-23 Tucson, AZ @ Southwest Terror Fest