Monday, August 15, 2016

Jute Gyte - Perdurance (2016)

Hailing from Missouri of all places, comes one of the most explorative metal projects I've ever heard. I'm not nearly as familiar with Adam Kalmbach's work as I should be – the guy has released what seems to be more than fifteen full-lengths of various lengths and quality since 2006. In the years spanning from 2011 – 2014, he must have had some sort of unexplainable epiphany as the bulk of this material had been released around that period of time. Coming into recent years however, the artist has only released a couple of recordings, this one of course; being the latest. He was nearly releasing records at a pace comparable to Merzbow when he first began, so as to why this influx of material faltered, I cannot explain. But I think that the product I have here certainly cements his ability to make some of the weirdest metallic soundscapes that I've ever heard in this genre. It's easy to call it avantgarde, and in some cases it is even electronic. As for the vocals, we might as well just tag them as black metal scowls, which fits well enough. Yet by listening to just a few of the derranged performances on this recording, I can tell that Kalmbach is certainly far from calm. The record sounds like something Arcturus might have made if they'd stuck closer to the black metal side of things while at the same time deciding to mix LSD with DMT and a little bit of ayahuasca through the nostrils. Additionally, it observes sounds that feel relatively close to that of something I might hear in a horror film, possibly to decorate a mental facility. Don't get me wrong, as there are guitar riffs to be found within this performance and the electronic drumming is very good (showing that bands don't actually need drummers in 2016 – well, sometimes) but unmistakable as electronic drumming. What do you expect? It's just one man in control of the whole process. It more than likely takes quite a bit of time to compose and master this material, especially since these pieces are not at all short (the shortest piece is just a few seconds over eight minutes) and will require a lot of dedication and patience. I will also add that Kalmbach's work here will not be for every listener, especially those “you're just throwing paint on the wall” kinds of people that don't like chocolate mixed in with their peanut butter.

In just a couple of years, the man has created more releases than I've seen fan games from a disgruntled Mega Man community, and that's quite a lot. He's obviously had a great deal of time to perfect his craft into what I'm experiencing here, which I can say with all honesty is one of those “you really haven't heard anything like this before” kind of acts and could possibly make a name for itself. Best of all, Kalmbach seems to balance the feel of scathing black metal rather well with a clean production value that allows all of the instruments to be readily audible (I'm having very little problem differentiating each piece) as well as the sound effects, which help to keep the listener on their toes, rather than being bored out of their minds. Can it be a little draning at times? Well, I'd say so for some listeners – it just depends on how much time and effort that you want to invest absorbing the material. There are a lot of doom metal inspired thumps and possibly even a few djent riffs here and there, but they don't turn me away from the listen as with other djent bands. Kalmbach knows how to combine several elements together in a way that feels unique, even though, and I truly stress this – some of it might just be a bit too “unique” for some altogether. That's nothing against his work mind you, I just think that some guitarists will listen to the opening of “Palimpsest” and soon wonder as to why the guy is playing the guitar badly on purpose. I know a guitarist in particular who has judged phenomenal acts like Sigh for playing the guitar “off-key” and can't take them seriously. It just depends on how devoted a person is to traditional composition and how anal retentive they are to guitar tone, as to whether or not this will drive them up a wall. Oh yes, this album is a guitar teacher's worst nightmare and they would most likely consider it “everything that one shouldn't do with the instrument” yet it works in the Salavdor Dali and Jackson Pollock manner, which will equal out to it's appeal. Art is relative, as Perdurance shows us. There's nothing like this record, which makes it worth a listen just because of that factor alone. This is experimentalism beyond much of what I've heard in the metal genre, (and even though you might not consider it a metal record, it definitely features all of the critical components of one – bells and whistles aside) so do prepare yourself before you take a journey right into the center of the fucking void. I do think that the record is good enough for a label to sign this artist (if that's what he desires) and I know for sure that there are a few labels looking for just this kind of bizarre experimentation to appeal to the gaggle of artistic minds out there, particularly in portions of California where they will chug this down their gullets like craft beer.

Definitely check out the artist's Bandcamp page, where you can purchase this and several more of his releases. You'll also find from the liner notes that much of the music here is very much an experiment with tune and tempo, and that the artist is an extremely skilled musician merely using this outfit as a way to produce some rather interesting procedurals in musical science. So whether or not you understand the methods behind the madness, just accept Perdurance as a “sake of science” kind of release as it offers an approach that very few people have heard. The artist has been getting some recognition as of late from Invisible Oranges and Metal Cucks (I mean, Sucks) so at least writers (of varying quality) have been giving him the attention that he and his work deserve. Even if you don't care for it, please respect the amount of time and effort required in making this kind of recording. Science doesn't always come out in the prettiest of manners, and this level of scientific black metal is most certainly not a gentle flower. Nor should it be.

(6 Tracks, 62:00)


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