5 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Northwestern metal band takes a huge leap forward with this impeccably engineered display of doom. Like the trunk of an ancient tree, “Rigid Man” is dense and primeval—its heaving rhythms will leave you picturing a behemoth rolling a boulder up a mountaintop in a thunderstorm. From a squalling haze of noise, “Image of Control” coalesces into a deeply satisfying cudgel-swinging riff. Unlike its doom metal peers, Sumac is never drowsy. Their musical ambitions heat up “Blackout,” a writhing epic that occupies the overlapping territory between Sleep’s stoner metal, Sub Pop’s grunge, and Slint’s scathing math rock.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Northwestern metal band takes a huge leap forward with this impeccably engineered display of doom. Like the trunk of an ancient tree, “Rigid Man” is dense and primeval—its heaving rhythms will leave you picturing a behemoth rolling a boulder up a mountaintop in a thunderstorm. From a squalling haze of noise, “Image of Control” coalesces into a deeply satisfying cudgel-swinging riff. Unlike its doom metal peers, Sumac is never drowsy. Their musical ambitions heat up “Blackout,” a writhing epic that occupies the overlapping territory between Sleep’s stoner metal, Sub Pop’s grunge, and Slint’s scathing math rock.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

Thundersnow001 ,

Thank you

Great album all the way though. I like to listen to it in complete darkness.

Zippy8226 ,

Buy it already!

This album is one of my favorites of 2016. These guys are very talented musicians and Aaron Turner's growls are excellent. It only gets better with repeated listening.

Neurosis Fan ,

One of Aaron Turner's greatest achievements

Sumac found a way to top their debut, The Deal with this monster of an album. This is probably the heaviest music Aaron Turner has ever created.....certainly the most dense. The Deal had these qualties as well, but somehow the restrained tension & menace are more impressive here. All 5 tracks are classics.....all 5. Image of Control is a very unconventional way to start an album, with it's 1st few minutes of noise and mayhem. It soon gives way to a very heavy and dense song and Turner's signature voice leads the way. Rigid Man follows and this one sounds the most like somthing from The Deal. But halfway thru it pauses for a few minutes and builds slowly to help the listener get ready for the devastatingly heavy ending. Clutch of Oblivion is astounding. The 4-minute gentle guitar intro soon gives way to a heaviness that is simply awesome to behold. Nick Yacyshyn's drumming on this track is pure insanity. The 17-min epic Blackout is almost impossible to describe. This song has so many parts that you end up getting lost in it's brilliance. Luckily, this means that each listen reveals something new. The closer, Will to Reach probably sounds more like Turner's 1st band than anything I've heard from Sumac or Old Man Gloom. It reminds me a lot of "From Sinking" from Oceanic. Nothing can prepare you for it's final 2 minutes that redefine what "heavy music" is. It's one of a dozen or so moments on this album that do that.....leaving you trying to understand if what you're hearing is even possible. I would probably put this in Aaron Turner's top 4 albums....right there with Oceanic, In the Absence of Truth, The Ape of God 1 & 2, & Christmas. It's amazing that a sophomore album released only 1 year after it's predecessor could be better than albums like Wavering Radiant, Panopticon, Celestial, No, The Deal.....but somehow it is.

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