Aaron Turner used to lead the unfortunately-named-in-retrospect shoegaze-metal titans Isis, and he’s also the frontman of the deeply underrated experimental metal crew Old Man Gloom. Turner is also the main man in the power trio Sumac, alongside Russian Circles bassist Brian Cook and Baptists drummer Nick Yacyshyn. Later this year, they’ll release their second album, a double LP that they recorded with Converge guitarist and consistently excellent metal producer Kurt Ballou. It’s called What One Becomes, and it’s only got five tracks on it, so expect all those tracks to be long. That’s certainly the case with first single “Rigid Man,” a 10-minute Godzilla-stomp trudge with some fleeting moments of beauty. If you’ve ever enjoyed Godflesh or Neurosis, you will probably find things to like in it. Below, listen to “Rigid Man,” check out the album’s tracklist, and read a statement on it from Turner.
01 “Image Of Control”
02 “Rigid Man”
03 “Clutch Of Oblivion”
05 “Will To Reach”
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.
What One Becomes is out 6/10 on Thrill Jockey.