Sumac – “Attis’ Blade”

Aaron Turner used to lead Isis — the great Boston shoegaze-metal travelers, not the terrorist organization. A couple of years ago, he started a new band called Sumac, with Russian Circles bassist Brian Cook and Baptists drummer Nick Yacyshyn. In 2016, they released What One Becomes, an impressive double-album debut. Earlier this year, they teamed up with the Japanese avant-garde veteran Keiji Haino for a collaborative album with the awesome title American Dollar Bill – Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous To Look At Face On. And next month, Sumac are coming back with Love In Shadow, their second proper album.

Talking about the new album, Turner says, “While all Love In Shadow was written before our recording session with Haino, that experience further bolstered our confidence to travel further into territories free of preconceived structure and melody. Immediacy, intuition, and risk have become an increasingly important aspect of our music making.”

You can definitely hear that confidence on “Attis’ Blade.” The first single that Sumac have shared from the new album is 16 fucking minutes long, which is both a bold choice and a pretty clear indication of what this band does. Even more than Turner did with Isis, Sumac transform metal sonics into free-ranging experimental works. “Attis’ Blade” is an endlessly expansive stomp-rocker that moves from fire-eyed death-trudge to all-out freakout and then back again. It’s the sort of song you can get lost in. Check it out below.

Love In Shadow is out 9/21 on Thrill Jockey.