Friday, 19 October 2012

#217 Jute Gyte - Senescence

Jute Gyte albums are a far from rare occurrence, with releases geared towards black-metal emerging at least a couple of times a year. Fortunately, as experience has taught me, the speed of production doesn't make the music itself sound rushed; far from it. I can't say new releases take my by surprise any more, such is the rapidity of their appearance, but I my interest was certainly grabbed by the latest black-metal album - Senescence.

Adam Kalmbach, the man behind the Jute Gyte name almost always manages to describe his music far better than I can, and the couple of lines which accompany Senescence are no exception. One of the words which struck me the most was when he described the music as "tangled", which may have been exactly the word I was seeking each and every time I've reviewed a Jute Gyte album. As with the previous releases, this manifests itself most generally as twisted, often violently discordant, but at the same time rigorously and meticulously structured black-metal; mechanistic, but also at times very emotionally charged; Blissful, melancholy and at times unnerving tremolos and quieter sections pepper the whole record, in a way which renders Jute Gyte's brand of black-metal something rather unique, still. The accustomed percussive bedlam of dissonant and hypnotic rhythm which bedecks all of the black-metal albums under the Jute Gyte moniker is present as always, slightly, subtly different in some ways, and exceptionally consistent in others. This album sees a greater exploration of slower tempos, and while a lot of the album still shrieks past at a relentless speed, there are many slower sections which really give the unique atmosphere of Jute Gyte some room to manoeuvre and breathe, casting it in a different light. The atmosphere is certainly something which has been refined as the albums go by, and from Young Eagle onwards, the albums take small steps towards a slightly more organic feel, both aesthetically and sonically.

One of the things I enjoy when listening to any of Jute Gyte's black-metal material is the fearless experimentation. Rhythms and structures which I dare say many bands would be afraid to try make it onto the album, often to great effect; The middle sections of "Striated Rubies" for instance is a winding, inscrutable mass of guitar-work which nonetheless sounds fantastic, and not merely through some token bizarreness, but through genuinely adding to the album and sounding complete, well thought out, and effective. What I can only imagine to be unusual-time-signatures, syncopation, and other such musical devices which I lacked a full understanding of when I reviewed the last album, and still lack an understanding of now, are used very effectively throughout the record, and the end result is something which sounds positively non-euclidean, albeit in a positive way. While initially inaccessible, the music is a particularly tasty acquired taste, one very much worth diverting oneself from all other activities and really concentrating on while it's playing; It's the kind of music which is very easy to get lost in, with cleverly layered subtleties making it addictive and infinitely explorable. It is once again clear that Kalmbach has crafted in a short time, an album, the writing-quality of which belies the rapidity of his musical output.

I was informed by Adam Kalmbach that this album is "[...] kind of my final statement in the style I've been mining since Verstiegenheit or Impermanence". Is this the last album in this particular style? Perhaps. Maybe it's just hindsight, but this album does have quite a strong sense of finality on it. Is it the final album by Jute Gyte? Almost certainly not. He says he has "definite plans", and considering that he thought up something as thoroughly unique as the project's current sound, I await his next scheme with great interest. Until then, of course, I plan to enjoy this album.

I think this might be my favourite yet - 9/10. 

Jute Gyte on Bandcamp [this album is free, or "pay what you want to"]
Jute Gyte on Metal Archives