Sumac – What One Becomes

Given the huge cult followings of metal pioneers like Isis and Botch, it’s honestly quite puzzling why Sumac didn’t completely explode last year with their debut LP, The Deal. It felt like some of frontman Aaron Turner’s most inspired and chaotic material ever, constantly ebbing-and-flowing between angular/dissonant hardcore and pummeling…

Aaron Turner of Sumac: The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview

For whatever indescribable and terrible reason, Sumac’s catastrophic and incendiary debut album The Deal didn’t make our year-end list, but rest assured that it’s one of the finest pieces of post/sludge/whatever-else-that’s-slow metal to come out in the past five years. Now after just a year since this incredible new group dropped a complete bomb in the form of six tracks, they’ve returned with another hour of Aaron Turner & Co’s most punishing and musically-demanding material yet. It won’t be out until June, but just know that What One Becomes is a hulking monstrosity of an album featuring some of the most lumbering and burdensome material any of Sumac’s three musicians have ever been involved with. I got a chance to chat with Aaron Turner, a man of many talents and bands alike, this past Monday about the future of Sumac, what inspires his writing process, and getting to the bottom of knowing whether Old Man Gloom will always trick us. Check it out below!

Mamiffer – The World Unseen

Typically, having Aaron Turner on a band’s roster is a sign of unquestionable success. His work in Isis alone is deserving of endless admiration, let alone his output as a solo artist, collaborator and one third of the phenomenal Celestial-worshiping Sumac. Yet, Mamiffer may be an exception to this standard, but not for the reasons apparent from a surface-level understanding. Mamiffer’s music most obviously solidifies this observation, as the project’s headfirst foray into organic, droning ambiance resembles only the fringes of Turner’s typical work. But more importantly is the fact that Mamiffer is a duo, with Turner’s actual other half truly dominating the conversation. Faith Coloccia pours herself into Mamiffer, which is especially true on The World Unseen. The ambition of the album emanates from sonic and emotional channels derived straight from the depths of Coloccia’s soul.

Hey! Listen to Cranial!

Post metal/atmospheric metal has an annoyingly ubiquitous sort of feel these days, doesn’t it? It seems as though every Friday we see yet another release of a band following in the footsteps of a Isis or Deafhaven, and more and more these releases continue to disappoint me, either through ad nauseam repeitition with little progression, or just uninspired songwriting. But I am here to say that although these releases won’t stop for a few more, there do exist some really good, post metal bands, although they’re very underground. In this case, I refer to Cranial and their debut EP Dead Ends, released by Germany’s Moment of Collapse Records.

Underling – Bloodworship

When it comes to experiencing new music, two things are certain: you can never judge a book by its cover, nor should you ever trust what the artists themselves say about their music until you’ve heard it for yourself. Underling — a Bay Area supergroup featuring members of Fallujah, Arkaik, and Battlecross — are proof enough of both of these rules, as their debut album Bloodworship looks like and is marketed as an atmospheric black metal record. Coming from a group of established death metal musicians, this should be somewhat of a departure on paper at the very least. However, when considering the record’s scope as a whole, Bloodworship is a far cry from the distant reverberations of Wolves in the Throne Room. It’s actually much more than that.

8-Track: Swans

Few bands are as acclaimed and influential as prolific New York no wave legends Swans; fewer still have earned this status more than once in the span of their career. Over the course of thirteen albums and two periods (1982 to 1997 and 2010 to now), Michael Gira and a…