It’s been a little while since we talked about a certain especially bizarre avant-garde black metal band: one of the most prolific one-man projects in metal, Jute Gyte is on the cutting edge of abrasion in heavy music. Only mentioned here twice overall – once in a previous Listen To This! post and once in a Beyond The Veil on 12-tone music – Jute Gyte is an oddity in the world of underground metal, taking the dissonance and uneasy atmosphere of groups like Deathspell Omega and Leviathan and pushing these qualities to their absolute extremes, courtesy of a combination of microtonal guitars, harsh noise, death industrial, and sound collages that work together to form music that sounds like it’s being forced and tortured into existence.
Typically, these elements are separated and confined to separate albums, but on Perdurance, the newest release, everything fits together into a framework that is as weird and out-of-this-world as it is uncomfortable and confusing. Buzz saw guitars and sparse drums fit together like some strange puzzle with throbbing, grinding industrial sections, replete with snarled vocals and polyphonies that leave the ear uneasy as parts feel like they should line up but never quite do. The feeling of nothing doing what it should is, perhaps, the best way to describe Jute Gyte’s effect on the listener: the microtonal guitars bring forth sounds foreign to the Western ear that immediately set one on edge with their dissonance and refusal to conform to what is expected, the noisy industrial sections lay on top of the black metal in ways that never metrically resolve how one thinks they should, and the withered, raspy tone of the vocals adds an odd sense of decay that adds to the unsettling atmosphere the whole album has about it.
Jute Gyte is music for people who don’t necessarily want what they take in to make them feel better, or even good. Typically, music is to soothe the soul or provide some sort of emotional resonance that helps one get through the day, but Perdurance is draining on a deep, deep level. The closest comparisons to what’s here are bands like The Body or artists like Gnaw Their Tongues and Prurient: music for the people who want to feel challenged by their listening, dared and defied to enjoy it by the artist in spite of what it is and how it sounds. Jute Gyte urges you, the listener, to eke some sort of enjoyment out of this combination of sounds. Having to fight for something out of their music isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who enjoy the struggle, this is your next great challenge.