What Sumac becomes is a new favorite.
Genius comes in many different forms. Mediums vary, target audiences myriad. Yet what remains the common factor is its received appreciation. There’s much to be obliged when it comes to the output of the new, but not green by any means, Sumac, who are only proving their genius further with their newest album.
What One Becomes is Sumac’s follow up to their 2015 debut, The Deal, but the album travels light years beyond sophomore efforts from other bands. With a cast specializing in the heavier arts, Aaron Turner of the highly touted Mamiffer and Old Man Gloom contracted drummer Nick Yacyshyn of British Columbia’s metal-punk Baptists to help conceive Sumac’s beefy rendering with session contributions from ex-Botch and These Arms Are Snakes bassist Brian Cook. The rest is still history developing, but What One Becomes can already be considered a colossal chapter.
It might seem easy to be turned off by the album’s opener, “Image of Control,” which is some 10 minutes of bristling chaotic clamor. Toughing it out until “Rigid Man” will bring you closer to what is heard on The Deal. Only five tracks long, What One Becomes loaded much discord into a small package. “Clutch of Oblivion” acts as a perfect fulcrum between the first and second halves, with Turner seething vocal tones that seem to come from his darkest depths.
“Blackout” runs over 17 minutes long and alone could be its own expansive collection. For just one track, it runs a gamut of sound, at times an unruffled calm closer to that of Mamiffer. Yet, at other times extending to the sonic grandeur of Yacyshyn’s and Cook’s other efforts are apparent. Its transition is smooth into “Will to Reach,” which surmises Sumac as a whole. Yacyshyn takes a major lead on this track, sending off the album with a blasted drum production that’s truly indicative of his abilities.
As individual singles, each stand on their own as a different facet of Sumac’s intriguing essence, while as a whole collection, it flaunts a quality that lingers desire. It’ll be interesting to see what heights Sumac will reach with their third album after seeing how high they can already achieve.