American/Canadian post-metal/sludge metal band SUMAC recently released their extensively enthralling 8-minute lead single “The Iron Chair” off their forthcoming fourth full-length studio album May You Be Held, slated for release on October 2, via Thrill Jockey. According to a press release, the collective’s latest free-flowing sound and improvisational avant-garde approach to their, “…music is by no means a salve or anodyne, but neither is it nihilistic. Rather, its forceful approach and challenging timbres are like a confrontation, a baptism by fire, a therapeutic razing.”
SUMAC is not pigeonholed easily into one genre, the trio collective fuses industrial music and noise metal with an avant-garde almost performance art approach to their music. The touring roster is comprised of members from other metal bands that provide their own styles collectively such as Vashon, Washington-based frontman Aaron Turner of Mamiffer, Isis and Old Man Gloom fame, New York-based bassist Brian Cook of These Arms Are Snakes, Botch and Russian Circles fame and British Columbia-based drummer Nick Yacyshyn of Baptists fame. As SUMAC they have released three full length studio albums: 2015’s The Deal, 2016’s What One Becomes and 2018’s Love in Shadow.
The collective have also released the 2018 collaborative project with prolific Japanese free improvisation/noise music recording artist Keiji Haino entitled American Dollar Bill – Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous To Look at Face On, via Thrill Jockey.
The latest intense 8-minute long single from SUMAC entitled “The Iron Chair” sonically is a free for all of instrumentation that plays with song structure. The industrial sounding guitar riffs coupled with screeching bass and a rumbling sets of percussion is simultaneously played to the backdrop of Turner’s guttural vocal delivery. There are lulls in the track that play for dramatic effect until another facet of the song presents itself. An amalgamation of sounds and ideas placed in just one track, makes “The Iron Chair” a transformative tour de force of a listen.
To listen to SUMAC’s “The Iron Chair” stream below, via BandCamp.