12 O'Clock Track: Distressing microtonal black metal from Jute Gyte's new Vast Chains

Posted by Philip Montoro on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 12:00 PM

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I just wrote about Jute Gyte for In Rotation, only to discover after press deadline that it (or rather he) had released yet another album last week—for a total of 17 full-lengths since 2010.

Most of what I said still applies, though: Adam Kalmbach, aka one-man Missouri avant-garde black-metal project Jute Gyte, uses guitars retro­fitted to play 24-tone equal-tempered scales—meaning he's got twice as many notes in an octave as an ordinary guitarist. His songs teem with unearthly clusters of seasick dissonance, so that they sometimes sound like early Sonic Youth with blastbeats and shrieking. Unfamiliar microtonal intervals create intricate acoustic interference patterns, so that tones shimmer and dislocate. Ears accustomed to Western 12-tone polyphony can barely process these sounds—they sink into your skull like red-hot stones into ice. It's like you're listening to a tape at the wrong speed, or to music warped by a black hole's gravitational lens on its way here from several galaxies away.

Listen to "Semen Dried Into the Silence of Rock and Mineral" from the new Vast Chains after the jump.

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