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Building a path to greatness - 95%

Nochielo, November 21st, 2011

Barely giving any of us time to recover from the intensity experienced while listening to the jaw dropping Verstiegenheit, one-man band Jute Gyte has decided to grace the universe with another full-length album. The prolific musician has decided to unleash another metal opus (let us ignore the other two releases, not due to lack of quality, but rather because they are not metal, thus not an appropriate point of comparison) with only months to take in the demanding, yet phenomenally rewarding Verstiegenheit, which marveled those who had the pleasure of hearing the piece. The proximity between both releases is bound to cause fans to compare the albums with greater thoroughness. This, however, may be a necessary step in understanding exactly how the arising beast that is Impermanence tramples over Verstiegenheit, burns through half of the black metal world and brands its peculiar mark upon the metal tree.

For he who has yet to hear Jute Gyte, its music is firmly rooted on black metal, but the progressive elements, complex musicianship and extravagant take on psychedelia makes the whole affair far more interesting than anyone can efficiently translate into words and do justice to the band. These ideas are indeed present in Verstiegenheit, but what makes Impermanence so special is that every single of these elements achieves greater cohesion despite being even further away musically. The album vaguely reminds me of De Magia Veterum’s godly EP In Conspectu Divinae Majestatis or the incredible-beyond-comprehension Croire, Décroître by Unholy Matrimony. The progressive sections capture the listener better than they did in Verstiegenheit, the black metal is more diverse and aggressive and the psychedelic sections are wilder and fresher than ever. Tracks like The Wild Rain, The Old Hills’ Indifference and A Wind Sways the Pines are examples of how every comes together in a smoother, more logical fashion than before, which makes the songs easier to stomach. Despite the fact that most of the music here embraces black metal, the album doesn’t feature the general feel of the typical black metal album, but instead feels more like a fever dream gone horribly wrong, a sensation that I generally attribute to the masters from Sigh, and I mean this as a compliment (how can being compared to Sigh be anything but a compliment, anyway?). Instruments are played capably; there are no hyper-technical acrobatics to be found in anywhere, but the songs are ridden with abundant twists and turns, that turn them into complex machinations that are, at the very least, tricky to perform.

The album regrettably falls just short of perfection by quite simply not delivering a consistently strong vocal performance. While the death grunts sound fantastic, exhibiting great power and solid technique, the black metal shrieking (which constitutes roughly an 80-90 percent of all vocals in the album) sounds amateurish, almost as the singer is learning how to hit the black metal style properly. This is, however, less of a problem than it may sound upon reading this, since vocals are scarce and never get in the way of the music, which is far and away the strength of this effort and should by no means be a significant detriment to the quality of this release.

All things considered, Impermanence is a staggering gallery of awesome, and should prove quite impressive even to those who have followed Jute Gyte prior to this album. Every that happened in Verstiegenheit and that made it such a great listen is further expanded upon and integrated more coherently than ever before. Note that this sizeable progression has taken place within months of a very long and complex album, thus speaking volumes about the confounding promise (and rapid volume of material) that this project continues to display. There is no good reason why this release and/or this band to slip under the radar: as of the writing of this text, the album can be downloaded for free (LEGALLY) on bandcamp.com.