Sumac -- Love in Shadow
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SumacLove in Shadow

★★★☆ First off, don’t let the 4-song-66-minutes thing fool you: there are definitely sections and breaks in those tracks. That said, this feels like Sumac’s attempt at pulling a Catch Thirty Three. And the band pull it off a surprisingly high percentage of the time. Yet, this brand of post metal can’t seem to consistently bridle their experimentalism to the yoke of listenability.

Sumac -- What One Becomes
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SumacWhat One Becomes

★★★☆ On their sophomore effort, Sumac retreads their ponderous tonal territory, but one-up themselves by allowing more room for exploration, if you can believe it. There’s just a hint of thoughtfulness here, which serves to rein in Aaron Turner’s self-indulgent tendencies only slightly but to great effect. Whereas the songs on their debut “The Deal” sprinkled heavy passages across a bleak but sometimes forgettable landscape, “What One Becomes” puts more stock in the in-betweens.

Sumac -- The Deal
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SumacThe Deal

This was a surprise, considering that almost half of this band is Aaron Turner, the second-hardest working man in metal, and judging from his recent efforts, a confirmed audio sociopath. But rather than an assault of antisocial noise, this is a dirty yet progressive slab of musical rage. It’s somewhere between Isis (natch), Old Man Gloom (natch), and The Jesus Lizard (huh?)