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Jute Gyte's 'Perdurance' Is a Modern Classical Black Metal Masterwork

Stream the challenging, punishing new album from one of black metal's most intriguing outliers.

by Kim Kelly
02 June 2016, 9:00am

Jute Gyte has been making extremely complex, challenging music since 2002, and in enormous quantities; they're not quite Agathocles yet, but the sole musician behind the project, one Adam Kalmbach, has averaged around least three full-lengths per year for the past 14 years (his record was 5, in 2011), and has shown so signs of slowing down. Rather, his compositions continue to expand, and progress, pushing past the porous boundaries he's set for himself on black metal's outlying frontier.

In a genre where the slightest hint of dissonance or synths is grounds for declaring a band to be "experimental" or "progressive," Jute Gyte stands alone. Not only does Kalmbach more than make good on any "weird music" tag you may throw at him, he's managed to do the near-impossible and create a black metal band that's wholly, entirely unique. The secret lies in his use of microtones—extremely short intervals between notes that are much more commonly found in African and Asian music (thereby rendering Jute Gyte's approach all the more alien to Western ears). Add that to his ability to seamlessly merge modern classical music, unhinged black metal, and pulsating dark ambient with constantly shifting polyrhythms, and you get the kind of punishing, fascinating compositions that govern works like his latest effort, Perdurance (which we're streaming in full below, and will be officially released on June 6).

You don't need a degree in music to understand Jute Gyte; I'm sure it helps, but those who appreciate the weird, the dark, and the complex will find much to interest them here, whether you're sworn to Blut Aus Nord or captivated by the more adventurous noise or progressive death metal bands floating out there in the ether. All of Jute Gyte's releases are available for free download on Bandcamp, too, so you've got no excuse not to dive in. I might have gotten better grades in my college music theory classes if my professor had played stuff like this.

Kim Kelly is picking her jaw up off the floor on Twitter.