Atmospheric black metallers So Hideous have returned with a new album and single, their first since 2015.
The band headlined the MetalSucks 10th anniversary bash we held at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus bar in early 2017. That seems like friggin’ FOREVER ago, and indeed, the band’s undergone a complete rhythm section swap in the ensuing down time: ex-The Number Twelve Looks Like You bassist DJ Scully (also ex-Dead Empires and ex-Black Table) and drummer Michael Kadnar now round out the group.
Similarly, on “The Emerald Pearl,” the first single from the new album, the band has expanded quite a bit sonically. Band leader Brandon Cruz explains to Brooklyn Vegan:
“I think we still have the foundation of what we laid before, being influenced largely by Japanese post metal bands Mono and Envy, and composers such as Arvo Part and Max Richter. We wanted more rhythm this time and we expanded outward to include influences from Fela Kuti and Tony Allen’s Afrobeat percussion, James Brown’s horn section, and the balladry of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. It was also nice to finally experiment a bit with more Penderecki-style tone clusters and glissando on the more dissonant sections.”
Wow! That’s ambitious. But the moment you hit play on “The Emerald Pearl” you’ll realize he’s for real… these dudes aren’t messing around with continuing to push outside of the conservative boundaries of metal. That’s always a good thing, and what’s more, it works; this track is mesmerizing, whatwith its repeated guitar motif punctuated by pointed saxophone blasts and violin strikes. All in the shell of a more standard metal song, of course, with the requisite drum blasts and screamed vocals. Count me in.
None But a Pure Heart Can Sing, which was engineered, mixed and mastered by ex-The Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist Kevin Antreassian, comes out on December 3 via Silent Pendulum Records (pre-order).