Sumac – Love In Shadow album review

Former Isis frontman takes his avant metallers into pastures new

Sumac – Love In Shadow album cover

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Love In Shadow

Sumac – Love In Shadow album cover

1. The Task
2. Attis' Blade
3. Arcing Silver
4. Ecstasy Of Unbecoming

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Released hot on the heels of a Keiji Haino collaboration, Love In Shadow sees Sumac continuing to draw from a rich wellspring of creativity. 

Granted, it’s far less freeform – and far easier to digest – than 2016’s What One Becomes, but still exhibits the same restless, experimental spirit. 

If 20-minute opener The Task begins by burrowing into familiar ground with its jagged riffs, powerhouse drumming and craggy grumbles, it’s not long before things get weird, with febrile, scattered rhythms entering the fray and jarring, jazz-influenced clatters giving the contorted riffing a run for its money. 

The album spreads and sprawls via a series of muscular contractions and troubled exhalations, finally ending on a note that seems more inspired by a Daniel Higgs banjo raga than anything ‘typically’ heavy. The results are masterful, strange and challenging. Thinking folks’ metal, indeed.