Sumac – What One Becomes album review

Former Isis frontman confronts his inner demons with Sumac

Sumac, What One Becomes album cover

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Documenting ex-Isis guitarist/vocalist Aaron Turner’s struggles with anxiety, Sumac’s second album is a torrid affair, with surprisingly accessible grooves at its core.

In keeping with the theme, the dissonance that constantly gnaws at the edges takes its toll, turning the low swagger of Image Of Control into 10 minutes of suffering.

The unrelenting Rigid Man drags out its hypertension longer than is comfortable, refusing to provide catharsis. If Turner’s intention was to articulate the suffering of existential angst, he’s done his job. Release comes in the mellifluous opening minutes of Clutch Of Oblivion, soon boiling over into barely controlled rage, hollow howls a window into a tortured soul. Closer Will To Reach displays defiance, the expression of a will to prevail even through suffering. What One Becomes doesn’t provide any answers, but stands instead as testament to a desire to prevail innate to the human spirit.