The backdrop of a bad trip. A Stirring in the Noos, the new release by the death metal lords known as John Frum, comprised of members of The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Faceless, John Zorn, Cleric and many more elite projects. It’s been nearly a 6 year journey to get to this release and in my opinion, its been worth every single minute of that time.
I’ll be honest, this is the first this has popped up on my radar and even a little outside of my normal listening habits. That being said, by the time I was on the second listen through, I was absolutely hooked. It draws you in. It has an impatience to it, its asking why the hell you aren’t onboard yet, why can’t you keep up with the absolute insane drumming, the crushing guitar?
It’s a refreshing, flowing album, revelling in the conception of the cult followers of the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu coming together to celebrate their esoteric way of life.
It kicks in hard with the first track, Presage of Emptiness. The building staccato drums with the strong guitar behind it and when the bass kicks in, it leads to the begining of the cacophany that inspires this music. This leads perfectly into the melodic start of Pining Light, which ebbs and flows with a rhythmic feel and carries on strong. Memory Palace has a haunting intro leading into a trance like feel that draws you in. The whole album is telling a story of that fateful people who struggled with old world beliefs mixed with a new exposure to the world from the American soldiers of WWII when they descended on the Islands along with the Cargo that was dropped from the skies.
The story intensifies with the excellent Through Sand and Spirit, which for me is the standout song on the album. It’s intricate, brutal and showcases the individual members perfectly and casts hints to their heritage. The haunting intro to Lacustrine Divination builds with a solid bass line and arpeggios that start an epic song with a dark psychedelic body that is angry and driven.
He Come has a complicated feel to it that engages and portrays the idea of this confusion of their new doctrine and the fusion of the ancient and the new, which leads to the embrace of the new concept in Assumption of Form. The longest song of the album, it is a detailed, technical, slower and sets the mood for the end track, Wasting Subtle Body. This is the perfect end to the story, It’s fast, it’s hard, it’s the pinnacle of the artists’ vision.
All in all, this is a solid album which will hit hard and impress on all levels. As I mentioned previously, this is a departure for me and I was immediately drawn in. You won’t find any better example of musicianship in this genre and the very concept is pure brilliance.
Album released May 12th and check out John Frum on all social media platforms and their official website www.johnfrumband.com