Ship of Theseus

by Jute Gyte

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Atmospheric Black Metal Cat
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Atmospheric Black Metal Cat I am mildly disturbed that I enjoy this so much. Favorite track: Grief of New Desire.
Steven Smith
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Steven Smith it sounds "wrong," but it's so right! Favorite track: Machinery That Renders Debt Infinite.
Ken Goodey
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Ken Goodey The guitar parts here seem almost half-hearted, as if the player just couldn’t be bothered, but they work perfectly with the frantic, stuttering drums, and the angry, straining vocal. An old comedian from the UK used to play the piano deliberately badly for comic effect - adding one or two bum notes, exactly where they needed to be. An incredibly difficult thing to do, I'm told, and this music’s oddness has also been skilfully and carefully crafted to be...well...right. Favorite track: Lugubrious Games (Sans Frontières).
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Elaborating on the themes of continuity of consciousness, identity and change, there is a lot of imitative polyphony on this album. The title track opens with a two-voice canon (A), followed by a riff derived from that canon, itself joined halfway through by a second guitar in an inversion canon. After this riff, a new two-voice canon (B) appears which is joined at its midpoint by a return of the first canon, creating a four-voice double canon. The inversion canon riff recurs, followed by another inversion canon riff, derived from canon B, that ends the track,. "Grief of New Desire" opens with a four-voice, four-note canon. The note sequence D-half flat, C-half sharp, D flat, C natural is repeated on four guitars, each in a different octave, each starting on a different note in the sequence. Because all four pitches are in constant circulation the effect is harmonic stasis, though the shifting registers create an illusion of cyclical movement like a sound-object being rotated. The slow riff which follows becomes a canon. "Lugubrious Games (Sans Frontières)" opens with a canon backed by delayed (hence canonic) drums; "Machinery That Renders Debt Infinite" includes inversion canons.

The closing line of "Lugubrious Games", "the word always dies where the claim of some reality is total", is from Jean Amery's At the Mind's Limits, as are several other lines used in this album's lyrics. Much of the title track's lyric is drawn from Lucretius. The title "Pain and Wrath Are the Singers" is drawn from Robinson Jeffer's translation of Medea; that song's line "aimless years from nothingness to nothingness again " comes from Lovecraft. The wordplay "the afternoon's meshes" is D.F. Wallace's.

"Ship of Theseus’s lumbering compositions are calculated and ponderous, taking time away from their polyrhythmic antagonism to sojourn into prickly clean guitar passages and unsettling intervals of noise and samples.... Much like abstract art, Ship of Theseus is devoid of many of the things we normally find pleasurable in music, yet still might manage to generate significance and potentially even beauty for (some of) those who take the time to parse its inaccessible facade. I’m positive that I don’t understand much of what Kalmbach is doing here, and calling Jute Gyte “difficult to listen to” is putting it rather lightly (this stuff makes Paracletus sound like Sunbather, and this record is actually on the “mellower” side for Kalmbach), but Ship of Theseus is an inarguably impressive work in its vision, organization and execution." -

"Completely inhuman, microtonal black metal executed with machine-like precision and an extremely deep knowledge of 20th century/modern classical composition techniques. To put it in laymen’s terms, this sounds like an alien, spectral ship melting into a sea of disembodied, amorphous flesh. Try and wrap your head around this – it will take a bit." - Invisible Oranges


released June 1, 2015

All music, lyrics and design by Adam Kalmbach
Created October 2012 - May 2014



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Track Name: Lugubrious Games (Sans Frontières)
Gargoyles of history beckoning
Authorities of night
The absolute opposition of thought and being
The reduction to nothing by judgment and hand
Immolated on the world’s altar
Insects devouring one another on an atom of mud
Festivals of atonement
A game with ideas
The word always dies where the claim of some reality is total
Track Name: Forces of Self-Shedding
I cannot countenance the thought
Of broken glass remaining broken glass
The experience of repetition as death
Memories once shifting grown solid
Dismantling the past piece by piece
Self-contempt and hatred for the lost self
The full force of time’s depth’s horror
Cast back to the chain of desires
Nailed to the cross of the ruined past
Regression and nullification
Greed of time and being
Track Name: Grief of New Desire
The knot of the braid
The caves and meadows of the flesh
The hopelessness at the heart of lust
Grief like the growing vine
My hopes in you have made me sick
Heron stillness in summer water
Lopped logs rotting in the moss
Altars without offerings
Gardens sown with dust
Track Name: Ship of Theseus
Wolves of water
Might of blind force
Living movement of sunlight
Currents churning
The reflecting edges of the shale
Soft rains pierce hard marble
Heat seeps through the silver
There is only mixing and dissociation
Nothing remains
What is the life that I have chosen?
The wave-shattered hull
Theseus in the labyrinth
Hunched in a cave of broken myths
Track Name: Machinery That Renders Debt Infinite
The force which shapes blades on a hill of sickness
The grafted skin and clinging cerements
The overwhelming indifference of nature
The procession of each successive moment
The appeal for pity resonating in the void
The black-lipped wound that mouths oblivion
Machinery that renders debt infinite
Track Name: Pain and Wrath Are the Singers
Fixed to decay
Knotted by habit
The rituals of bound bodies
The dull resonance that vibrates through these days
The afternoon’s meshes
Pale clotted light
I tremble in nightmares of silence
Lonely nights in empty houses
The night’s slow poison
Aimless years from nothingness to nothingness again
Kneeling before a void
Brought into being in order to suffer
New and dreadful liberty
Pain and wrath are the singers
The great work is a stone