Vast Chains

by Jute Gyte

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1.
Useless blood swayed by sunken moons The misty sun is grown a dimmer gold Where beauty with her doom conspires To tell in flame what death and beauty mean In a burnt land of ashes Winter and silence and woe have come Semen dried into the silence of rock and mineral Silence all-attending and supreme
2.
The burdens of embodiment and contingency Omnipresent delimiters An obsidian tower at every quadrant Blood and flesh are the parody of desire Lust is the plea before the executioner Endless moths swarming Golems of spoiled food and excrement I have seen vases and polished brass Reflect black windows The gardener’s lichen’s human scream
3.
The influence of repulsion A continuity of nothingness Mind betrays body Body betrays mind See us from outside Vast worms knotted by habit Vast chains to hold us down The failure of intimacy The impossibility of power The inexpressible loneliness of thinking The beast obscured by black dusk
4.
The murdered innocence of the sea Flux and permanence The wave’s black banners break endlessly The wolves of water that howl along our coast The live red flame of sunset eating the dead blue sky The sun-spangled blood of the woods Broken souls and bodies ruinous Sick with desire and fastened to a dying animal Meaningless as a burnt scroll that blackens with the passing of the fire
5.
Refusing a heavenly mansion Raging in the dark But in the deserts of night and cold and void Gathered beneath a greater shadow's wings I saw a city where each house stood On a rock between black seas Solitude may rust your words
6.
I cannot find a way through love and through To lose this ever-aching loneliness in vaster solitude Only a locked door The long remorse Vanished incommunicable moods The dolor in the bells of blinded lands The thousand-chorded monotones of pain Locked doors without keys Prisons without and prisons within Labyrinths of newsprint Coiled and rotting in your cave The black wastes of the evening sky Desolate oceans, and the light of lonely plains What in our lives is burnt in the fire of this? A burnt space through ripe fields

about

Notes:
"Semen Dried Into the Silence of Rock and Mineral" is a line from Anaïs Nin's House of Incest. "The Inexpressible Loneliness of Thinking" is a line from the essay "On Poetic Truth" by H.D. Lewis, sometimes mistakenly attributed to Wallace Stevens; I confess that I haven't read the essay and got the line from Marshall Boswell's Understanding David Foster Wallace. I regard this song title as the best I'm likely to come across and I sometimes lament having used it already. "Refusing a Heavenly Mansion" is a line from Yeats. "What in our lives is burnt/in the fire of this?" is a line from "August 1914" by Isaac Rosenberg. Several lines on this album are appropriated from the poetry of Clark Ashton Smith.

"One-man Missouri avant-garde black-metal project Jute Gyte uses guitars retro­fitted to play 24-tone equal-tempered scales—meaning he's got twice as many notes in an octave as an ordinary guitarist. His songs teem with unearthly clusters of seasick dissonance, so that they sometimes sound like early Sonic Youth with blastbeats and shrieking. Unfamiliar microtonal intervals create intricate acoustic interference patterns, so that tones shimmer and dislocate. Ears accustomed to Western 12-tone polyphony can barely process these sounds—they sink into your skull like red-hot stones into ice. It's like you're listening to a tape at the wrong speed, or to music warped by a black hole's gravitational lens on its way here from several galaxies away." - Chicago Reader

"You'll recognize the use of microtonal riffing if you've experienced last year's Discontinuities, only rather than repeating that album, he's interpreted the technique into a more unpredictable, angular geometry that throws you curve balls in almost every track on the album. Songs are divided into harsher passages of insectoid, bristling dissonance, or springier and cleaner riffs set off against distorted dementia, with the tempos fluxed between the faster black metallic rushes of his prior works and a slower, creepier miasma of impenetrable doom that is compounded by the fresh intervals being picked and strummed. I couldn't even begin to accurately compare this to anything outside of Jute Gyte's own body of work, but strange word puzzles like 'Philip Glass being filtered through the unwashed demos of the stranger LLN bands' seem to pop into my imagination as I'm listening." - From the Dust Returned

"Kalmbach plays a microtonal guitar, which allows him to lever unbelievable amounts of dissonance into his compositions — so much that it’s easy to forget that he’s playing a guitar at all. And yet his songs are weirdly compelling, thanks in part to his awesome vocals and lyrics. This is seriously some of the most insane-sounding metal I’ve ever heard." - Stereogum

"Vast Chains takes all the tropes of black metal and transforms them into something super psychedelic and avant, the tunings, the arrangements, the melodies, fans of groups like Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord, who traffic in woozy, slippery riffage, and blurred blackness, Jute Gyte takes that experimentalism a step further... the guitar parts and riffs are so odd, so damaged and atonal, sometimes they conjure utter beauty, lush lovely sonic swells, other times, they're so warped they almost make your eyes water. Opener "Semen Dried Into The Silence Of Rock And Mineral", lays it all out, sounding a bit like a slow motion Mesuhuggah, or a super spare, 20th century Deathspell, the sound chugging and churning, creeping and slithering, the vibe more doomy really than black, the arrangement confoundingly mathy, intricate and constantly shifting, and the guitars, holy shit, even when the heaviness is peeled back, leaving just some haunting clean guitar shimmer, those parts somehow sound even MORE strange and alien." - Aquarius Records

credits

released February 3, 2014

Created Summer 2011 - Summer 2012
Thanks to A. Nin, C.A. Smith

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