The new aural assault provided by ISIS and Old Man Gloom mastermind Aaron Turner has arrived under the new moniker SUMAC. Turner has teamed up with Baptists percussion wizard and Dave Grohl's favorite drummer Nick Yacyshyn, as well as "auxiliary" member Brian Cook. Cook is the bass player for instrumental powerhouse Russian Circles and was a principal member in both These Arms Are Snakes and Botch. I normally wouldn't spend so many words recalling the member's resumes, however it helps in understanding the overall sound presented on "The Deal". Sonically, this album is a beast, as it was recorded by Mell Dettmer (Wolves In The Throne Room, Sunn 0)) etc.) and mixed by Kurt Ballou (Converge, Nails, Black Breath, most modern heavy music).

There aren't many bands I can think of that can seamlessly blend the sounds of each member's "primary" projects to create an altogether new and refreshing entity. It would be lazy of myself to identify the albums heavier sections that feature Turner's signature gruff barking and dissonant breakdown riffs as an "ISIS or OMG part", because both Yacyshyn and Cook's contributions really help provide new and interesting textures not present in Turner's aforementioned bands. As a big fan of Baptists and a fellow drummer, it's interesting for me as a listener to hear Yacyshyn playing a more groove heavy style, while still having room to lay down his highly frenetic drum fills and heavy hitting. Cook's bass playing is so integral in making the album sound as heavy as it is. I've spent much time in previous reviews rambling about how happy I am that the bass guitar is becoming relevant in heavy music again. Cook's tone never necessarily takes the forefront but is certainly heard against Turner's devastating wall of guitar.

"Spectral Gold" begins ominously, as a Turner soundscape is accented by a single, reverb soaked guitar. Intensity builds before segueing into "Thorn In The Lion's Paw", which starts with dissonant piano chords before erupting into a full band assault. Yacyshyn's erratic drumming gives the verse riff an off time feel, before moving into a groove heavy main riff. A break in the chaos transitions from the heavy riffs into a delay soaked wall of guitars and more piano. Another way in which SUMAC differentiates itself from Turner's other projects is in the instrumental interludes, or breaks in the heavier sections of songs. Rather than being strictly "noise" or synth based, much of what occurs on "The Deal" is instrumental interludes, whether it be a lone guitar droning about or a wall of feedback against washed out cymbals.

The almost 14 minute epic title track "The Deal" begins with a chunky, palm muted riff that dances in time with a tom heavy percussion section. Just as the band builds on said riff, things veer off to Turners pick scraping the strings, before building the intensity back into a full band assault. There are sections of Turner's melodic vocals, intense dissonant passages soaked in low end and frenetic double kick drum, almost a sampler of what SUMAC is truly capable of. Any fan of heavy music or any band mentioned throughout this review should check this record out.

The Deal is available digitally and on CD through Profound Lore Records and on vinyl through SIGE Records. However, you'll need to wait for the 2nd pressing, as 1st pressing preorders sold out within an hour or two (And I got a copy suckas). Stream a track below: