When it comes to naming your band in the genre of death metal or any of its fellow confederates, you’d obviously wanna go with the most menacing title you can stumble upon. And while members of The Faceless, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Intensus all come from some of the heaviest backgrounds of metal music, the following band they all take part in, comes as a newly bred entity John Frum, who was said to be an oceanic deity and World War II serviceman that brought wealth and prosperity to those who followed him. But, the kind of wealth that is conveyed by this ensemble of endowed zealots comes in the form of their debut release A Stirring in the Noos.
In this forty-three minute opaque journey, A Stirring in the Noos is exhibited as an inoculation of doom, anguish and trepidation at really high, phobic levels. Introductions are underway with “Presage of Emptiness”, which follows through with a concoction of black and death metal elements. A collection of heavy grooves and deathcore-inspired guitar solos are on display.
While “Pining Light” and “Wasting Subtle Body” give off more black than death metal rudiments, there are also plenty of dark ambient/shoegaze moments that linger in the background, which is transparent in the likes of “Memory Palace” and “Lacustrine Divination”. “Through Sand and Spirit” and “Assumption of Form”, however, are more groovy-riff orientated and carry a more ominous sensation than a lot of the other songs. Even though a majority of A Stirring in the Noos is the dark and brooding type, every composition takes its own form of agony and obscurity.
The musicianship involved in the record doesn’t feel much like a teamwork effort. The members themselves put more into their own doing. In other words, while fellowship is important, Eli, Liam, Matt and Derek have so much faith in each other on this record, that they don’t need to peek over each other’s shoulders to make sure everything is put together in a way most would consider correct. Which is one reason why there’s so much potency in their own instruments, leading up to the result of what A Stirring in the Noos holds in the cards.
It’s definitely not the type of record that would overshadow the likes of what The Faceless or The Dillinger Escape Plan have offered in the past. Luckily, it’s not one that sugarcoats its own presence, either, which is great. John Frum aren’t exactly taking you into an enfilade of diversity, but with what they present in A Stirring in the Noos is a much more inherent continuity than what most death/blackened debuts do when they make the cut.
John Frum bring a new force of malevolence and obscurity to the opaque nature of blackened death metal.
1. Presage of Emptiness
2. Pining Light
3. Memory Palace
4. Through Sand and Spirit
5. Lacustrine Divination
6. He Come
7. Assumption of Form
8. Wasting Subtle Body