John Frum are a death metal band from the US. This is their debut album.
This is very much not your standard death metal album.
Featuring present and past members of bands such as The Faceless, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and John Zorn, this release combines progressive, avant-garde, atmospheric, dissonant, technical, and psychedelic death metal into a darkly enjoyable whirlwind of chaos and heaviness.
Yep, as you can probably imagine from the above paragraph, there’s a lot of different things happening within these tracks, but they all work together coherently to present an album that’s heavy, full of depth, brimming with enjoyable music, and filled with destructive vision.
The music is dense, but not impenetrable. The songs work tirelessly to incorporate all of the aforementioned sub-styles without managing to sound forced, or, crucially, like they’re trying to do too much or swamp the listener in overbearing sound just for the sake of it. Although I wouldn’t refer to this as accessible for the general metal listener, it’s certainly more accessible that some examples of bands that tread this kind of path, and ultimately the songs on A Stirring in the Noos are extremely enjoyable.
As you would expect from the quality and experience of the people involved in putting this album together, the level of musicianship and performance on here is faultless. The songwriting is also equally as advanced, with the band crafting songs that have the right balance between instant impact and long-term depth. The former is probably not as obvious as some would like, while the latter requires multiple spins to really materialise. And, as we all know, this is largely true of most of the best albums out there. A Stirring in the Noos gets better and better with every listen.
I really like the cold malevolence that runs through this album like a streak of blood-tinged ice. John Frum are not messing around. This is deadly serious music, played with a frosted passion and lethal intent.
The singer’s growls and screams are perfectly executed, with the music skilfully weaving around his belligerent delivery with agility and flawless aggressive atmosphere.
Topped off with the kind of professional production you would expect from an act such as this, A Stirring in the Noos sounds colossal from every angle. Whether it is slowly trying to crush the life out of you, or maybe saw you in half with its serrated riffs, these songs fly the flag for deadly, atypical death metal with an uncompromising vitality.
If you’re a fan of the elite of this kind of thing – Gorguts, Ulcerate, Sunless, Coma Cluster Void, etc. – then John Frum is an absolute must.
Essential listening, that’s for sure.
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