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Love is what makes us human. It guides our decisions, shapes our worldview, and defines our experiences. Its absence equates to tragedy while its presence gives our lives meaning. “Love has been well worn theme throughout a lot of rock music, but most commonly in terms of love-lost, overly romanticized versions of new love, or as a veil for sexual conquest,” says SUMAC guitarist and vocalist Aaron Turner (Old Man Gloom, Mamiffer, ISIS).
“It is rarely addressed in its more spiritual and vulnerable aspects.” Those less-traversed territories of humankind’s connective bond became the central theme SUMAC’s third full-length album, Love In Shadow, though their explorations of that motif are a far cry from traditional manifestations of love in the realm of art. Across four protracted songs, Turner and his cohorts—Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists, Erosion) on drums and Brian Cook (Russian Circles) on bass—interlace and mangle sounds from their instruments in a sonic homage to both the innate warmth of human magnetism and the cold realities of corrupted love—jealousy, obsession, perversion, addiction.
Beacon Of Faith broadly follows the same trajectory as the album’s predecessors, Bushcraft (2013) and Bloodmines(2014) – combining raw adrenaline-fuelled emotion, venomous vocal delivery, gigantic guitar sound, and a visceral rhythmic propulsion – a sonic manifestation of desolate rage, bolstered by a palpable sense of urgency.
Beacon Of Faith is densely-packed yet Baptists’ sound is far from claustrophobic, there is melody amongst the dissonance, as the band more deeply explore the noise rock vistas that have always underpinned their sound.
Lyrics are drawn from their direct experience of a broken society and general discontentment with everyday life. A multitude of issues are in the firing line, from the Canadian court system, issues surrounding substance abuse, mental health, and how the more fortunate “tend to dismiss people who have been dealt a less-fortunate hand” – as guitarist Danny also reflects.
Beacon Of Faith was recorded at Godcity in Salem. Massachusetts with Kurt Ballou in July 2017, and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege in Portland, Oregon.
Andrew Drury – vocals
Danny Marshall – guitar
Sean Hawryluk – bass
Nick Yacyshyn – drums