Review Summary: Teaching me to appreciate other music that much more.
I really want to say that Jute Gyte is successful by some unspecified metric. I don’t know whether his various intellectual allusions, to both literature and obscure musical terminology, are intended to be serious, in jest, or somewhere in between. When he describes a song as having “the left and right-panned guitars momentarily [converging] at 200 BPM” and another as having notes that are “aleatorically” generated, my innate response is torn between wide-eyed confusion and genuine admiration for this level of creativity. I can, at the very least, credit him with the audacity to actually attempt an execution of such ideas.
It would arguably be too disrespectful to dismiss Jute as being nothing more than a gimmick. It’s certainly tempting to do so when he appears to employ seemingly mindless numbers and formulas to determine the trajectory of his explosive sonic chaos. Very little of Oviri
is listenable in the conventional sense - it’s a never-ending onslaught of extreme dissonance, abrasive riffs, and jagged particles of noise that buzz around like the static of an old television. Heavily filtered voices, as well as shrieks that are comparable to those in black metal, recount unintelligible words. The very air feels serrated as the notes of Oviri
fly at you like a mass of accelerating flails. There is no respite, no true silence, not even a single passage of what an ordinary person would conceive as melody. No, the generous heaps of microtones laugh at the queasy expressions of those who cannot stomach high-octane blast beats and screeching tuneless guitars. The closest thing you’ll get to anything remotely normal is a riff in “The Norms That Author the Self Render the Self Substitutable” that almost feels out of place because of its near-identifiable pitches. Whatever Oviri
is, it’s not exactly a lullaby, and I suspect that Jute would be satisfied so long as he knew that his music was provoking any sort of visceral reaction.
derives a large part of its identity from its earnest attempt to be abjectly horrifying, and the garbled mess of vocals on the title track achieves as much. Oviri
wants to push boundaries - in fact it wants you to question the very nature of music itself and its established tenets. Can pleasure come from pain, can pain itself be pleasure? Might pain be more valuable than pleasure? The answers are there, Oviri
says, and you need only let the cacophony into yourself to know. If music can be created from nothing more than cold computation and algorithms, what does that say about our own value as creators? “The abyss of human illusion / Blind unorganism in darkness”, screams “The Fauna of Mirrors” in a display of conceptual dedication.
I truly wish I could have gotten something from Oviri
. I should have been able to unlock the hidden doors of my psyche, should have been able to choke on my fear and drown in my despair. Instead I can muster nothing more than a sort of cordial respect for an album that is conceptually sound, yet utterly cold to me. Don’t get me wrong, cold has its place, but this is the cold of a vaguely annoying 10cm layer of snow. I’m hearing things that I want to get over with. That isn’t to say that there aren’t enjoyable moments: “The Light That Hangs Above the Fields” has a guitar line with an eerie twang that induces pleasurable shivers, not just the negative kind, and the previously-mentioned riff in “The Norms That Author the Self Render the Self Substitutable” wouldn’t even be out of place in a catchy hard rock song. But so much of Oviri
refuses to reveal any sort of coherent structure, and while that isn’t necessarily a weakness in itself, it means that its hits are often scattered and dealt with a sub-optimal amount of focus. “Yarinareth, Yarinareth, Yarinareth” could have redeemed the situation with sheer viciousness and a no-holds-barred motif of spasming guitars and shrieks, but the title track's harsh, distorted spoken word and outro of bewildering metallic bangs end everything on a floundering note. The veritable lengths of Oviri
’s tracks only add to its mind-numbing nature; this album drains emotion rather than generating it.
can do for me, though, is to make everything else sound better. A dubious accomplishment, but a valuable one nonetheless. I’ve developed a newfound appreciation for harmony because of its absolute dearth in Oviri
, and for that I am genuinely grateful.