Home Music Seputus: Phantom Indigo

Seputus: Phantom Indigo

In his 2012 book Hallucinations neurologist Oliver Sacks uses his patients’ (as well as his own) experiences with hallucinations and mind-altering incidents to explain the brain’s functions. Seputus accomplishes a similar, albeit more violent, task. They transpose Sacks’ fascinations with altered states into their own self-analyses. Certain concepts permeate Phantom Indigo, though none reek as strongly as learned helplessness. As such, Seputus personifies being trapped in negative thought loops.

Seputus pulls from the brainy New York metal scene with involvement from Artificial Brain, Replicant, and Krallice members. That two thirds of Seputus are also in the technical death metal outfit Pyrrhon clarifies Phantom Indigo’s direction. The latter group recently explored capitalistic frustration through technicality on last year’s Abscess of Time. Where Seputus diverges is that they adhere closer to death metal. They infuse Pyrrhon’s confounding songwriting philosophy without the noise influence.

Despite its pricklyness, its highly challenging compositions, its daunting track lengths, and its sonic difficulty, Phantom Indigo is remarkably digestible, on the basis that your stomach is attuned to it. It is a one to one transference of intention to output, unrestricted by limited abilities or at-capacity mental functions. It is the cyclical thought patterns too complex to be confined to words or constrained by short runtimes.

Phantom Indigo is cognitive dissonance, the inability to cope with the awareness of how faulty one’s mental processes are. Seputus’ intention manifests through whirlwinding compositions. Most of the tracks test patiences as much as the band tests their abilities. Even the shortest piece “The Forgetting Curve” is an abrasive instrumental far outside the realm of common sense. Thankfully Seputus always moves forward in their disjointed song structures. It’s prevalent that the songs are puzzles with solutions, difficult as they may be to find.

Seputus overwhelms through punishment to mimic ensnaring thought loops. “Tautology” bounds with new ideas after nearly contorted seven minutes. By the time it climaxes Seputus have beaten their own backs trying to understand the distance between their thoughts and reality. It’s therapeutic. Frustration is the byproduct of lacking control and Seputus conveys this panic. Their mind-boggling compositions take on a new connotation; the palpable loss of control. Through their inhumanity, both in how rugged Phantom Indigo is and in the disbelief that a human being is producing these sounds, Seputus communicates in a universal tongue.

Given the album’s overall frenzied pace it’s a surprise when Seputus hem to a singular course for most of the ten-minute centerpiece “Deuteragonist.” They slither for the majority of that time. The drawn-out notes harvest a tense atmosphere made more uncomfortable as Seputus meanender almost a bit too long. When they rip out their hair after a dark jazz segue – the first time Phantom Indigo breathes in through the nose and out through the mouth – they repurpose those slower melodies into chaos.

Dissecting Phantom Indigo’s intricacies is like pulling apart the recesses of the brain and blushing at the scope of surface area contained in each groove. Seputus follow a logical progression trunked deep beneath start-stop cymbals and atonal guitars. They keep the contrasting frequencies in perspective to preserve coherency. Seputus can flaunt their virtuosity because it serves Phantom Indigo’s pacing. The high bar of proficiency is essential because that’s the only way Seputus can capture their mental apparitions. They relay the common conundrum of divergent internal and external monologues. They just put it in a way that expresses rather than describes.

Summary
Despite its prickliness, its highly challenging compositions, its daunting track lengths, and its sonic difficulty, Phantom Indigo is remarkably digestible, on the basis that your stomach is attuned to it.
80 %
No Deuteragonists Here
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