Apidya1 is the debut full-length release from Jute Gyte, a prolific black metal and ambient/noise project out of Missouri. Released in 2006, Apidya is a dark ambient album of three tracks and a run-time of just over one hour. Adam Kalmbach – the solitary man behind the Jute Gyte project – is frequently compared to Burzum, Leviathan, and Xasthur for his dual-focus on the seemingly-disparate genres of black metal and ambient music to create depressive, haunting atmospheres. Whereas the former bands – with the exception of Burzum on a couple albums – typically merged both genres to create a form of “depressive suicidal black metal”2, the Jute Gyte project primarily uses one genre or the other on its own per each release.
Electroacoustic music is a prominent influence on Apidya; there are few synthesizers here, and most tracks utilize prepared effects, circuits, and delays. Opener “Black Sleep” is a slow, restrained track that features waves, wind, indistinct voices, and low bass rumbles with a ringing bell that barely hints at a modicum of rhythm. Halfway through, the track suddenly launches into a malestrom of cacophonous noise that continues unabated for about four minutes before leaving just as abruptly as it came. “Empty Rooms” is the most melodic song; it uses whirring sounds, mild static, and extremely low tempo percussion to create a gentle-yet-haunting atmosphere. The title track occupies half of the total album run-time; it leads with a peaceful sample of rain falling that is slowly filled with roaring, heavily processed vocal effects and buried percussion. It does not have the dynamic or build to justify its length, but it does contribute an efficacious eeriness.
According to its promo blurb, Apidya is “best listened to at maximum volume in total darkness after committing suicide.”3 Wow. There are certainly works that are better at creating such a tall order – such as Suicide’s “Frankie Teardrop – but Apidya is a decently grim, if lugubrious album. Check it out if you’re a confused ghost.
1. Black Sleep – (15:38) – ★★★☆☆
2. Empty Rooms – (15:43) – ★★★★☆
3. Apidya – (30:00) – ★★★☆☆
1I assumed this was a loanword, but I honestly can’t find anything outside of a 1992 Japanese video game titled Apidya and vague references to Turkish.
2See more at https://rateyourmusic.com/genre/Depressive+Black+Metal/; https://www.reddit.com/r/dsbm; http://www.thetoptens.com/best-dsbm-bands/; http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlackMetal; and http://www.metal-archives.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=50864.
3“Apidya | Jute Gyte,” bandcamp, accessed 2 November 2015, https://jutegyte.bandcamp.com/album/apidya