Autarkh are known for hard-wiring extreme metal with glitchy electronica and IDM beats. But on the lead single from their new album, the Dutch band proved that they were human after all.
Where “Strife” found Autarkh locked in a battle with their inner demons, the new single off ‘Emergent’ reaches for inner peace.
“”Refocus” is the fifth track on ‘Emergent’, says guitarist and lead vocalist Michel Nienhuis. “It revolves around the will to return to the serene state of mind that opens the album”.
Watch the intense performance video for “Refocus” HERE, which was filmed, edited and animated by Spread Motion Design.
‘Emergent comes out November 10. Pre-order the album HERE. Pre-saveit HERE.
“Refocus” is still heavy. The song opens with a hammering computerized beat and riffs that chug with all the industrialized heft of an oil drill. Death growls stew in the air like flies, as if warning of what’s to come. It’s chaotic and overwhelming, almost too much to even bare. But after headbanging their way through another avalanche of a chorus, Autarkh break free. “The splendor of wholeness reinstated”, Nienhuis sings, backed by radiant harmonies.
“The clean vocals in Refocus were one of the hardest parts for me to record”, says Nienhuis. “But I’m really happy with how they turned out”.
1. Open Focus (6:59)
2. Strife (5:23) [WATCH]
3. Duhkha (5:20) [WATCH]
4. Trek (5:26)
5. Refocus (4:49)
6. Aperture (1:46)
7. Eye Of Horus (4:23)
8. Countless Kaleidoscopes (5:17)
9. Ka (6:14) Total: 45:37Style: Contemporary Metal FFO: Gojira, Strapping Young Lad, Igorrr
Dutch contemporary metal adventurers Autarkh are back with their sophomore full-length album Emergent. Michel Nienhuis, founder of Autarkh and Dodecahedrom, teamed up again with guitarist/producer David Luiten (Inferum), bassist Desmond Kuijk (Dear Mother) and electronics wizard Tijnn Verbruggen to create the follow-up to their highly acclaimed debut album ‘Form In Motion’, released by Season Of Mist on 12 March 2021. Monica Kendrick (Chicago Reader, US) on the relevance of the group’s debut:
“And I’ll call it now: given the time to flourish and sink into the ears of an audience, Autarkh will become highly influential on the next generation of extreme metal.”
‘Emergent’ is another testament to Autarkh’s imagination and creativity. It delivers increased versatility and contrast, and sees the band expand towards more uplifting and consonant territories. Form In Motion explored the boundaries of sonic extremes; on ‘Emergent’, Autarkh broadens its horizon and shows diversity and nuance while preserving its intense and razor-sharp edge.
With nine tracks, ‘Emergent’ is a sonic exploration of the inner universe where all things light and dark can be encountered. The listener is lured into an “Open Focus” (a meditative state of mind) in preparation for an inward journey along the physical energy centers. From the thumping synth basses of “Strife” and the menacing sludgy melancholy of “Duhkha”, we move into the bewildering blasts of “Trek”, where stellar harmonies will eventually burst through the oppressive atmosphere. The trip continues with the crushing downtempo groove that enforces “Refocus”, as well as the mind-bending a capella interlude “Aperture” and the frivolous “Eye Of Horus” and “Countless Kaleidoscopes”, to finally deliver all-encompassing enlightenment with Ka.
Composers Nienhuis’s and Luiten’s statements and states of mind capture the same capriciousness and unease of ‘Form In Motion’, this time leaving a more open, diverse and radiant imprint. With exciting vocal harmonies, bold contrasts and a vivid imagination, Autarkh sheds a bright light on the inner self and exposes it to the world with intensity and conviction. That makes Emergent an evocative release with a multilayered yet crystal-clear production that promises a bright future for Autarkh.
Michel Nienhuis: vocals & guitars
David Luiten: vocals & guitars
Desmond Kuijk: bass
Tijnn Verbruggen: synths & beats
Recording Studio: David Luiten Studio, Monodisc Studio, Moonbear Music & Engineering Mix/Master: David Luiten