Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It


Behold the Failure (Relapse)

Wednesday, Mar 25 2009

Say the name Knut, and most folks will think of that polar bear cub from the Berlin Zoo. A select few, though, will recall an extremely underrated post-hardcore noise-metal band from Switzerland that released three albums, an EP, and a remix collection for art-metal label Hydra Head. Knut's Bastardiser, Challenger, and Terraformer mixed the repetitive, set-on-stun riffing of Helmet with the rhythmic complexity of Meshuggah and the deep, hypnotic grooves of Isis. It also tended to go long at times — Bastardiser and Challenger each featured a 10-minutes-plus closing track.

Guitarist Jéjé and bassist Jeremy Tavernier, formerly of Knut, have re-emerged with Mumakil, a much faster and more pissed-off grind-metal act that sounds nothing like its predecessor. The new band is named after a giant war-elephant from the Lord of the Rings trilogy; the cover of Behold the Failure depicts a giant pachyderm rampaging over a battlefield. The band's first release, 2006's Customized Warfare, featured 32 untitled tracks; this follow-up offers titles like "Pigs on Fire," "Mass Murder Institution," "Doomed," and "Face Reality" — so you know the band is, like, political 'n' stuff. No single song makes it to the two-minute mark; the shortest, "Barbecue in Bhopal," is a mere 40 seconds of grinding rage. There are no guitar solos or choruses, just one burst of machine-gun punk-metal after another. Behold the Failure is a perfect soundtrack to our descent into Road Warrior–style societal shutdown.

About The Author

Phil Freeman


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"