From the fertile grounds of Tilburg (NL) rises a new contemporary metal outfit AUTARKH, a group of musical extremists dedicated to pushing the boundaries of the auditory senses. Autarkh is the brainchild of Michel Nienhuis, founding member and composer/guitarist of the now-defunct DODECAHEDRON.
“The ambitious avant-garde metal release feels remarkably heavy, the rhythms feel off-kilter yet ambitious, providing somewhat of a psychedelic edge for the musical journey.” – Caleb R. Newton, New Noise (US)
“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.” – Monica Kendrick, Chicago Reader (US)
In the fall of 2019, Nienhuis teamed up with producer Joris Bonis (Dodecahedron, Ulsect), guitarist David Luiten and electronic composer/producer Tijnn Verbruggen, a set of musicians with backgrounds ranging from metal to techno. Autarkh’s first full-length album Form In Moon was released March 12, 2021, through Season of Mist records. For their live performances in 2021 (a.o. Roadburn Redux festival and the Dutch television show ‘Muziekstad’) bass player Desmond Kuijk was added to the line-up and quickly became a permanent member of the band. Autarkh is currently working on new material for their sophomore album.
Autarkh takes a unique position in the world of extreme metal. Synthetic, IDM-style beats and glitch effects – reminiscent of those produced by artists such as Aphex Twin and Autechre – are perfectly balanced with overwhelming riffs and vocals that range from dark growls and exasperating screams to semi-clean harmonies. Together with fluttering blast beats, dense bass lines and eerie soundscapes these elements produce an intense and crystal clear tunnel of sound where the energy of contrasting emotions is constantly felt.
Form In Moon feels like an evolution in both sound and lyrical content from the two albums Nienhuis released with Dodecahedron. Musically, because of the radical approach, the band takes with their rhythm section; lyrically because the album is more about a personal experience of human nature and the nature of the universe. The album takes us from unravelling storms and destructive chaos to transformation, liberation and fundamental this in understanding in order to align with the divine. That progression is also present in a linear sense – the intrusive uneasiness the album starts with gives way to a sense of epic victory towards the end.
Give yourself the opportunity to dive into this radical exploration of sonic and spiritual ideas and allow yourself to get inspired by what Autarkh has to offer.