BASSOON: Decibel Magazine Premieres Intoxicating “Cyclops” Video From Brooklyn Instrumental Avant-Prog Trio; Second LP Succumbent, Nears November Release On Nefarious Industries

photos by Caleb Bryant Miller

“…a twisty, hypnotic math problem of a song…” – Decibel Magazine

Decibel Magazine is hosting the public debut of a new video/single for “Cyclops,” the newest single from Brooklyn, New York-based instrumental avant-prog trio BASSOON. The band is preparing to release their second LP, Succumbent, on November 17th through Nefarious Industries.

Succumbent was recorded and mixed by legendary engineer Tony Maimone at Studio G in Brooklyn (The Book Of Knots, Ani DiFranco, Mike Watt), mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music (Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge), and completed with art/design by BASSOON’s Stuart Popejoy.

“Cyclops” wraps post-rock austerity in proggy sludge, starting with hypnotic, repetitive riffs over a no-frills drumbeat that slowly cooks as the droning riffage explores ever wider terrain. “I had just written an hour-long work for a sextet ensemble using procedural techniques, and stumbled on the fact that one of the procedures could basically develop a riff infinitely, ” says composer Stuart Popejoy, “so I followed that as far as it would go!” The result is an ever-darkening descent into increasingly sharp-edged motifs until the drum part finally detaches from the relentless hammering pulse, rescued by a fragile interlude before slamming home with a reprise of the most acrobatic theme. “Cyclops” is nonetheless a straight-up banger that never lets go, as reflected in the video which features distinct species of headbanging and other metal emotes reflecting the jubilation of rattling skulls with pounding beats (plus a subtle nod to Twisted Sister videos of old).

With the video’s premiere, Decibel writes, “‘Cyclops’ is a twisty, hypnotic math problem of a song that somehow suits the unserious video. Just try not to nod along with the band.”

Tune in to Decibel Magazine to watch BASSOON piss off the neighbors in the “Cyclops” video RIGHT HERE.

Succumbent will be released on LP and all digital platforms on November 17th. Find preorders and merch at the Nefarious Industries site where the “Pentisept” video and “Omnidolent” are streaming HERE.

BASSOON is booking live excursions in support of the album, starting with a hometown Brooklyn release show this Friday, October 27th. That show is followed by a run of dates through the Midwest, hitting Akron, Chicago, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Nashville November 9th-15th where they’ll play with Aseethe, Anatomy Of A Habit, labelmates Tina Fey and Nequient, and more along the way. See all confirmed dates below and watch for more to post over the months ahead.

11/09/2023 TBA – Akron, OH
11/10/2023 The Burlington – Chicago IL w/ Aseethe, Anatomy Of A Habit, Nequient
11/12/2023 The Comet – Cincinnati, OH w/ Tina Fey
11/13/2023 Highlands Taproom – Louisville, KY
11/14/2023 TBA – Nashville, TN
11/15/2023: Brickyard – Knoxville TN, w/ Ninja Witch, Bongfoot, Sun Mantra

Nestled in Brooklyn’s art-metal underground since 2007, BASSOON started as the drum-machine-powered duo of Stuart Popejoy with Harvey Milk bassist Steve Tanner before evolving into the current trio of Popejoy on bass and keyboards with stalwart Brooklyn polymaths Sean Moran on guitar and John Mettam on drums. Their 2012 eponymous release and epic live shows earned them the praise of TimeOut’s Hank Steamer as, “Brooklyn’s heaviest and most challenging, bringing to mind a mixture of Melvins-style avant-sludge and daredevil ’70s fusion,” and their inclusion in Brad Cohen’s “15 best metal bands in NYC” in the Observer in 2017.

BASSOON‘s Succumbent brings fresh forays into advanced heaviness, drawing upon Magma-esque intricacy, austere minimalism, ‘70s fusion/jazz harmony, and more pounding riffs like those from their first release in 2012. The album’s intro “Omnidolent” provides a wide-ranging overture from stoner anthem to duophonic dissonance, followed by the austere blast-rock of “Succumbent” before ending the A-side with the polyrhythmic power rocker “Ossuarium.” The back side presents two contrasting takes on heavy minimalism: “Pentisept” layers mathy melodicism over a shifting drum ostinato, while “Cyclops” cooks a slowly twisting intervallic mono-groove to a blast-beat boil. The album finishes with the Brahmsian prog of “Born To Doom.”

Watch for new videos and additional updates on the album to post over the weeks ahead.