Under The Influence #69: Exitium Sui on “Scar Sighted” by Leviathan!
A one man Avant Garde Black Metal project, Leviathan is the moniker which Jef Whitehead otherwise known as Wrest has been using to present his work since 1998. Hailing from San Francisco California, he’s a collaborator in Sunn O))) and supergroup Twighlight and his only co-conspirator on 2015’s sixth studio album “Scar Sighted” was Billy Anderson who handled production, engineering and mixing. The record is one that finds the middle ground between nihilism and perseverance, unrelenting and unforgiving and yet engaging, like the graphic horror film that you can’t stop watching, even of it’s from behind the sofa. The Avant Garde nature of the music gives Wrest a textured pallette to work from with touches of Doom, Death and Industrial Metal contorting the oppressive beast.
Exitium Sui comment: “It is no mystery that the mastery of chaos, implemented by Jef’s work, serves as a huge inspiration for my musical thinking. The way I see dissonance and melody as tools to shift tension and create mood comes from years of listening to Leviathan. His earlier albums influenced my bass playing, as is also evident on the Dirge record I released through Deadspace. Because of Jef, I now view bass guitar as both a melodic and harmonic instrument. The bass creates all the tension. It can play against the guitars to add depth or play with the guitars to narrow down the melodic scope. Moving between the two creates tonal dissonance and harmony. The filthy vocal style I use in my mid range is also inspired by Leviathan. I like my vocals to sound just as horrible as an overdriven guitar. Leviathan also taught me that you don’t have to play dsbm to be oppressive and depressive. Music is a fluid medium and there is something to be learned from every corner of it”