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It's Friday the 13th. Let's get weird.

Above is the official video debut for "HAARP" by the Ohio band Hyrrokkin. Hyrrokkin are not a metal band by any stretch of the imagination, though one imagines that they've spun a few Voivod and Dysrhythmia records. They use few of the conventional markers for "heavy" — downtuned guitars, beefy tones, what have you. But I find their intensity mesmerizing nonetheless.

Hyrrokkin play a style of instrumental music that falls somewhere between noise rock and free jazz. The band's guitarist, New Atlantis Records founder Ed Ricart, has an impressive collaborative résumé that includes work with a diverse set of musicians. Rarely do Fugazi and the Sun Ra Arkestra appear in the same press release.

In metal, heaviness is typically associated with synchronicity. When the guitarist and the bassist and the drummer all go BOOM simultaneously — that's heavy. You get points for speed and precision. The underlying notion is that heaviness depends on orderliness. But many of the scariest parts of life are random and chaotic. Hyrrokkin know this, and they take advantage of it. Their spiraling jazz rock is fluid and unpredictable; it's hard to tell when the band is improvising and when they're playing a pre-written passage. They punish you not with synced-up drubbings, but with vicious noise squalls. The video component is all unsettling, fleshy abstractions; it's like a cross between a Tool vid and an iTunes visualizer.

Stream an additional Hyrrokkin song, "Eightfold Way," below. Their new album, Pristine Origin, comes out on September 24th via Sick Room Records.

— Doug Moore

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