Sturgill Simpson Presents Sound and Fury – Netflix Review

A Post-Apocalyptic Trip To Bleakness

After Thom Yorke’s acid-trip into the realm of minimalistic hell earlier this year, Sound and Fury takes that same idea and blends a post-apocalyptic narrative around gorgeous anime visuals and epic rock music.

Straight out the mind of Sturgill Simpson, Sound and Fury boasts a good range of instrumental and vocal tracks here, all mixed together over a backdrop of different anime-influenced landscapes. While some of the mixing between songs early on is a little jarring, Sound and Fury soon settles into its groove and when it does, it delivers a thought-provoking visual treat of violence, bloodshed and explosions.

With a myriad of different influenced animation on display, at times Sound and Fury comes across as chaotic and tonally inconsistent. It’s not until the final credits roll and these different narratives are resolved that you realize this is a deliberate design choice. With the album dedicated to those lost in the senseless acts of violence of the years, Sound and Fury takes on a whole new meaning in hindsight, but requires the patience to sit through this dizzying array of visuals and rock music to get there.

This is ultimately the best and worst part of the showcase as the narratives dissolve and crackle out periodically, paving way for a new style to take its place. There’s even one point where a man skates around in a radiation suit, ditching the animation completely save for a few point of view shots.

Due to the nature of the themes being explored here, these ambient tracks boasting guitar solos work best but the pulsating vocal tracks are still good, even if the lyrics lack the emphasis to back up the visuals on screen.

Everything is tied together in a pretty compelling way though and there’s a good amount of recurring imagery too, including blacksmiths making swords and a samurai consumed with revenge. These ultimately act as metaphors toward the big themes of the album and this absolutely comes across during the epilogue that tries to resolve these narratives.

It won’t be for everyone and those who aren’t fans of rock music or anime may find themselves switching this one off before the credits. There’s some big ideas here though and those big ideas are matched by some really thought provoking imagery. It may not be the most conventional showpiece to get the message across but Sound and Fury is worth the post apocalyptic trip through to the epilogue.

 


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