Knut


Formed in Geneva, Switzerland in early 1994, the quartet known as Knut combine metal, hardcore, and raw noise aggression to create a pummeling musical assault on the senses. In the beginning, Didier Severin (vocals), Philippe Hess (guitar), Jeremy Tavernier (bass) and Roderic Mounir (drums) would go the D.I.Y. route, publishing several seven-inch releases, as well as two full-lengths on the band’s own label, Snuff Records (Shora, Brazen, Nostromo). Following Knut’s 1998 full-length, “Bastardiser” on Snuff, the band embarked on various European tours, sharing the stage with the likes of Botch, Voivod, Neurosis, Systral, Creation is Crucifixion and Ananda. It wasn’t until Knut toured Europe with hardcore stalwarts Converge that the band was brought to the attention of Hydra Head Records.

Hydra Head would quickly bring over Knut’s “Bastardiser,” for a U.S. release, as well as the band’s self-titled CDEP in 2001. The band trekked around the U.S. in Summer of 2001 with Hydra Head owner Aaron Turner’s Isis, along with Thrones, and issued it’s eagerly awaited new full-length for Hydra Head , titled “Challenger”, in March 2002. Sometimes slow and painful, sometimes fast and chaotic, Knut will appeal to any fan of harsh, thoughtful and complex music. In typical Knut fashion, “Challenger” revealed multi-layers of captivating, intellectual, focused aggression, and even a few placid moments of melodic bliss.

Knut toured Europe once again extensively in Spring 2002, together with Keelhaul from Cleveland (Hydra Head/Escape Artists) and hit the UK in December along with 5ive’s Continuum Research Project (Tortuga Records). More dates followed in 2003, first with US heavyweights Mastodon and at the gigantic Fury Fest (next to Entombed, Gojira, Nostromo, Candiria and Sick of it all), then later on the much anticipated Isis European Tour. Between 2004 and 2006, Knut silently and continuously prepared a double pronged attack: first a brand new full-length called “Terraformer”, which was recorded in their friend Nostromo/Mumakil’s practice space within only a week-end. Initially meant to be a demo, the 9-track monster marked a remarkable progression in texture and intention, with more electronics involved amidst the chaos. It became their third studio album and was again released through Hydra Head / Conspiracy, in late 2005. Then finally came “Alter”, a collection of 14 electronic/ambient remixes celebrating Knut’s 10th (12th in reality) anniversary.

The list of contributors was just insane with the likes of Dälek, Justin K. Broadrick, Mick Harris, KK Null, Asmus Tietchens, Oren Ambarchi and Francisco Lopez fucking generously with Knut’s own brand of noise. Through the process, Knut also underwent some changes of personnel, parting ways with Philippe Hess before Jeremy Tavernier (who first replaced him on guitar) decided to focus on his grindcore project Mumakil. As a result, some fresh meat was brought into the plate, with longtime friend and bass warrior Jerome Doudet stepping in, and a pair formed by Tim Robert-Charrue and Christian Valleise (both formerly of local “rocking hardcore” act Prejudice) beefing up the guitar sound. A new re-energized Knut went to tour with Geneva pals Impure Wilhelmina (with whom they now share guitarist Christian) before bringing the UK to their knees with Welsh grease rockers Taint. A successful 3 week trekk towards Eastern Europe and Balkans (Slovenia, Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Greece…) was completed late 2007 with Berlin-based noiseniks Monno.

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