Composer and vocalist Staytus explodes on the scene with her debut LP, Disease Of The Mind. With an aggressive industrial metal sound akin to Nine Inch Nails, Odonis Odonis, Black Dresses, Orgy, Static-X and God Lives Underwater with the destructive vocal delivery of Courtney Love, Staytus challenges the status quo. Disease Of The Mind is packed full of heartbreak, despair, resentment, and elusive reality. Built around elaborate synthscapes, with warped guitars and pulsating beats, you’ll be led through the shadow work of emotional catharsis.
The album serves as an emotional exorcism for the artist; a primal scream for justice and mercy, then reclaiming your power. Sam Grundemann—AKA Staytus— burst into the world with a knack for sculpting sound with the fervour of Rodin. Since the age of 15, the Scottsdale, AZ-based multi-instrumentalist/songwriter has steeped herself in independence: writing and recording her material, posting individual tracks; all while acquiring a string of degrees and certifications in audio production. Being patient and deliberate, however, has paid off—with Disease of the Mind, Staytus has crafted a lavishly-detailed opus that envelops the senses as it pulls the listeners into its own sonic universe.
“It’s a journey that takes you into the mind of somebody struggling with mental illness,” she says. “…I truly felt like a broken, fallen angel when I composed this album. Acknowledging your feelings of hurt, anger, and despair can help you move through them to find hope and relief.”
“Absolute Terror” and “Decay” percolate with the angst of early adulthood. “Dreams From Hell” is a journey of experiencing abuse over and over again. “The meaning of the song is about my struggles with PTSD and the symptoms that can come with it, such as intrusive/ruminating thoughts and self-harm. It’s like an endless cycle of remembering who hurt you. Listen to my lyrics, “I stay awake, I cannot take it anymore;” the conceptual, “A crooked sense of forgiveness;” and the plea of self-realization, “Maybe it’s time to wake up…”
“An Echo In Space” starts off with a menacing trap beat as she hypnotically chants and drones a snarling threat. “Arrhythmia” is a pulsing, screeching throwback to the 90s alternative with a strong, guttural dirge. “Crawling” continues that sinister flavour, launching into intense industrial guitar distortion for a sonic exorcism. The standout track, “Don’t Die”, mixes in metallic industrial samples with emotional damage, a deeply guttural moment of pained poetry. A soundtrack for the shadow self, waiting impatiently to be unleashed.
Disease of the Mind, most of all, conveys a deep sense of resilience, by weaving together serrated guitars and electronic beats to contemporary concerns. She takes a inspiration from the cinematic worlds of gaming culture. (The moniker Staytus comes from the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.)
The album was performed, written, and produced by Staytus with final mixing/mastering by Adam W. Berg, Unity/Manifest Studios, Santa Monica, CA.