There are a lot of ways to make loud, guitar-based music, but most of them fit into two dominant modes. One is fast and spontaneous: This is Minor Threat, Black Flag, Bad Brains—music that explodes in weaponized bursts. It seems to tumble out from impulse and energy, the kind of thing that makes you believe if the circumstances are just right, genius will emerge. The other is tightly controlled and meticulously arranged. Here, it is the combination of sounds that matters; the parts are only as valuable as the whole. This is Swans, Deafheaven, Sunn O)))—bands that work in grand, sweeping gestures.

Ultimately, both kinds of bands are after the same thing: transcendence, the calm you find in the eye of the storm, when all the noise and chaos strikes at just the right frequency. When done well, this is a staggering accomplishment, to make harsh and abrasive sounds serene and beautiful. This is part of why punk and metal fans practice such intense devotion toward the genres. Where else can you find such a miraculous paradox—peace from fury?

Jambinai, a three-part South Korean band, falls into the deliberate and methodical camp. Its members are trained in Korean folk, classical, and ritual music, and count bands like Mogwai, Black Sabbath, and Metallica among their influences. Though the band arrived at a style through extended improvisations, their music bears the imprint of severe focus and intentionality. But it is not stiff or airless music, rather, it is like a calculus equation; there is a wonderful symmetry to be found in making two sides, each full of contrasting variables, match. The band’s first album, Différance, was originally released in 2012, and is now being reissued following the minor breakout success of the band’s most recent album, 2016’s A Hermitage.

Though Différance is separated into nine discrete songs, the music is organized through contrasts and moves in waves: from quiet to loud, dissonance to consonance, high to low registers, risings and fallings. The contrast hits hardest in ‘Paramita Pt. 2’, which begins with a single chord strummed tightly, methodically. It seems to cut itself off, to retreat mid-thought. The chord becomes a progression, rising in pitch before descending and repeating the cycle. It serves as a warning which is fulfilled abruptly in a controlled explosion: a crashing of drums, guitar chords, held notes, and feedback. The song, then, splits in half, each side colliding into the other.

Inside of these waves are suspensions and repetitions, and behind those, the notion that if you consider a sound—or a series of them—turn it over, look inside it, you will find hidden resonances. Whether it is the violence with which the band finds release: thundering riffs with metal textures, or in quiet passages built around sustained tones, there is a devotional, almost religious seriousness to this music, a holy quest to find something sacred in the sounds.

So it’s the overtones you’re left with. Not the spaces between the sounds, but the collisions and absorptions, like in the final minute of ‘Time of Extinction’, which features a repeated riff and the piercing wail of a piri (a Korean flute made of bamboo), played in low and high registers, respectively. It becomes an extended release, a sharp exhalation that pits two dissonant sounds against each other and, buoyed by that pressure, floats upward.

When the band does give way to a melody in the final song, ‘Connection’, it is bracing. The melody is played on a haegum, which is similar to a fiddle, and repeats a short phrase—blossoming before doubling back on itself. Around it, there is an accumulation of sound, but before it can reach a crescendo, it recedes and softens. The suggestion is not of finality, but another wave, another variation, another repetition.