TITLE: IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD
LABEL: HOLY ROAR RECORDS
WORDS: AMY ALBINSON
It’s been four years since Throes’ last release, ‘To Dust’, saw the band emerge from the ashes of previous project Bone Dance with their own brand of heavy-hitting, nihilistic gloom. Releasing through independent favourite, Holy Roar Records, the band’s debut full-length, ‘In the Hands of an Angry God’, is a punishing amalgamation of sludge metal and hardcore that ultimately makes up for the long wait. The five-piece, hailing from Idaho, are back on the scene with a vengeance as opening track ‘Bad Meat’ explodes in full force. With bass-heavy drums and snarling vocals, the track feels turbulent and rough, a guttural commotion of distorted guitars and animalistic tendencies.
Third track ‘Nothing New’ is unrelenting, awash with undertones of grief and jarring riffs. You can almost envision a basement setting, the toss of drinks in the air and the pull of a crowd in the energies the band unleash with every kick. ‘Derelict’ takes on a haunting premise in its echo-laden intro that builds into everything you’d desire from a sludge band. Even at a slower pace the track is straining and urgent in its appeal, the resounding feedback from every chord a wall of sound that feels at points distinctly unpenetrable. As the longest on the record, at just over 6 minutes in length, the guitars decay amidst a wail of intense anger and foreboding. From just the first few songs the buzz soon to follow this band is palpable.
“a punishing amalgamation of sludge metal and hardcore that ultimately makes up for the long wait.”
‘Disillusion’ is as melodic as the record gets, the name a perfect fit to the breathy vocals that lead a repetitive refrain deeper into the eerie darkness of the song. The build is inviting, slow and steady as it takes on a softer, forlorn approach. A taste of listlessness hangs in the air, a welcome break from the high intensity of the album’s first half, yet equally as powerful, dripping with loss as the grieving process reaches a sense of denial and then abandonment. The emotional cacophony caught within the space of these nine songs is an impressive feat in itself.
Whilst not a record that will ever feel like an easy listen, In the Hands of an Angry God is an exciting debut, radiating promise from the quintet who, now with Holy Roar behind them, will hopefully keep on delivering emotionally vehement music with a live show to match – and we can pray it won’t take them another four years.