This is an interesting release. Way back in the late 1990s, black metal was in a sort of flux; many of the pioneering bands feeling their original raison d’ĂȘtre were no longer there for whatever reason. You started to see established bands like Dodheimsgard, Mayhem, and Satyricon moving on from their original pagan/naturalistic themes, to a grimier, more urban misanthropy.

Snorre Ruch’s highly influential band Thorns finally had a proper release out; lesser known bands like December Wolves(USA), Aborym(Hungary), Cadaver INC(Norway), and Anaal Nathrakh(UK) all made their bones by putting out harsh, industrial/ambient/electronic-infused black metal albums around this time that were making very compelling arguments that the future was now, and it wasn’t looking too good for any of us.

In a relatively short period of time, this sound fell out of vogue. This was due to a glut of pale imitators diluting the style by missing the point entirely, significant only in their total banality. Eventually only a few standard bearers continued on this path. Anaal Nathrakh continues to release consistently strong albums, progressing by expanding on the core themes laid out on The Codex Necro. Mayhem pushed far beyond their polarizing Grand Declaration of War with three nearly unfathomable albums in their scope of pure nihilism and hostility to all life.

So we find a band like Throes plowing a field left fallow for the last decade. I guess the question is, how does it measure up against what came before it? Respectably. While you couldn’t say that Throes takes this style to places it hasn’t been before, they more than capably create a compelling album in the borders already defined by those who came before them.

The mood of this album cold and clinical, without being sterile. Then at times Disassociation is more alive than you expect; like heat given off by fever from an infection. Tremolo picked guitar lines are all gleaming razorwire, spidery riffing thread around minimalist song structures.

Those Akercocke droney chords are a constant throughout Disassociation, which lends an air of paranoia of some sort of approaching malevolent menace, that you hear long before you are unfortunate enough to meet after you can no longer find a place to hide. The end credits roll with an ambient sound collage, a panoramic view of an empty world with noting left to kill.

Throes shift gears through a myriad of moods and sounds effortlessly throughout Disassociation, while staying on point thematically. Every moment of music is measured and controlled, devoid of passion and inhuman. Just efficient, killing machinery, carrying on after the end of the world.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Timothy D White
September 15th, 2015


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