At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, Holy Roar Records have built a reputation on releasing some truly outstanding music since the label’s formation back in 2006 and this debut album from Idaho’s Throes is certainly no exception. Combining hardcore brutality, sludge drenched guitars and a cathartic, visceral beauty, In The Hands Of An Angry God is destined to be one of this years most acclaimed and talked about albums.
Opening track ‘Bad Meat’ pulls no punches, slamming the listener against the wall with it’s abrasively thick riffs and truly massive, threatening vocals from Tyler Squire that, to put it mildly, more than command attention. ‘They Never Spoke’ is equally as aggressive but the tempo is slowed a little this time and features enough space to let the riffs reverberate, the vocals soar and the savagery to linger. With themes of grief and loss running throughout the song’s crushingly dark atmosphere it’s a truly intense listening experience. Similarly ‘From The Nails’ is packed full of brutal pugnacity, as vocalist Squire once again bellows over dirt-low sludge riffs and caustic leads. ‘Disillusion’, reminiscent of Deftones and Saturday Night Wrist era Deftones, is a claustrophobic, monolithic dirge that features ethereal vocals, discordant riffs and a rhythm section that never lets up. It’s a perfect example of where Throes excel in creating something that’s both intimately dark and crushingly aggressive – many bands attempt this approach and sadly often fall short, favouring one over the other but Throes execute this balance superbly throughout the entire album.
The album closes much like it opened, with a short raging burst of unrelenting assault in the form of the ferocious ‘Fang’. Where some albums can run out of steam it’s interesting that Throes have book-ended their album with the two shortest, most frantic tracks, lending the album an air of intensity that simply doesn’t let up throughout. As In The Hands Of An Angry God comes to it’s furious end, one has to be reminded that this is a debut album – with this level of talent, passion and musicianship, it’s simply frightening where Throes have the potential to go. Do not ignore this band.
In The Hands Of An Angry God is out 26th July via Holy Roar Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Adam Pegg