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Album Review: HEALTH - Vol 4 :: Slaves Of Fear

7 February 2019 | 12:18 pm | Guido Farnell

"This collection comes on like a blast of nihilistic metal rave dirges produced for a wild party at the end of the world."

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HEALTH are pretty much peerless in terms of the sound they deliver. It is a charmingly aggressive blend of dance music and noisy, thrashing metal that in recent years has been deepening into a darker and more sinister place. Vol 4 :: Slaves Of Fear showcases HEALTH pulverising listeners' eardrums: this collection comes on like a blast of nihilistic metal rave dirges produced for a wild party at the end of the world.

HEALTH create an immersive and unrelenting apocalyptic vision. Black Static features the defiant cry of "Fuck your Armageddon", but it all spirals downwards to the bleak, defeatist contemplation of Decimation. Jake Duzsik’s dazed but not confused vocals drift ghostly through the mix, sounding disconnected and a touch apathetic for someone who's clearly walking through a war zone. Duzsik describes but seems accepting of inevitable doom. Despite the guitars, HEALTH rely heavily on industrial-strength synthesisers to create a heavy mechanised sound that features a mash-up of a myriad of musical styles, as if to suggest that their Armageddon machine is capable of devouring everything in its sights.

A heavy record for Strange Days, the hints of Orwell on Rat Wars spell out exactly where HEALTH are coming from. The only hope here is that HEALTH present dystopian visions of the future as a cautionary warning of potential realities we should not sleepwalk into.