Aseethe’s sludgy doom as kept them a part of the underground for over a decade and for the Iowa-based trio, that scene is one that allows them to burn brightly and produce music that is as thoughtful as it is crushingly heavy. The political climate of the last few years in America is one that has given many musicians the impetus to create sounds that speak of the desperate times that they are experiencing and for Aseethe that seeps into Throes from the outset.
Aseethe’s music can occasionally be coloured with moments of beauty but they are tempered with a bittersweet memory - the gorgeous opening strains of “To Victory” plays with this lightness yet never allows it to overtake the more oppressive elements that are on display throughout the rest of the album. “To Victory” soon segues into harder, more caustic notes and the vocals of Brian Barr and Noah Koester (one guttural and bellowing, the other sharper) play against each other to create a contentious atmosphere that is present for much of the record.
The instrumental and more experimental tones of “Suffocating Burden” does much to allow some breathing space in Throes, the moment giving time to collect your thoughts before “No Realm,” with it’s curiously bright guitars, pulls you back into the abyss. Those lighter guitars give contrast and the realisation that things could certainly be better should we have the courage to stand against the darkness. That darkness could be political figures and regimes but it could also be something much more personal and each listener will bring something of themselves to the record and in turn take something back from the band that could be of benefit.
That is the power of music; that it reflects us and that we see ourselves and our struggles within it. Aseethe are reflecting our turmoil in more ways that we could know.
7.5 / 10
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