When you hear the term "industrial" in regards to music from the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein or Ministry, Foetus (a.k.a. Jim Thirlwell) is who you have to thank. Making cacophonies of the highest order since the early eighties, Thirlwell's music in all its incarnations has become more and more visual. Visual, that is, in the sense of the listener not being able to help having lucid animated daydreams while listening to his music. The creators of the brilliant cartoon central show The Venture Bros foresaw this, as Thirlwell has been their composer since the beginning.
Soak, Thirlwell's tenth album under the Foetus moniker continues this tradition with a new set of powerful compositions that at times seem almost Teutonic in their execution.
I can't quite put my finger on why, but when I listen to Soak, I see "Maus", the utterly brilliant serial graphic novel by Art Speigelman. A stark black and white depiction of The Holocaust, with the Jews as the mice and cats as their oppressors. If it sounds trivial, I assure you it is anything but and Speigelman, himself a holocaust survivor became the first graphic novelist to win a Pulitzer in 1992.
Thirlwell has become a master of coveting emotion through his music and Soak is no different. Take a listen to tracks like "La Rua Madureira" and "Alabaster" and you'll know what I mean. These two in particular are the calm before the storm of numbers like "Pratheism", an operatic crescendo- building exercise in oppressive anxiety (the good kind). Throughout all these years, and between all his projects we're probably talking over a hundred albums, Thirlwell has never, not once produced a throwaway and Soak is no exception.
8.1 / 10
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