It’s been said many times now, but if you’re on Holy Roar Records it’s a real sign of quality to many, and Idaho based sludge metallers Throes have concocted the latest addition to the label’s catalogue, ‘In The Hands Of An Angry God’.
The unrelentingly heavy ‘Bad Meat’ kicks things off, leaving you barely any time to strap yourself in, and it rarely lets up from there. What’s impressive, especially for a debut album, is their ability to be both heavy and convey a hint of subtle tension at the same time.
‘Nothing New’ brings a slightly Trap Them-esque approach, but it still keeps the pace up and challenges you not to bang your head, and the track flows nicely into an elongated sludge-out. ‘Derelict’ also goes particularly hard and makes great use of call-and-response screams. If you were slowly crawling through the vat of thick sludge earlier on, with this track you may as well not be moving. We are truly in the hands of Throes‘ crushing assault at this moment in time.
As well as some impassioned screams at the start, ‘Carrion’ makes good use of some more technical drumming. This will no doubt be up your alley if you’re into the bludgeoning assault of bands like Conjurer and Cult Leader.
‘Disillusion’ shows that there’s more strings to their bow. It’s more melodic than what’s come before, and almost Deftones-like in its brooding melancholy. A slightly off-kilter, almost-whispered croon brings us in, and the song showcases alluring qualities all the way through. This slight deviation is a clear highlight, which serves as a neatly-placed point of respite before ‘Ruin’ brings us back into familiar terrain.
To round things off, the fast-paced ‘Fang’ keeps us rooted in our seat. Punk beats and some blast-assisted sections take place left, right, and centre for a minute and a half of unrelenting, noisy fury. Even when the band are going as hard as possible, there’s still something of a hypnotic quality.
This release is perhaps a little on the one-dimensional side of things and follows a similar pattern throughout; the album could certainly do with a few more tracks in the vein of ‘Disillusion’, or the hell-for-leather ‘Fang’. Still, ‘In The Hands Of An Angry God’ is essential listening if you want music that aims straight for the gut. Based on this album, the best may still be yet to come from Throes, and with a little more refinement of their sound, they could prove to be one of the best new heavy bands to emerge in recent years.