Therein – Aramitama
Release Date: 31/10/2020
Running Time: 61:34
Review by Beth Jones
Australia’s getting a bit of a name for itself for producing some awesomely interesting music on the metal scene right now, and Brisbane Progressive Metal four-piece, Therein, are certainly no exception to this rule! And I’ve finally got round to checking out their second album release, “Aramitama”, which dropped in October last year. Their mission with this album was to get all of their live repertoire down on record, and it expands from their early work, right back in 2012, to new songs created after the release of their first album. And, my friends, it is prog/fusion heaven. Judging by their promo pics, these guys obviously don’t take life too seriously, and enjoy being quirky, and this comes through instantly in their music. It’s diverse flavours and styles all meld perfectly to create an hour long, completely alternative mind wobble. From heavy riffs and Death undertones, to country, funk, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and elevator music, it’s all in there.
After a mellow folk/country opener, the album launches into ‘Abeyance’, a 9-minute prog extravaganza, loaded with heavy crunch, and funk change ups, which introduces you nicely to just how exuberantly bonkers the rest of the album is going to be.
The instrumental nature of the beginning of the album is moved away from slightly in ‘Furry Little Demons’ where we’re treated to vocals akin to Tom Waits, another favourite of mine, so another big tick from me. The rest of this track is so complex, but superbly executed, that it just makes you smile. We see similar precision in next track, ‘The Crawling Chaos’, although this is much heavier, and doomier, and the vocals more Death Metal growly. If this were a drug induced trip, this would be the point where the dark images started, and the waves of paranoia struck! So many cross rhythms!! So many complex riffs! Torturously beautiful!
At this point, I’ll briefly mention the production. This is how to do production properly. Balanced, interesting, highlighting the main aspects and instruments in each section, so that everything has a chance to sing. Very cleverly done. I love it!
There are so many peaks and troughs of intensity on display within this album, too. Not just within the running order of the tracks, but within the songs themselves. This is illustrated perfectly in ‘Through the Threshold’, which starts off calmly, with clean guitar work, and bags of reverb, then launches into full on crunching Death, but still masterfully using the progressive elements that Therein are very adept at.
If I had to pick a favourite track, which believe me is pretty hard, then it would be ‘Sláinte’. This almost serves as the eye of the craziness storm, bringing a sudden and new calm. It’s a folk – inspired song, which takes me back to my days in a folk band. It’s acoustic feel, but vast expansiveness, offers a moment of clarity, like you’re a bird flying over the rugged coastlines of the Celtic lands, marveling at the beauty which the earth has carved.
I love this album. Its complexities are mind blowing but comforting at the same time. You always feel that the band are in complete control of the insanity, and every incomprehensible twist has a logical reason for being there. Oh, and the final track – full on 50’s Rock ‘n’ Roll, because, well, just because they can! Superbly exciting and different. Ridiculously talented sods! GIMME MORE!!! And next time I need to hear it before the year is out! If I’d heard this before the end of 2020, it would have been firmly in my top ten!
‘Through The Threshold’ (Lyric Video)
01. To Better Times
03. Furry Lil’ Demons
04. The Crawling Chaos
06. Through The Threshold
11. Wrong Dunn Blues
12. Piece of Shit
Cameron Whelan – Guitar, Vocals
Ryan Boyd – Guitar
Ned Gulliford – Drums, Vocals
Charlie Limpus – Bass
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