Dissonant, Electro, Intimist, Low vocals, Melancholic
"Despite a few long stretches, in 'Rat Wars' Health manages to reconcile the heaviness of indus with an ethereal edge provided by moving vocals."
ADRIANSTORK (29.12.2023)  
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There's more to indus than noise and screaming singers, and California's Health has understood this. Although originally noisy, the Americans have added ethereal, introspective atmospheres to their hard, martial sounds. Reduced to a trio following the departure of Jupiter Keyes after the release of their third album 'Death Magic', Health seems content with this formula, as 'Vol.4: Slaves Of Fear' proved.

This fifth album, 'Rat Wars', starts off on the same footing as its predecessor. 'Demigods' introduces a deceptively calm, atmospheric ambience that takes its course despite the blazing guitars and overdriven rhythm section. The new listener is introduced to Jake Duzsik's androgynous vocals, the intonations of which could be compared to those of someone who is at the end of their rope and about to drown (a blatant analogy on '(Of All Else)'). The voice brings a little introspection and nostalgia to a world in flames.

Let's not forget that Health appreciates sulphurous, martial atmospheres with cutting guitars like on 'Crack Metal' and 'Future Of Hell'. The band, who recently collaborated with Nine Inch Nails (an influence that can be heard on 'DSM-V'), invited Sierra on 'Hateful', which features darkwave electro beats, and also Willie Adler, the guitarist from Lamb Of God, on 'Children Of Sorrow', for a more metal result. There's also a hidden invitation with a sample of Godflesh's 'Like Rats' on 'Sicko', but this addition is repeated throughout the track ad nauseam.

What's surprising is that, despite the heaviness, Health tries and succeeds in foraying into diametrically opposed universes. This is particularly noticeable on the ballad 'Unloved', which at times recalls Depeche Mode, or on 'Ashamed', with its more pop-like vocals. The two evanescent tracks whose titles are in brackets lean towards a cinematic dimension, particularly on '(Of All Else)', but would have deserved better treatment. It's in a calmer spirit that the American band conclude their album, with 'Don't Try' inviting introspection and reflection after these moments of heaviness. The vocals even end up being submerged by the music...

Health continues to develop its indus sounds, combined with calmer, ethereal and languid aspects, thanks in particular to the singer's bloodless yet moving vocals. This album is a good gateway into the Californians' world of noise and gentleness. Fans of indus and the curious will be surprised.
- Official website

01. Demigods
02. Future Of Hell
03. Hateful - 4:08
04. (Of All Else)
05. Crack Metal
06. Unloved
07. Children Of Sorrow - 3:20
08. Sicko - 2:21
09. Ashamed - 3:01
10. (Of Being Born)
11. Dsm-V
12. Don'T Try

Benjamin Jared Miller: Batterie
Jake Duzsik: Chant / Guitares
John Famiglietti: Basse
Willie Adler: Guitares / Invité
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