Review Summary: By The Throat shares its predecessor's menacing, sinister tone, but its atmosphere is so overly-foreboding and the use of slashing dissonance within varied instrumentals is what makes it so gripping.
You feel that? They call it a pulse, the heartbeat, a complex course of outside influences affecting your body to show your internalized reaction to a situation. By The Throat
plays out like the uncertainty of a anyone's reaction. And where Ben Frost gets it right is where it works the most - an almost dead calm within the structure of music brought to you by a few numerous sickly piano keys.
The oncoming storm of *** is headed towards him. He's isolated and paranoia sets in. The events set in the motion of this one decision is meaningless as your last action is what makes him the man he's perceived to be. A calm, a sense of disbelief is hinted within "Killshot", that is, between the rumbling shred that rises and recedes in mere seconds. Like a wave of discontent and confusion of the previous storyline it plays out with its scathing electronic dread and mockingly beautiful piano within the heaps of chaos, something that flows so well within the entirety of the track. Frost's 2009 release surprisingly blends an even more darker album within By The Throat
then he ever did in Theory of Machines
. Acoustic guitar bellows, piano keys enter, the violin screeches and wolves howl as it all overtakes you whole.
They're on the move...
He hears them following his every footstep..tracking his every move. The howls they grow louder, his perceptions begin to get clouded. He says to himself: Did they see me? Do they know? He doesn't care where he runs to, he just needs to run - away from everyone and everything. To stay safe, to be safe. Frost's By The Throat
is curiously conceptualized within my head, an album that has a story, whether or not it was his aim isn't the point. What is the point is he has made an album that is a darkly, almost hollow energy about it where your imagination can run wild with frightful ideas. Instantly you hear the wolves howl that is bone-chilling throughout "The Carpathians", its an everlasting presence within By The Throat
. Despite its brief appearance it stands up with "Killshot" almost as a roll of film, without a hitch they connect to each other - the sense of fear and general obscurity within the music. Much like these two tracks, the album plays out to what you're envisioning - you can create a story within your mind, of how you could place this in movie. Doesn't matter what it is, who it is, where it was, or why they did it. It fits the frame of this album. By The Throat
balances those menacing howls, those screeching electronic movements, the quick, dark instrumentals of the violin and piano within a context of your
The machine barely keeps its victim alive. The gasps of air lie in wake of "O God Protect Me". The continued rhythmic breaths pander to your imagination. Frost manages to allow his darkly cornered album some breathing room within a few spaces of the album, literally and figuratively. Tracks like "O God Protect Me" and "Untitled Transient" lend themselves to connect the other work within the album. It offers a sense of solace and the asphyxiation of the almost too
crunched work within By The Throat
is almost put aside. The constant is by far the cold, the harshness of the instrumentals. Most endearing is the sharpness of the violin within "Peter Venkman Part I", it moves at such a screeching, quick-fire pace it's hard not to fixate your ears on it . It sets the mood with the constant harmonized vocals within the dreariness of the whole thing, but the ominous piano lying...stirring within the shadows is so damn perfect it makes your skin crawl. The subtle pauses that form within By The Throat
is what is mostly unnoticeable at times. The album seems to murmur endless instruments and indistinguishable electronic movements, yet after constant listens you hear the not-so obvious spaces of silence.
H├*bak├║sja mimics an almost relaxed period within the beginning, but much like our protagonist..or antagonist (whichever you prefer), it ramps up into a ailing state of fear, dropping the guitar and adding panicked breaths of a human being to add to the human drama and the makeshift suspense you've created in By The Throat. Ben Frost may be from Melbourne, but he seems intent on creating more northern ambient music that melds classically used instruments and industrialized electronic. It eventually becomes superimposed within the construct of By The Throat
and its wonderfully done. The only thing you need to do is create the ending.