Therapy?
A Brief Crack of Light


4.5
superb

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
February 5th, 2012 | 88 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Therapy? in space: a futuristic take on their heavy rock style.

More than two decades into their career, Northern Ireland-based Therapy? show absolutely no signs of stopping. Rather than following the footsteps of other outfits that share the same amount of time on stage and thus rehashing the same formula all over again, Therapy? have never seemed to be into the idea of comfort zone in the first place constantly releasing albums that have pushed the boundaries of their heavy rock style. Their thirteenth full length disc, A Brief Crack Of Light, couldn't be more in line with the group's policy to surprise their fans with a plethora of brand-new influences. In fact, the album ranks high among the band's most experimental releases continuing the path they took three years ago with critically acclaimed Crooked Timber.

Despite the reliance on clattering rhythms and grooves, A Brief Crack Of Light doesn't really resemble its predecessor very much. Its title, which stems from late Vladimir Nabokov's quote that describes our existence as “a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness”, signals the overpowering bleak tone which manifests itself equally in apocalyptic lyrics and futuristically tinged music. As for the former, Andy Cairns has a knack for crafting comprehensible lyrics out of heavy philosophical concepts. His existential work ranges from contemplative (“Ghost Trio”) to rebellious (“Plague Bell”) or even darkly humorous (“Why Turbulence?”). As far as the shift in music style is concerned, massive guitar riffs frequently give way to shrewdly crafted, hypnotic soundscapes, which results in the permeating sense of space on the entire disc. The trio accompanies this dub-inclined sound with their trademark ultra-fast, heavy-on-snare drum beats, pummelling bass lines and dissonance-ridden guitar work.

Even though its apocalyptic tone seems to be omnipresent, A Brief Crack Of Light is still an admirably diverse collection of songs. Representing the classic Therapy? style, “Living in the Shadow of the Terrible Thing”, “Before You, With You, After You” and “Why Turbulence?” boast memorable riffs, groovy rhythms and infectious melodies. However, the album takes plenty of unexpected turns which nearly always make for truly arresting songs. A spastic guitar work of “Plague Bell” smoothly builds to a sludge metal onslaught coupled with jazz-infused discordant stabs. “The Buzzing” makes great use of monolithic, oozing riffs and chaotic progressions only to create the sinister atmosphere of decay. Elsewhere, “Get Your Dead Hand Off My Shoulder” relies on warm, resonant dub as well as hypnotic vocal delivery to a truly paranoid effect, while dazzling drone of “Ghost Trio” shows that there are no stylistic limitations for Therapy? whatsoever.

On the minus side, the multitude of influences makes the album fairly disjointed. The upbeat post-rock of instrumental “Marlow” would certainly be an excellent B-side, yet it feels entirely redundant on the record that abounds with bleak themes. Whether it flows well or not, A Brief Crack Of Light is a greatly daring release that finds Therapy? redefining themselves once again and challenging their fans in the process. This is an unhinged ride through plenty of supposedly unrelated genres that proves to be immensely rewarding in the long run.



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user ratings (47)
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3.7
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hankdee27 (3.5)
Muscular sound, smooth production, and Therapy?'s own traits of battering heavy distortion and elect...


Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2012


7428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Living In The Shadow Of The Terrible Thing" video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwwFRrBJajA

Digging: Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Rhythm

Acanthus
February 5th 2012


9543 Comments


Sounds like a fun but strange release man.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2012


7428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

What can I say? The less commercial and more experimental Therapy? get, the more I seem to dig them. I'm totally addicted to this. It's virtually the only album I listened to last week.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
February 5th 2012


7401 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Woah I had no idea there was a new Therapy? album coming out. Will check this out.

DoubtGin
February 5th 2012


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is fairly average, to be honest

greg84
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2012


7428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well... I can't stop listening to it and all the reviews I've read for this have been positive.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2012


6269 Comments


most intrigued by your summary and comments Greg (will read the text tomorrow, as it is past midnight...), will investigate further.

Digging: Fly Golden Eagle - Quartz Bijou

greg84
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2012


7428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cool Voivod. I encourage you to check this out.

OK. I'm biased and I will say it again: this is the best rock band working today.

scissorlocked
February 5th 2012


3511 Comments


I had no idea too about this

nice review man

Digging: Distance - Outer Limits

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2012


6269 Comments


this is the best rock band working today

Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats

greg84
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2012


7428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@scissorlocked: Thanks a bunch. it's highly recommended.

@Voivod: You're kidding me, man. I think they're overrated. Not nearly as versatile as Therapy? Not even close.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2012


6269 Comments


I think they're overrated




Maybe you are right, maybe I'm exaggerating, but for vintage blues rock, Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats are the new thing.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2012


7428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They are not really blues rock, more psychedelic/doom rock imo. Still very 1970s inspired.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2012


6269 Comments


^yeah something like that

DoubtGin
February 5th 2012


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats arent overrated

Willie
Moderator
February 5th 2012


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've never heard these guys, but I've always wanted to. Guess I'll check on Spotify after the game.

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

JAV
February 5th 2012


1962 Comments


The music was cool, not sure about his voice tho.

Willie
Moderator
February 5th 2012


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

What's up with the voice?

Ending
February 5th 2012


1919 Comments


Hmm I really want to hear this now. Let me just let this loss sink in and I'll check it out tomorrow.

JAV
February 5th 2012


1962 Comments


@Willie
It has this weird Danny Glover lisp going on. Don't know how else to describe it.
It's sort of odd.



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