Review Summary: Muscular sound, smooth production, and Therapy?'s own traits of battering heavy distortion and electronic elements that are successfully woven in.
With 23 years under their belts, Therapy? could certainly be called veterans in the profession of alternative metal. What I mean by that statement is that this band still knows how to make one instantly love a song within five seconds of it.
Listening to the first track on this new LP, I didn't grow disinterested. The only way to describe "Living In The Shadow Of A Terrible Thing" reactionary possibilities are: a. Start bashing your head along in orgasmic pleasure, or b. ***ting your pants, because you have no idea how to react. The song is so present in it's aggressive fury that it could even catch a hold of a casual observer, who has no wish to listen to this type of music.
If every song were like the opener, except with some variation put into them, that would make A Brief Crack Of Light worthy of more praise. And why does it not deserve this extra praise?
Because, the punch put together is dragged down with Therapy? putting progressive-sounding songs like "Plague Bell" and "Marlow", together with hard-hitting teeth-grinders like the opener. In fact, the first song is really the only one that has the affect of putting the mosh-pit into one's head. Therapy? were great at what they did before, and maybe (at least for the most part anyway) it should stay that way. Not that the variation can't be appreciated.
"Marlow" is an instrumental that has aforementioned progressive qualities. A post-punk guitar-line put together, one that Therapy? is going to be known for, and melodic singing put together, creates a bouncy free-flow feel. It still feels repetitive, but it manages to move along without being dull. "Get Your Dead Hand Off My Shoulder" seems like a questionable move at first, but the humorous lyrics don't stop the poppy sensations mixed into more defined steel-sounding drums.
Progressive music is a territory that Therapy? can tread upon safely without being puzzled and confused, but the lack of album flow sets this one to sink lower. A Brief Crack Of Light couldn't be easily dismissed, and it is a nice addition to Therapy?'s discography. The only problem is the way it's all packaged. Oddly.