There are a lot of concepts regarding gendered space, racialized space, Otherization, gaze and social/personal power dynamics at work in the new Big|Brave record, important topics we need to internalize communally to a greater degree than we have. But even for those unaware of those issues and those spaces, the way the words “body and blood” get repeated like a ritualistic cry over the chiming guitar feedback and low grimacing rumble of the droning chord beneath speaks something into being, a primal and primitive response to depersonalization by body-focused hyper-personalization. “Holding Pattern” feels like a ritual, a minor act within the major sequence of the album as a whole, and frames well the overall experience, which turns pain to ecstasy and catharsis through the mantras of distortion, primitive drumming, and the fragility of the human voice. Be prepared for one of the albums of the year.
From A Gaze Among Them, out May 10 via Southern Lord
Langdon Hickman is listening to progressive rock and death metal. He currently resides in Virginia with his partner and their two pets.