Vol. 4 :: Slaves of Fear

Album Review of Vol. 4 :: Slaves of Fear by HEALTH.

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Vol. 4 :: Slaves of Fear

HEALTH

Vol. 4 :: Slaves of Fear by HEALTH

Release Date: Feb 8, 2019
Record label: Loma Vista
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

75 Music Critic Score
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Vol. 4 :: Slaves of Fear - Very Good, Based on 4 Critics

The Line of Best Fit - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

Through the medium of abrasive beats and tortured, explosive synth textures the band tackle the world's uneasy conscience, resulting in a remarkably cathartic listen. The new album is HEALTH 's first full-length release since 2015's Death Magic, and whilst the two records have a similarly powerful, visceral sound; lyrically, their latest work is a more sobering affair. Opener "Psychonaut" makes this clear from the offset - the cutting line "I'm only here once, once is enough" resonates across the manic synth patterns that permeate the song.

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DIY Magazine - 80
Based on rating 4/5
80

Four albums into the nihilistic void that HEALTH have carved out, the trio deliver at once their heaviest, catchiest, most decipherable and least predictable album. These long-term fans of impeccable contradictions are tearing up rulebooks quicker than anyone else can write them. The defining aesthetics of 'Vol 4 :: SLAVES OF FEAR' are the mix of twinkling synths with guitars shredded to thrash metal levels, all over a soulful vocal delivery of lines of hopelessness and faithlessness in absolute clarity.

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Drowned In Sound - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

The first time I sat down with HEALTH's Slaves of Fear and stuck it on the stereo, it took a good five repeat listens to try and get a handle on just what was actually happening. I knew I liked it, but couldn't really figure out what was what, and it left my brain a bit fried. The second day I sat down with it and stuck it on the stereo, it weirdly felt like an old friend - the whole shebang just clicked, and I somehow knew every inch of darkened, grizzled white noise.

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New Musical Express (NME) - 60
Based on rating 3/5
60

With album four, the LA noise veterans take on the state of the world, attempting to pulverise injustice with sound alone. But a little variation would go a long way In their fourth record, LA's industrial noise purveyors HEALTH have pretty much remade their third. Like, it's a good album, but perhaps we didn't need it twice over. Previously distinctly lo-fi and fixated on atonal, squally soundscapes, the group threw a few hooks at 2015's 'Death Magic', a triumphant project that saw them sifting through the rubble of their nihilism to find something brighter.

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