The epic-length songs His Name Is Alive explored on Tecuciztecatl felt like a creative rebirth, one that they build on with Patterns of Light. Where their vampire rock opera was indebted to '70s prog, this time the band goes all in on vintage metal, and the barreling riffs and drums on songs like "Black Wings" are a thrill to hear. However, anyone surprised by how convincingly heavy His Name Is Alive are here hasn't been paying attention.
There is a surprising amount of music inspired by particle accelerators. Techno-classical producer Kate Simko wrote an album about the one at Fermilab, located outside her hometown of Chicago. Jazz pianist Al Blatter once improvised along to a “sonification” program that translates data collected by the Large Hadron Collider into music on stage at the Montreux Jazz Festival, where CERN, the multinational research organization that runs the LHC, has held several artist workshops.
His Name is Alive has never taken itself for granted. Detroit native Warren Defever has always pushed his band beyond any self-imposed boundaries, finding new worlds within the intersections of rock, electronica, R&B, psych and experimental music. Patterns of Light, the group’s fifteenth full-length studio album, reaches a new plateau, while at the same time being one of HNIA’s most straightforward offerings.