Throes by AllochiriaRelease date: March 17, 2017
Label: Art Of Propganda Records
The term ‘allochiria’ means “other hand” in Greek, and it is the scientific name for a complex neurological disorder, in which the patient responds to stimuli presented to one side of the body as if the stimuli had been presented at the opposite side (thank you Wikipedia). It is also the band name of a 5-piece post-metal band from Athens, Greece.
Allochiria released their first album Omonoia (Greek for “harmony”) in 2014 and now 3 years later they are about to release their second album Throes on Art Of Propaganda. The press release compares them to post-metal powerhouses Neurosis, ISIS, Cult of Luna and Amenra, though I feel they’re more fitting in with the crescendo type of post-metal similar to the sound sleepmakeswaves produces.
Throughout the 6 tracks that make up Throes the band uses a lot of subtlety and build ups to atmospheric climaxes using a very post-rock like guitar sound, where the guitarists use these typical distorted, reverb and delay pedals whilst playing with loads of tremolo picking. However, they’re not simply a ‘crescendo’ band, as there is a lot more to their sound, such as the heavier riffing and the interplay between the drummer and the bassist. To me it is this rhythm section which really makes this release very interesting, especially in the quieter parts, whilst in the heavier parts they induced this air-drum response which is always a very positive sign when listening to a band playing this musical genre.
This is not an instrumental band though, as they have a vocalist, but it is these vocals which perhaps will not be to everyone’s appeal. I personally don’t mind the vocals at all, and they bring a bit to these aforementioned influences such as ISIS and Amenra into their music, but I have friends and colleagues who enjoy this genre a lot who I think would be a bit put off by the vocals, as they sound very barking and might deter from the great musical interplay. However, there are moments when they work really well, adding another musical layer to the music, such as on the third track ‘Cracking Fractals’.
Thematically the band focuses on the deep exploration of very human themes, and continues the thematic line they started on their first album Omonoia, and this also probably explains their choice of bandname as well. On Throes the band explores the theme of man being a social being, the corruption that defines him in the modern societies, his vain struggles, painful routine, and the effect this has in the world around him. Vocalist Irene mainly employs English to get her message across, though on the second track ‘Little Defeats, Tiny Victories’ she sings in Greek, though because of the barking nature of her vocals this distinguishment isn’t always clear.
I listened to Throes a couple of times recently when I was flying back from China to the UK and there were moments when I just stared out of the window above the clouds, seeing the world pass by whilst being enveloped by the beautiful sounds building up ever so slightly in tension and atmosphere. To me that’s what a good release is about, where you can lose the world and lose track of time as you zone out to the sounds created by the band.
Overall, this is a very interesting release and one I will definitely go back to more often. It’s not really adding anything new to the vastly growing post-metal world, but if this type of music has your interest you should definitely give Throes a go.
Throes is available for pre-order through here, and you can listen to the whole album exclusively here: