Even the word itself sums up what many of us would have liked to be able to do over the last eighteen months.
Alarm and abort. Reset, turn off the world.
Instead, Karhide took the moment to reset and turn inwards.
The result is Abort, an album that – almost impossibly – melds the slowcore rhythms and oppressive atmospherics of prime Codeine with the sheet guitars of Deafheaven and the epic delicacy of Jesu. And does so all without words to lean on.
Karhide’s third album comes just one year after Erasable Assignments, a record that was assembled under entirely different circumstances, composed under the influence of that particular mania caused by too many time zones, too many hotel rooms, and a world moving too fast around him.
Abort could hardly be any more different – composed under lockdown in a world that simultaneously slowed to a glacial crawl, but changed more rapidly than any of us could have conceived, it’s a slow and demonstrably powerful contemplation of where we find ourselves in 2021, with every instrument played, performed and programmed by Karhide.
Vast walls of dense guitars dare the listener to scale them as one might tackle El Capitan, while rich, warm synth pads invite you to begin the challenge. ‘Switching Routines’ is This Will Destroy You set to a midnight drive through downtown Los Angeles, while ‘False Flag’ comes across like Russian Circles blowtorched by an army of robots.
Ultimately, the album’s closing piece – an urgent, propulsive eight-minute epic that distills the Karhide vision into one fist-clenching rejection of 2021 – could only be titled ‘Restart’.
Alarm, abort, then restart. We’re ready to go again.
Karhide’s new album, Abort, will be released on November 26 via Trepanation recordings and can be pre-ordered here.