Inverse Rapture by Tithe

Release date: February 17, 2023
Label: Profound Lore Records

From the first time I heard Portland, Oregon’s Tithe on their debut full-length, Penance, I thought to myself that they would doubtless fit very nicely of Chris Bruni’s Profound Lore Records. And so it came to pass, as the trio release their sophomore LP, Inverse Rapture on the celebrated extreme metal label.

Penance introduced the band as amalgamating death and black metal with grindcore in unusual, unorthodox, unexpected ways. It showcased a boundless invention and willingness to push the heavy, dissonant envelope. The debut delivered on the promise of the prior years that vocalist/guitarist Matt Eiseman and drummer Kevin Swartz had used for writing, rehearsing, and finally releasing a self-titled EP. At the end of 2018 the duo teamed up with bassist Alex Huddleston and so the sound truly began to foment and cement into the pummelling attack that was captured on the debut album.

That first record explored lofty themes of the human condition and being plagued by mental illness with other meaningful but also grounded elements such as the taking of psychedelics. A trippy record in every way, Penance truly announced Tithe to the underground scene in a seismic way.  Being picked up by Profound Lore and having to deliver on high expectations doesn’t seem to have phased the Pacific Northwest trio whatsoever as Inverse Rapture is a punishing new opus, streamlining some of the unevenness that occasionally knocked Penance ever so slightly off-course, and subsuming subtle new elements into their terrifying wall of sound.

Evolving from their first record, Tithe offers up an even angrier and dissonant record, with production that leans into them sounding far rawer and like one is witnessing the band rage live. The latter emotional weight in particular makes Inverse Rapture feel like a significant move on. While the white-hot tempos remain, as the trio traverse their complex compositions at lightning speed, blazing through incredible passages, they also insert towering but melancholy-soaked sections into tracks, creating a highly effecting natural juxtaposition that adds further dynamism to their overall sound.

Perhaps nowhere is this better exhibited than on the album’s de facto centrepiece ‘Parasite’. It sounds like a band that has at least a decade of recording and touring time on what the members of Tithe actually hold. To have had such a momentous debut and then easily better it on a sophomore record is no mean feat.  Inverse Rapture feels like such a complete win and success, a wholesale realisation of the promise the band exhibited five or six years ago when I first came across them. From the artwork to the production, the mixing, and the mastering – and of course the composition and performances on record – Tithe has more than delivered.

If you’re after some supreme underground extreme metal, unrelenting in focus and pace, then you need to get Tithe on your radar and Inverse Rapture assaulting your ears.

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