Theme Ė Sacral Blood Warning  (CD Forth Dimension/Idioblast)

  

Themeís sixth album is very easily my favourite of the bands so far. After the slew of guests on the previous release (2014s No Emotions Catered For) Sacral Blood Warning strips the band back to its core elements of Richard Johnson (Splintered, Husk) and Stuart Carter (Heroin, Fields of Hay).

Itís an album that starts off with heavy use of thick analogue repeated sounds as a base on which to create the pieces. Repetitive pulses seem to dominate the first half of the album, analogue sounding and with insistent snapping beats accompanying them. Hovering somewhere between Power Electronics and Industrial. The harshness of this first half rather took me by surprise but these harsh soundscapes overlaid electronic squeals and the processed vocals all work together really well.

I donít know if this was intended as a two-phase album but once we get half way through the mood starts to be slightly less intense. The pulsing synths sounds are still there as are the beats but it all becomes slightly less up front and more subtle. Track five ďDark Sunshine,Ē almost reminds me of some early Coil pieces.

The most ambitious track on the album is the very last one ďSacral Blood WarningĒ. Itís a menacing, track with an almost forced restraint to it. Itís as if itís trying itís hardest to stay in the background but wants to break free. Strange echoey noises, scrapes and static blend in with deep down vocals and intermittent noises. Itís an exercise in atmospherics and textures and manages to move through many different phases and moods before it reaches its final short crescendo.

I like the more direct upfront approach of Theme on this album, its very much to my tastes. DB

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