Becoming the Archetype took a step back after Jason Wisdom left the band, but fans of Wisdom's growl can now rejoice with his new project, Death Therapy. Death Therapy (a reference to the movie What About Bob?) is an animal you likely haven't seen before: Wisdom rocks the bass hard and heavy, but no other guitars are present. That's right -- It's a metal band with bass, drums, and synths only. The Storm Before the Calm is some seriously dark groove metal with a lot of synth and industrial influences. The best part is that, other than the obvious lack of solos or guitar leads, most listeners would never be able to guess the band is bass guitar only. The vast majority are just going to notice a metal band with heavy music that knows how to groove. Thematically, Widsom is looking to honestly share his hardships, struggles and depression -- the storm -- while at the same time, showing hope in Christ -- the calm.
"Until Then" starts the album off with a short and soft intro track to prepare the listener and give a little taste of the industrial/synth flavor to come. The first full track is the Andrew Schwab-featured "Self Mind Dead." The song actually feels more like a Project 86 song -- especially something you might have heard on Rival Factions. It's a solid jam that P86 fans will likely dig, but the full intensity has yet to build. "The Lie" is the first taste of the metal you'd expect from Jason Wisdom. While there are synths playing throughout, the music is heavy and Wisdom's growl comes out as expected from Becoming the Archetype fans. "Wake Me (When I'm Dead)," like "The Lie," is a song that embodies what Wisdom was trying to accomplish thematically. Wisdom sings, "Give me rest; give me peace. Give me strength to face the days of my unbelief," before growling, "Wake me when I'm dead!" While there has been plenty of electronic instrumentation at this point, "Prodigal" is truly an industrial influenced song. From the sampled voice intro, to the synth-soaked music, it's a great jam. The best part has to be the slight breakdown and modulation starting at the 2:36 mark. Aggressive blasts lead to a complete drop in the music, followed by a drum fill leading into the music at a slightly higher key before smoothly walking it back down for the finish. "Slow Dance (With the Dead)" is absolutely one of the best tracks present on the album and by far the slowest. While it's far from a dead ringer, the verse shares some similarities with Marilyn Manson's "The Dope Show." However, it has a much different feel in the breaks (there is no true chorus) and the bridge gets much heavier. The strong industrial sound returns for "Possessed," which is about how the Holy Spirit "possesses" us and continues to work in our lives to grow us. Widsom sings and screams about his human nature to want to give up, "Still I fight the process, longing to remain. If it were up to me I would stay the same," but counters with "But it's not up to me and that sets me free. I rest in knowing that though I am a mess, I am possessed!" "Everything Burns" is the final track with lyrics and has a very apocalyptic feel. "The Belmont Family Curse" (a reference to the Castlevania II video game) is a two-part, two-track, instrumental. "Part 1 (Night)" is the shorter intro with a more standard feel, but "Part 2 (Day)" is a super cool and unique, grooving 8-bit featured instrumental. The tracks were put together with the idea of Castelvania II, which switched game play from day to night, in mind and the 8-bit "Part 2 (Day)," in particular, was to pay homage to classic video games.
If you are looking for Becoming the Archetype 2.0, you're looking in the wrong place. However, if you were a fan of Jason Wisdom's creativity, bass playing, and vocals, look no further. It's few and far between that you will find an album quite like this one. It honestly sounds like a lot of things, but it's very hard to classify it as one. Perhaps the best way to describe it is simply by saying it's heavy music with electronic highlights and industrial influences. While inferences to artists like Marilyn Manson will undoubtedly surface (especially due to the early popularity of "Slow Dance (With Death)," Jason Wisdom has put together something truly unique, innovative, and just flat out awesome. It's still very early in the year, but Death Therapy already has potential to not only be a top heavy album of the year, but be in the running for best overall album of 2017. Heavy music fans will want to pick this one up as soon as possible.- Review date: 2/17/17, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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