HEALTH: VOL. 4 :: SLAVES OF FEAR (Loma Vista) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Loma Vista

Mar 28, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The prospect of a new HEALTH album has been a mouth-watering one since their self-titled debut dropped unsuspectingly 12 years ago. Every subsequent release has pushed the boundaries of both expectation and achievement, even if their output over the course of the band’s existence can hardly be called prolific.

So while VOL. 4 :: SLAVES OF FEARentitled as such because it’s the band’s fourth long playerfinds itself greeted with open arms, there’s also a sense of trepidation. Mainly because it’s the first HEALTH album since founder member Jupiter Keyes left the group soon after the release of 2015’s predecessor Death Magic, and while there’s been a steady flow of standalone singles since, it’s their collections they’ve been revered for in the past. Most notably 2009’s Get Color and its accompanying remix album HEALTH::DISCO 2.

As with the band’s previous releases, VOL. 4 :: SLAVES OF FEAR doesn’t stick to a formula. Instead, it invents one of its own. Which at times makes for an unnerving and uneasy listen. Although stripped to a three-piece these days, the deafening crashes of percussion coupled with blistering pockets of pedal-induced noise aren’t any less apparent. Thereby making the likes of “PSYCHONAUT,” “FEEL NOTHING,” and “LOSS DELUXE” (in particular) all the more sinister as a result.

Lyrically it represents arguably the bleakest collection of songs in the band’s canon to date. “The Message” opens with Jake Duzsik uttering a curt “Death wants to make you a part of it” in his own inimitable vocal style. While “SLAVES OF FEAR” begs the question, “Why do we waste our years, when there’s nothing to fight about?” Of course some might argue that HEALTH have made despair and desolation the band’s calling card, and on closing lament “DECIMATION” they may well have issued their most finite statement (“We can’t go back… It’s over now”) to date. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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