You float high above the jagged earth in a metal ship. Black clouds canvas the sky above you, dumping torrents of rain onto the ground below. Many other ships similar to yours twinkle in the darkness, and tear the land into segments with vicious beams of energy. The world is being dismembered and auctioned off to the wealthiest buyers in the galaxy, and you have first-row seats to the destruction of the planet. You watch, and listen to the chaotic beauty . . .

Forgive me for gushing, but this is a record I’ve been greatly anticipating. I’m pleased to report that it has scaled, and exceeded my mountainous expectations. DEATH MAGIC is the newest release from HEALTH, an L.A.-based band of noise enthusiasts and pioneers in the pursuit of merging aggressive dissonance and melodic consonance. This is their first proper full-length album in half a decade, and it’s well worth the agonizing wait.

HEALTH have always dabbled in pop melodicism, but never to the extent that they do on this marvelously catchy record. Jacob Duzsik’s velvety singing echoes through industrial electronic instrumentation, evoking a unique dichotomy between vibrant life and formulaic mechanics. These are colossal, percussive, pristinely produced songs that will delight their long-time devotees, and the new coat of polish will draw many new ones.

There’s also a distinct enhancement in the band’s danceability category. “FLESH WORLD (UK)” blasts out of the gates with arms raised in soaring house bliss, “DARK ENOUGH” skims the surface of trap-tinged hip-hop, and “L.A. LOOKS” wouldn’t sound out of place on a noisier Passion Pit record. Bottom line: the carnal aggression is intact, with a new focus on beauty. If you’re seeking industrial noise pop, this album is for you.

– stasi (@stasisphere)


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