HEALTH approached their sixth album with a giant to-do list in hand, but amazingly, even within only twelve songs, they tick every item on it off. They stretch their silvery industrial musical template every which way, from the floaty realms of ‘DEAD FLOWERS’ featuring Poppy that harks beautifully back to the singer’s own industrial days to the creeping buzz of ‘ISN’T EVERYONE’ (featuring Nine Inch Nails). Yet while these tracks are testament to how well the LA trio can build an astronomical sense of atmosphere, they can create icy harshness with equal brilliance. There’s unexpected genius in the juxtaposition of Black Dresses’ Ada Rook’s almost black metal-esque screams and PlayThatBoyZay’s barbed raps on ‘MURDER DEATH KILL’, while Lamb of God brings a hefty metallic crunch to ‘COLD BLOOD’ that’s periodically punctured with HEALTH’s otherworldly atmospherics. A couple of tracks don’t hold up quite so well, mainly the thin, uneventful one-two of ‘STILL BREATHING’ and ‘NO ESCAPE’, which are content to peter along without ever really arriving, but for the most part, spreading themselves too thin is not a problem HEALTH ever seems to worry about. Nine times out of ten, the scale of their ambition pays monumental dividends.
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