Thetan’s Utterly Maniacal New Grindcore LP Feels Like Nightmare Fuel

Thetan play a somewhat elevated but still utterly maniacal form of grindcore on their February 1 Anti-Corporate Music release Abysmal. Their brief tracks feel like they fall just outside of the boundaries of perhaps familiar noisy grindcore, but the band only slightly open up their songwriting just so that the listener can get a glimpse of the violently furious beast at the core of this record. There’s straightforward riffing sometimes, and the vocals are even sometimes surprisingly accessible — but these “reprieves” only last for a moment and end up contributing to the overall unnerving feel of the record thanks to the way they’re presented. Some classic chaotic hardcore feels even pop up at times, reminiscent of old material from bands like Converge and Zao. Here, those elements are simply put through a blender and thereby abbreviated and more focused.

Ultimately, the driving edge of this record only allows for what’s within to prove that much more blatantly frenzied, like this album is some kind of smorgasbord of your worst nightmares. Not only are these nightmares presented on the record — you get an abrupt punch to the gut with them that you might not have seen coming. Abysmal spits sonic chemical burns, leaving the listener grasping for some kind of air as they’re forced to confront this sonic violence that is somehow human.

Somehow, at least for someone who’s already familiar with heavy music, Thetan never go so far over the top on their newest record that they can’t be followed. Their vision seems to be that of seeing just how heavy and deranged they can sound while still maintaining a feel that would be at home in some obscure metal venue, known by few but beloved by those who do.

There’s a sense that they’re driven by some kind of anger that can barely be put into words but instead finds its only appropriate output via the primal reckoning of their newest album. This anger isn’t some kind of short term response to an issue that will vanish soon. Thanks to just how crazy they make themselves sound on Absymal, it’s clear that Thetan are tapping into an animalistic rage that’s built into our system and compounded over untold tragedies and atrocities committed against us. It’s time to let it out.

5/5 Stars

Listen below via Bandcamp