Summary: By The Throat shares its predecessor's menacing, sinister tone, but its atmosphere is so foreboding and the use of slashing dissonance within varied instrumentals is what makes it so gripping.
You feel that? They call it a pulse, the heartbeat, a complex course of outside influences affecting your body to show your internalized reaction to a situation. By The Throat plays out like the uncertainty of a anyone's reaction. And where Ben Frost gets it right is where it works the most - an almost dead calm within the structure of music brought to you by a few numerous sickly piano keys.
The oncoming storm of shit is headed towards him. He's isolated and paranoia sets in. The events set in the motion of this one decision is meaningless as your last action is what makes him the man he's perceived to be. A calm, a sense of disbelief is hinted within "Killshot", that is, between the rumbling shred that rises and recedes in mere seconds. The intro track plays out with its scathing electronic dread, mockingly beautiful piano within the heaps of chaos, something that flows so well within the entirety of the track. Frost's 2009 release surprisingly blends an even more darker album within By The Throat then he ever did in Theory of Machines. Acoustic guitar bellows, piano keys enter and wolves howl at the search of you.
They're on the move...
He hears them following his every footstep..tracking his every move. The howls they grow louder, his perceptions being to get clouded. He says to himself: Did they see me? Do they know? He doesn't care where he runs to, he just needs to run - away from everyone and everything, to stay safe, to be safe. Frost's By The Throat is curiously conceptualized within my head, an album that has a story, whether or not it was his aim or not isn't the point. The wolves howl is bone-chilling throughout "The Carpathians", however brief it stands up with "Killshot" almost as a roll of film, without a hitch they connect to each other - the sense of fear and general obscurity within the music. You can create a story within your mind, just imagine an act of evilness and you got it. Doesn't matter what it is, who it is, where it was, or why they did it. It fits the frame of this album. By The Throat balances those menacing howls, those screeching electronic movements, the quick, dark instrumentals of the violin and piano within a context of your story.
The machine barely keeps his victim alive. The gasps of air lie in wake of "O God Protect Me". Frost manages to allow his darkly cornered album some breathing room within a few spaces of the album. Tracks like "O God Protect Me" and "Untitled Transient" lend themselves to connect the other work within the album. The constant is by far the cold, harshness of the instrumentals. Most endearing is the sharpness of the violin with "Peter Venkman Part I". It sets the mood with the constant vocals that harmonize within the dreariness of the whole thing, but the ominous piano lying...stirring within the shadows is so damn perfect it makes your skin crawl.
Híbakúsja mimics an almost relaxed period within the beginning, but much like our protagonist..or antagonist (whichever you prefer), it ramps up into a ailing state of fear, dropping the guitar and adding panic breathes of a human being to add to the human drama and the makeshift suspense you've created in By The Throat. Ben Frost may be from Melbourne, but he seems intent on creating more northern ambient music that melds classically used instruments and industrialized electronic. It eventually becomes superimposed within the construct of By The Throat and its wonderfully done. The only thing you need to do is visualize the ending.
Posted by Marko Polo at 9:55 PM