Drew McDowall - The Third Helix - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Drew McDowall - The Third Helix

by paul_guyet Rating:8 Release Date:2018-09-21
Drew McDowall - The Third Helix
Drew McDowall - The Third Helix

Before we begin: will someone PLEASE write a horror film for this man to score. I'm tired of waiting. Some people should just be making sound to accompany atrocities and nightmares and Drew McDowall has been doing it, on his own or with others, for, literally, decades. It's about time we let this monster free to do what he was built to do. 


The Third Helix is the third of McDowall's solo efforts and, except for one spectacular moment, it does exactly what his first two (Collapse and Unnatural Channel ) did, just as well. "Proximity" stutters and sweats, a relentless fever, "Tendrils" can induce an unsettling meditative state when listened to correctly, feeling vaguely reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails'/Aphex Twin's "At The Heart Of It All", and "False Memory" drowns the listener in a sea of circuitry and ghosts, or perhaps what we're hearing is just one ghost, that of Min Kent. We also see McDowall has perfected the Art of The Creeping Thrum with "Impulse". But the crown jewel here, that one spectacular moment to which I referred, is the opener, "Rhizome". It starts off like many McDowall tracks: unsteady and sick, but around the two minute mark, once the uneasy jitter is joined by a gorgeous string section and then a massive percussive force...it's like the sun rising over a broken and distorted land, somehow warming the nightscape and bringing a sense of the purest, most sorrowful glory; truly a masterpiece.  

Overall, The Third Helix is more delicate than McDowall's first two LPs; it's the same deeply unhinged mind behind everything, but it feels brighter. And, while nothing really achieves the mournful, tainted grandeur of "Rhizome", this is an excellent new chapter in what is shaping up to be a very, very dark tale. McDowall continues to evolve while still evoking the spirits of Christopherson and Balance.

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