HEALTH - Death Magic - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

HEALTH - Death Magic

by Brian Lange. Rating:7 Release Date:2015-08-07

As the ominous beat of a drum introduces the new HEALTH. It drops like stone into 'Stonefist', the second track of Death Magic. Six years has elapsed since 2009’s Get Color, yet HEALTH comes off just as strong.

Those unfamiliar with HEALTH should know that their foray into the genre of noise and experimental indieness is sprinkled with psychedelic and atmospheric tones that result in something that the hipsters can get up and dance to; something that’s not quite euro-dance-club, not quite Brooklyn garage band, but perhaps an amalgamation of the two. From a band that has evolved from early beginnings of analog lo-fi noise comes a more ‘mature’ sounding record with laid-back beats that place you in the clouds of Scandinavian sunsets. 

Though not unappealing, the hues of a euro-trance influence do seem to take prescient with the new record.  Do not let that dissuade you, though, as the familiar echoes from dreamy vocals and abrasive beats over soothing tones are still ever-present.  Death Magic seems to take a generally calmer approach to the usual abrasiveness of earlier work.  Welcome to popular music, HEALTH!

It is generally agreed upon that HEALTH gained notoriety from a remix of the track Crimewave by the popular electronic duo, Crystal Castles.  It seemed to grab the attention of even Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, who offered them opening act on NIN’s 2008 tour.  Since then, they’ve stayed mainly in the underground of experimental and noise music, but have done so with a keen ear for catchy tunes. 

The new record isn’t a far departure from their earlier work; it is undoubtedly a HEALTH album with the familiarities that have been present in all their previous work, but the music has definitely evolved into a new form.  The change is a positive one.  Some may like the slightly new direction they are taking into the pop genre, but others may feel that they have not stuck to their roots.  Even the experimenters need to experiment sometimes.  I think they have done well with Death Magic. 

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