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Theme – Sacral Blood Warning

Fourth Dimension / Idioblast

Theme - Sacral Blood WarningAt times uncompromisingly brutal, Theme‘s Sacral Blood Warning barely lets up the pressure from the opening moments to its close what sometimes seems like a small aeon later. Along the way, they pummel and pound, rant and reverberate, shaking their groove as much as the walls. However, Theme’s idea of a what constitutes a groove might not be one too closely aligned with the more conventional definition, so they’re not exactly pop material. Yet.

Favouring blasted machine rhythms, spasmodic synthesis and heavily effected vocals, the feeling engendered by listening to this album is somewhat akin to being strapped to the interior of Whitehouse‘s washing machine on full spin cycle with the body split open to allow Richard Johnson‘s scathing vocalisations  to penetrate through the juddering motion of intensely overpowering sound. Words are cut up and jagged, barely discernible in the thick fug of noise that floats over and around the seemingly unending pounding and shuddering that Theme unleash for the first half of the disc with vim and venomous vigour, their audible assault matched neatly by the mashed-up block text layout of the accompanying booklet.

Such let-up as there is from the initial four-four grind doesn’t deign to offer much shelter, and what “Faces Of Betrayal” removes in terms of identifiable structure it makes up for with some ominous piano-bothering klang and generous dollops of yet more sound mangling that goes well beyond processing and into gleefully pointed destruction. It’s left to the colour-melting title track to most thoroughly exercise Theme’s mechanised ghosts and gremlins in a long-form swarm of accreting granular frissons that coalesce in thoroughly Coilish manner, whispering mysteries and fractures separating and rebuilding into a supercharged journey into psychotropic overload. “Sacral Blood Warning” is an often engaging conclusion to a relentless grinder of an album, one which endeavours to both suffocate the senses and expand the mind at the same time.

-Linus Tossio-


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