Ever since being introduced to the band through the uniting of their EPs Nate and Eric in one striking encounter back in 2014, INTHEWHALE has been a regular inflammation of lustful consumption here across a subsequent host of encounters. Now the band has taken the ears to the ceiling of their parallel two pronged enterprise with Vanishing Point and opened up a whole new realm of sonic confrontation, adventure and addiction.
Denver hailing, the duo of Nate Valdez (vocals and guitar) and Eric Riley (drums and backing vocals) has regularly sprung tempests of alt rock harassment and feral noise punk voracity cast with imagination and melodic provocation. It has been a persistently rousing incitement which truly had its intensity and prowess aflame and at new dextrous heights within the likes of Quicksand and Dopamine in more recent times. Vanishing Point though reveals even greater feral intent and creative magnetism, the release an irritable beast with all the guile and deceit of a predator and indeed the seductive lures they may bear.
Produced by Steve Evetts, Vanishing Point also confirms that the INTHEWHALE is as individual to the music world as ever, it’s rhythmic and sonic leanness again creating confrontations of sound that consume like primal cyclones. Fair to say that from the first breath of opener Crosses, we were savaged and enslaved. From an opening sample the song launches at the listener with flared nostrils, its accelerator firmly to the floor with emotive fuel ablaze. Even within the tumult though, it has time to bring considered reflection and uneasy calm to the uproar, its imagination greedily devoured by ears.
The outstanding start is more than matched by the following Jeffrey and out roared in ferocity by its invasion. Opening carnal riffs stalk the senses, its own uniquely primal discontent loaded with vocal angst and ire as Eric’s beats menacingly swing. Within that intense challenge a toxic groove shares its own formidable temptation, it all uniting in one contagion fuelled turbulence of sound and emotional disorder.
Dark serenity comes with next up Smoke Break, a track bare in its distress vocally and darkness musically. Woven with suicidal and again emotionally tormented thoughts, turbulence soaked in open intimacy, the song is a reflection and echo of inner shadows and invasively riveting.
Drug Dealer steps forward with its own sense of calm yet again there is an inherent anxiety which is soon surging through the track’s subsequent eruption. With an addiction beckoning groove and undiluted disquiet in tone and Nate’s ever compelling vocal roar it evolves into a debilitating yet greedily devoured tempting, one disintegrating the senses and sanity while successor Antlion with similarly invasive craving stalked and appropriated ears and instincts with exploitation loaded grooves, esurient riffs and rhythmic manipulation.
The heart of Edge Of The Earth is borne of a world gripped by pandemic and equally consumptive essences within mankind but a ballad that resonates in melodic hope and creative enticement. Even so it is a cauldron of sound and tension in its own right, a track which scorches the senses before Vanishing Point is completed by the skilfully woven and layered deluge of The End. Almost like the counter argument to its predecessor, the song ebbs and flows in its merciless squall with the band’s melodic and sonic craft in full storm for a compelling and irresistible conclusion to one glorious encounter.
When reviewing Nate & Eric we declared it “one of the most inspiring and mouth-watering propositions of 2014”. Roll on seven years and the same applies to Vanishing Point, it simply one of the year’s most essential encounters.
Vanishing Point is out now via Riot Records.
Pete RingMaster 28/10/2021
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