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Health - Rat Wars

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At that moment after work, when I finally have time to disconnect from my duties, and luckily, I don't have to do anything anymore, I put on my headphones and drift off. It's time for the new Health album, 'Rat Wars,' which was released on December 7, 2023, by Loma Vista Recordings.

I know HEALTH as a total musical and stage storm, with basses that devastate all the senses and concerts that result in complete muscle and nerve paralysis. So, I was expecting some strong noise-style content, and I wasn't disappointed. It's been a long time since I listened to such a brilliant album that completely delights me. There are no weak moments here; everything is refined, of course, for those not sensitive to delicate vocals combined with robust music.
What the first song, 'Demigods,' serves is an absolutely incomparable mix that brings to mind industrial, metal, and noise elements from NIN, Ministry, Tool, Pearl Jam, Merzbow, and even Placebo. It's truly an explosive mixture. Deeply resonating basses, powerful sound machinery, an extremely rich musical background, unique catchiness of the sequences combined with the shockingly contrasting vocals of Jake Duzsik create a trick that, with its delicate timbre and gentleness, somehow resists the attack of the sound storm. Tempo changes, powerful beats, and samples make this piece a real masterpiece. And the devastating ending - John Famiglietti is a master, a bass god, no doubts here.
It only gets better; 'Future of Hell' is a real industrial gem with melodies that give me chills and go straight to my pleasure center—a pure sonic orgasm.
'Hateful,' recorded with another great project, SIERRA, is a true masterpiece of combining instrumentation with rock power and an industrial background.
'Crack Metal' slows down a bit at the beginning, grating, serving slightly hypnotic and very dark vibes, only to speed up in the background after a while, imitating the dissonance of the two vocal and sound layers, but this is just an illusion. The amazing mix and temperature of the song are stunning.
'Unloved' sounds a bit calmer, more rhythmic, and catchy - it's one of those 'relaxing' songs on the album, if you can even call it that, but it still has great arrangements, especially towards the end.
'Children of Sorrow' - if anything here sounds like rock metal, it's this - especially the intro. An absolute display of art and artistry by Famiglietti and BJ Miller on drums.
'Sicko,' recorded with the titans of industrial metal Godflesh, sounds dark and devilish; the satanic backing vocals create an incredibly contrasting effect with Duzsik's angelic voice. The sublime atmosphere built with the help of rumbling guitars and excellent electronics flows like hot lava, an unstoppable machine.
‘Ashamed’ ‘(of Beingborn)’ – if anything on this album sounds like a ballad, it's this. Moving repetitions and basses that finally show their slightly more subtle side without losing any of their mastery and class.
Closing it down hard, 'DSM-V' is a wild ride with no holds barred, one of the best songs on the album. The music rushes like a streaming river, shimmering with everything that's best, the madness of crazy bass and drums intertwined into a wonderful whole with an electronic background. Pulp!
And for the finale, 'Don't Try' - the pure sound of the bass, a delicate intro, slowly growing and intensifying the material, gradually gaining power and depth, moving and beautiful, leaving an extraordinary effect on the listener - a delicate whispering closure, like the drawing of a curtain, falling into the darkness, closing the lid.
To sum up - this is definitely one of the albums that impressed me the most this year, an amazing combination of metal, industrial, and noise boldly combined with melodic, delicate, and subtle vocals. The madness of sound contrasts with the restraint and balance of the voice - music and words, instruments, machines, and man. Stint or Ajay Bhattacharyya was responsible for the production, and it is truly pure perfection. A fantastic album! I highly recommend it!

1. "Demigods"
2. "Future of Hell"
3. "Hateful" (featuring Sierra)
4. "(Of All Else)"
5. "Crack Metal"
6. "Unloved"
7. "Children of Sorrow"
8. "Sicko" (featuring Godflesh)
9. "Ashamed"
10. "(Of Being Born)"
11. "DSM-V"
12. "Don't Try"

Release date: 7.12.2023
Label: Loma Vista Recordings.
Translator: khocico
Add date: 2023-12-08 / Music reviews

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