Abigail Vettese - Terror Management Theory
Released: July 18
Terror Management Theory is a chaotic trip through eight tracks that bring a certain amount of intensity and hectic energy that stops short of becoming a full fledged noise album. What stood out to me was the emphasis on percussive textures, an emphasis that almost completely excludes any synth work. If you're looking for deep pads, you won't find them here. Instead, distorted percussive textures that slam through your speakers or earbuds are the order of the day.
There is quite bit of variety throughout the album in terms of the percussion used and their relative intensity. The opening track, "Mortality Salience," has more than enough dirt on the kick and bass but leaves just a slight tinge of the same dirt on the other pieces, giving a slightly dirty downtempo dub feel to the track. By the third track, the intensity ramps up and we get the slamming distorted kick on "Autoscopy" firing off a rapid-fire thump. What caught my ear is when the kick lets up and we seemingly get left with the after-effects of the distortion on the kick, which is the sound that leads us into the title track "Terror Management Theory." It is here that the the distortion and noise gets cranked up the point that everything feels more intense and there's almost a heavy metal riff that seems to pop in and out throughout the track, when the rapid fire drums let it breathe. But for all this intensity, we get a couple of calmer tracks that include "Heimat" and "The Haze" that offset the chaos just a little bit, making for a bit of a roller coaster ride of an album.