Even though there are only so many ways to make big, heavy noises with guitars, Ithaca’s monolithic riffs hit with an earth-shaking impact that’s almost unheard of. The opening chugs of the bulldozing Number Five are tuned so low that they sound like the noises of industrial machines more than instruments, in the best possible way. It’s not their primary USP, however. What makes They Fear Us so intriguing is its far-reaching intricacy, whether that’s in the trembling fretwork of Fluorescent or the field recording of a Ganga Aarti ceremony laid over dhol-like percussion in the title-tracks.
That intricacy continues as the band unveils a vulnerable soft side for the record’s conclusion. You Should Have Gone Back brings together the spidery guitar picking of We Are Not Your Kind-era Slipknot, the virtuosic soloing of Prince and the ethereal atmospherics of Rolo Tomassi in a majestic miniature epic, while the lush pop ballad Hold, Be Held is a gorgeous finale made all the more stunning when Djamila delves into the higher end of her range – it’s impossible not to have chills hearing her ask, 'How much more can I take? When will I heal?'
With an album under their belts as diverse and mighty as this, without a doubt, it’s Ithaca’s time for their flowers.
For fans of: Rolo Tomassi, Employed To Serve, Deftones
They Fear Us is released July 29 via Hassle