The Smashing Skull Sessions

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Throat - We Must Leave You

Although existing already since 2009 I only discovered this Finnish band just now through their latest album, We Must Leave You, which was released 27 October via Svart Records.

After some research it becomes clear this new record is Throat's fourth full length with several EP’S, splits and compilations on the side. On those earlier releases the band is said to never shy away of pushing the boundaries in their sound. Starting out as a noise rock act, their sound developed into new territories as well. I haven’t heard the previous albums yet so I can’t compare them, but I can confirm that We Must Leave You drifted away from purely noise rock. On this album I hear an unique style of avantgarde dark rock with an 1980’s gothic/ post-punk approach, mixed with contemporary industrial and electronic elements. Quite an addictive bunch of songs I say.

Opener Negative Lite is a three minute sort of warm up for what’s to come. This album must be seen as a break up album. A break up with the world. The world burns? Let it burn, is what Throat proclaims! That’s the mood throughout the songs. In a split second, the first time I heard the drum beat in the opening of second song Heaven Hanged I laughed and remarked “is that Baywatch?”, but although seeing Da Hoff running in his red Speedo is as 80’s and 90’s as one can get, I do prefer the gothic and post-punk music from that time era. And listening to the guitar and bass lines that follow after those first drums, Throat luckily think the same as me. The slow barritone vocals in the first half are fantastic as well and they somewhat reminding me of Warrel Dane (RIP) how he sings on the Nevermore version of the Bauhaus cover Silent Hedges/Double Dare and his solo version of Sisters of Mercy’s Lucretia my Reflection. Not entirely coincidentally, two songs from bands that can be seen as pioneers in the gothic/wave/post-punk genres. And the awesomness of the song isn’t over yet, because after another drum salvo the pace goes up, transforming the song into a true rock song with a melancholic Solstafir vibe. The tone is set and the interest aroused for the rest of the album.

The Transaction immediately follows up with a great mix of epic and bombastic parts and dark pop-rock atmospheres. The bass line and the warm and dark barritone vocals in Trespassing take us back again to the 1980’s with a modern layer in synths on top. The dry guitar chords and lyrical built up in the first part of Hearsay of Heresy has Nick Cave vibes all over it before the song bursts open for a short while before the opening guitar chords return again to finish the song. By now it’s clear what a fantastic album this turned out with all kinds of atmospheres, twists and layers. The varied name dropping so far is a clear hint of what kind of different genres and moods can be heard and experienced in here. And in Tiny Golden Murder and Valedictory some early White Lies can be traced back as well.

So there you have it. We Must Leave You is one of my favourite revelations this year and a pleasant go-to when temporary tired of extreme metal. Great songwriting, interesting combinations, excellent musiscianship and the guts to deviate. Yearlist material.