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Taking a synthetic, digital turn from previous entries in their discography, Mind Spiders return with a glitchy, frenetic record that marks a sharp evolution in their sound. While not a concept album, Furies takes lyrical and tonal inspiration from the Greek goddesses of vengeance and violence and explores what their return may look (and sound) like in modern day.
The record charges forward at a relentless, frenetic pace, only stopping between songs for air. There is a real sense of urgency driving every song, creating a constant tension throughout the record that finally sees release on the final track, “August.” Synth sounds and drum sequencers comprise the heart of the instrumentals, evoking a digital, mechanical universe while vocals, live drums, and guitars represent humanity’s place in the soundscape. Synthetic sounds range from pleasant pads to glitching, atonal cacophony (especially on “Ice Bear,” the record’s most accessible track, where it’s used in place of a traditional melody during instrumental breaks). It’s great to see a band take such big risks, and even better to see them pay off.
Although thoroughly angular and jagged, the record opens on a hopeful feeling. In the mindset of Greek mythology, it conjured (for me) the chorus of old Greek plays, setting the stage for the events that are about to unfold while transitioning to the first-person view of the tragic hero. Once the second song, “Never Like That,” begins, we’re dropped into a Devo-tinged psychic nightmare, presaging the coming danger much like the Greek oracle, foretelling conflict and trials to come.
From here, the songs alternate tonally between the modern perspective and the titular Furies. This oscillation between light and dark tunes continues throughout the record until “No Ground,” where the conflict comes to a head. While this may not have been the intent of the creators, switching between perspectives ramps up the tension throughout the entire record. We watch as the might of the awakened Furies comes to bear on the unaware world of the humans, and the album is all the more cinematic for it.
Furies is out on Dirtnap Records today, stream the album below.