HEALTH – Rat Wars [Album Review]

Los Angeles industrial noise maestros HEALTH have been pushing sonic boundaries since their inception in 2005 and continue to do so on latest album Rat Wars, a dark collection of sombre melodies driven by crushing guitar riffs and ambient synths layered on the top of some truly beautiful drum work.

From the first notes of DEMIGODS the mood is set and it is a bleak one! Singer/guitarist Jake Duzsik’s monotone siren-like voice instantly draws you in while John Famiglietti provides a beautifully ambient backdrop for drummer BJ Miller to lay down his pulsing beats. It’s this sort of lull into security that makes moments like the dying minutes of DEMIGODS even more impactful.

The sound these guys produce is impeccable, a super-tight, ultra-efficient unit of industrialised rock and metal. The opening riff to FUTURE OF HELL is like a slap of heavily distorted guitar and electronics straight to the face but will have you on your feet dancing by the time the chorus drops.

The band’s ability to write not only an earworm of a vocal melody, but to couple it with such memorable riffs and beats puts them far above and beyond what any of their peers are currently doing. Lead singles CHILDREN OF SORROW and the dark, driving force of SICKO (the latter of which features a solid guest spot from none other than fellow industrial noisemakers Godflesh) are some truly outstanding moments on this record not only for their heaviness but also for the atmosphere they create.

It can’t be stated enough just how much talent there is hiding behind the L.A. 3-piece and Rat Wars is undoubtedly one of HEALTH’s finest offerings to date. If you’re a fan of mid-to-late nineties industrial metal then why aren’t you listening to this album right now?! And if you’re not a fan of mid-to-late nineties industrial metal, well, the same applies. These guys definitely deserve your attention.