Album Review :
Their Throats Are Open Tombs - Of Psalms & Snakes
When a band includes members carrying the names, Agent 57, Colonel K, Donnie Murdo, Isambard Sinclair, and Penfold, you know their music is destined to be far from ordinary.
Their Throats are Open Tombs have returned with a follow-up to their 2016 self-titled debut. Defining OF PSALMS & SNAKES is an impossibility. It’s grindcore, it’s electro, it’s punk, it’s noise, and it’s undeniably fast and chaotic. And it’s brilliant. The album gives the struggles and the triumphs encountered while living a life of faith.
The delicate piano on “Nachsinnen”, the opening song of OF PSALMS & SNAKES, gives no indication of what’s to come. The following track, “Lights! Camera! Action!” asks about how we craft our lives and delivers the answer.
How carefully we set the scene,
Invoking the presence with a smoke machine,
All our carefully crafted atmospheres,
Ensure that we’re all moved to tears,
As if the Spirit is just something we feel,
An ancient Mystery brought to heel,
Reclassified, reduced; a psychological zone:
Two turntables and a microphone
A sad story of disillusionment with our Creator is delivered on “Lament”.
I am a man who has been afflicted by the rod of His wrath. He has left me and made me walk in darkness and not light. Surely He has turned His back against me time and time again. He has plagued my flesh and my skin and broken my bones. He has deceived me and surrounded me with bitterness and woe. He has set me in dark places like the men of long ago. He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out. He has made my chains heavy. Even when I cry and shout, He shuts up my path. He has barred my way with hewn stone. He has made my path crooked. He had been to me a Bear lying in wait, like a Lion in ambush. He has turned aside my ways and torn me in pieces. He has made me desolate.
But faith is not entirely lost. “Rejoice” does what the song title suggests.
Rejoice in the Lord for he has heard my cries for Mercy
Rejoice in the Lord, again I will say rejoice!
Let the heavens rejoice
Let the earth be glad
The Lord, He reigns!
Many artists state that their music is honest. Sometimes that’s believable, other times they leave me doubtful about their true intentions. OF PSALMS & SNAKES, from Their Throats are Open Tombs, is unquestionably honest. The band drop all facades. Delivering a message of joy and despair is the heart of the release. The album demands to be taken to heart. It will also leave us questioning whether we are being honest about the persona we display to the public and if we are honestly living our faith.
About the author: Dave Hawkins is host of The Antidote, a syndicated weekly radio broadcast featuring interviews with innovative artists who share a Christian worldview.