Tithe – Inverse Rapture (Profound Lore Records)Wednesday, 15th February 2023
Many genres are mixing and mingling these days, and it’s enlightening to see. What’s being produced is a vast cornucopia of music that offers different views of the familiar. Portland, Oregon’s Tithe are one such example, melding pieces of death, black, and grindcore, finished with a hint of doom for ambiance. No, this isn’t a gourmet meal we’re talking about – instead, let’s devour Tithe’s latest and second full-length, Inverse Rapture.
What we have here is a sludgy, dirty riff monster in a black metal wrapper, powered by a chaotic and immense rhythm section courtesy of drummer Kevin Swartz and bassist Alex Huddleston. In short, Tithe isn’t playing nice. They’re out to smash the senses, all while crafting something that they can call their own.
That onslaught begins with the tight and crushing “Anthropogenic Annihilation.” Guitarist/vocalist Matt Eiseman’s aggrieved screams bring a rawness and fervor that gives both this track and the entire album a distinct zeal. “Inverse Rapture” draws the listener in with a slow riff that suddenly explodes into quick, blackened guitar gallops. The just over 2 minute fury that is “Demon” displays the band’s chaotic and smothering grindcore side, before transitioning to the mostly mid-paced “Parasite.”
The longest and best example of what the band can churn out is the twisting death/doom of “Killing Tree.” This song is the standout of Inverse Rapture, showing off the band’s songwriting chops and propensity for executing meaty, gritty riffs that stick. “Luciferian Pathways of the Forked Tongue” is close to straight death metal, with chugging guitars and a dash of dissonance, and even a morsel of hardcore angst. That aforementioned hardcore tinge expands on closer “Pseudologia Fantastica,” bringing the album to an accelerated close.
Inverse Rapture clocks in at just under 30 minutes, making this album a compact, concentrated effort where not a second can afford to be wasted. Some may scoff at such a short run time, but the end result is way more varied in approach than one would expect, with no feeling of incompleteness. All killer, no filler, as they say. This release warrants attention, being the band’s most proficient and well-rounded album thus far. Tithe crashes the party, tears it up with reckless abandon, and leaves a lasting impression.