Jason Wisdom, formerly of Becoming the Archetype, ventured into new territory in 2015 with a solo project, Death Therapy. By 2017, the solo project became a little bit more when Wisdom’s debut album, The Storm Before the Calm, was picked up and released by Solid State Records. The project extracted the granular textures and ethos of metal but pushed each sound to its limit; with only two band members and no guitars, the bass led the way.
Now, the duo is back with an encore performance in their latest release, Voices. Their innovative sound alone offers listeners a new world to explore, with new shades of color and a refreshing change in the wind from a largely predictable genre. The album is a vast, scenic landscape of sonic space, from smooth, fragile piano melodies that tap into the softer side of the band’s skill set to pounding vocals and synths that reinforce to the band’s self-defined “industrial groove metal” identity.
Experimental elements paired with the added layers of guests tie together a multi-faceted pool of influences and genre nuances.
Through lyrics and melodies, the album embraces its uniqueness; but, ultimately, the musical composition remains front and center. There is no doubt that the creative process is fueled by what lives in the unexplored realm and, as true pioneers do, Death Therapy forges a new journey with every song, using their shallow toolbox as a means of reinforcing the band’s creativity.
The band is playful with their time signatures in their second album, particularly in songs like “Feels Like Fiction” and “The Reckoning.” This, paired with a vocal style that varies from harsh screams to a gritty, Marilyn Manson-esque spoken verse in “Resist the Eclipse,” showcases the breadth of styles that Death Therapy wants to tackle. Fortunately, they’re able to navigate the new water skillfully, not something every artist can boast. These experimental elements paired with the added layers of guests (Glasslands’ Josh Kincheloe, Silent Planet’s Garrett Russell, and Matt Baird of Spoken are scattered throughout the album) tie together a multi-faceted pool of influences and genre nuances.
It’s also clear that no two songs on Voices were written in the same manner, yet they’re all cohesively inspired by movies, scores – even video games that infuse 8-bit nostalgia into later songs like the instrumental monument, “The Instability of Proto Man.” It’s here when the record begins to lose a bit of its grounding, but if you’re going to accept the experimental and genre-pushing nature of the rest of the album, in a sense, it’s still commendable. Listeners cannot deny that Death Therapy is unique in their approach and innovative in their songwriting from beginning to end.
There is irrefutable creativity and energy that clearly comes through on Voices. Death Therapy offers the coveted balance of something new yet still familiar, and it is a significant next step in their journey further into the unending realm of musicianship.