Therapy?’s sixteenth album ‘Hard Cold Fire’, was written and pre-produced during an unprecedented time for music, but one the band insists isn’t a lockdown album but was rather done after lockdown and with a determination of not being another lockdown record. What it is is a hefty, yet accessible record, a concise distillation of everything that has made them what they are – hewn from County Antrim basalt, still possessed of their stoicism, but casting a renewed focus on catharsis and healing.

a spiralling, hypnotic grinding, pulverising cocktail of grunge-rock meets Hard Rock meets indie full of towering melody that sees the trio focussed and reinvigorated after their layoff. A fully charged Therapy? 

This ten track offering kicks off with the twisted energetic thrust of ‘They Shoot The Terrible Master’ that distills what Therapy? do so well wrapping melody in a thunderous rhythmic blast with a filthy guitar riff stomping over the insane rhythm section. The therapy? fans will love this openermade of pure adrenalin.

And so it begins, the record twists and turns those melodies from ‘Woe’ through ‘Joy’ which sits like a barking alsatian straining on its leash building to a lush chorus of dreamlike quality before dropping back into the rhythm. Cairns’s vocals are also in top form here. Neil Cooper is in top form it has to be said as he weaves some awesome patterns on ‘Two Wounded Animals’ as the band lays back for the first time on the album letting the song breath.

‘To Disappear’ is as heavy as Therapy? get with a monumental riff then follow it up with a Cairns whispered vocal on ‘Mongrel’ that opens up into a lush melody one of the albums most accessable songs on the album. As we head into the homestraight the bands single plays out as ‘Poundland Of Hope And Glory’ is unleashed telling the story of how a lie is told so many times it becomes ones truth and the myth telling becomes normalised. Classic Therapy? lyrics you’ll invest in when digging deep into this album.

‘Ugly’ enjoys a wonderful solo whilst a twisted melody scratches away in the background of what is quickly becoming one of my favourite songs on the album. Saying that the albums closer is a brooding beast of post Grunge and for me is the standout song from the whole record the melody is a real earworm, ‘Days Kollaps’ is as stronger song the band has ever finished with. Restrained in a sea of noise and chaos dark and wonderous showing that the band are still at the top of their game and the rich tapestry of ‘Hard Cold Fire’ is a beautiful thing offeing variety and style as well as ten top tunes. Buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley