The Rabid Whole
The Rabid Whole return with what is officially their second album but feels more like a debut. Refuge features an almost entirely new band as captured by producer/engineer Karl Schubach (Misery Signals, Solace) and mixed by Dave Ogilvie (Jakalope, NIN, Marilyn Manson). While technically it’s probably gonna fall in the Alt-Rock category, it’s big and bombastic, featuring tons of electronics.
The deeply electronic “New System” is one of the highlights here for sure. The song plods along getting angrier and angrier all the time before exploding into a full on anthem rocker. The NIN-influenced “Stargazer” is another highlight. It is pushed along by an incredible blend of rhythms but when it’s time to get heavy the guitars step it up and fill the gap. The dynamics on this song in particular are great. “Future,” “Metro,” and “Delusion” boast a more straightforward rock approach, letting the guitars lead a bit more and letting the anthemic pace dominate throughout the song’s entirety. “Serenity Falls” is my personal favorite here. It’s a bit mellower than the rest of the album but it features the lead vocals of Chalsey Noelle, the band’s keyboardist. While I like both vocalists, this lead changes the album up just enough to get your attention back at a critical point, keeping the threat of monotony at bay.
I really dig The Rabid Whole. They have a great, accessible sound that keeps the energy level high from start to finish. Skillet, This is She, Android Lust, and early NIN all come to mind at various points on the record but you never feel like the band actually sounds like any of them, it’s just a bunch of mini-connection points really. Refuge is a great record that fans of edgy rock will enjoy, both for its musical exploration and it’s solid catchiness.
Reviewed by Mark Fisher