Album Review: Theyrgy – Exit Strategies

Album Review: Theyrgy - Exit Strategies

Album Review: Theyrgy - Exit Strategies
Reviewed by Dan Barnes

Exit Strategies is Chicago-based four-piece Theyrgy’s debut release and features five very different cuts. Formed in early 2018 the band draw inspiration from across the post-punk, industrial and shoe-gaze scenes and have crafted a compelling set of songs.

There is no place on Exit Strategies that Theyrgy have gone for the easy option and been predictable. From the ominous Introduction, with its eerie neo-gothic creeping hisses and instrumental screams, the record gives way to Crack of the Egg, a near-homage to 80s synth-pop, with all its upbeat tempos and simplistic rhythms. But even this harbour of seeming safety masks a darker side and, as the track plays out, the pop gives way to a more aggressive guitar howl.

Album Review:Theyrgy - Exit StrategiesDreamcatcher plays with wide open spaces reflective of its title and has an ethereal quality reminiscent of later-period Ulver. In fact the number of motifs throughout the record is an incredible feat of musical engineering: from the early Killing Joke and, dare I say very early Ministry, referenced on Crack of the Egg, to Joy Division’s transitional period into New Order on Walk Away, complete with light industrial beats and clean guitars, make sure Exit Strategies is constantly a captivating listen.

Theyrgy’s grand achievement on Exit Strategies is the closing seven-minute-plus Hiding Your Face in the Wall. A symphony of distorted sounds and dissonant vocal lines which veers from rock guitar and drum to EDM and back again with hardly a blip. How the band manage to accomplish this switching with such seeming effortlessness is a testament to the creative force that is Theyrgy and shows even the most initially disparate of ideas can be brought into a cohesive whole.

The eclectic nature of Exit Strategies might be off-putting to some; the lack of any real bile and overt musical aggression seen as a weakness. But, as with Katatonia, Theyrgy is able to demonstrate sometimes the most dangerous things come in the most innocuous packages.

'Exit Strategies' is released via Dead Sage on August 21st.

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