Health – RAT WARS (Review)

Health Rat Wars
Release:RAT WARS
Release Date:7th of December, 2023
Released viaLoma Vista Recordings

HEALTH, the band that brought you their own butt-plugs and countless great anime/manga memes are back. Having reached their own collaborative peak with their latest Disco installments 4 Part I and II, including illustrative guests like The Body, Perturbator or the almighty Nine Inch Nails, it is now time to release their first very “own” album since 2019s Vol. 4: Slaves of fear.

Although being a HEALTH-only album, Rat Wars of course has prominent guest spots. The pumping “HATEFUL” features Sierra, while “CHILDREN OF SORROW” has Willie Adler (Lamb Of God) on guitars and “SICKO” quotes Godflesh. Very exquisite choices for a very exquisite album. HEALTH really understand to make those guests feel like being at home. They don’t stand out in a negative kind of way, they just get weaved into HEALTHs homogenic sound, like a kick-ass synthetic add-on.

Another thing that instantly caught my interest are the nods to other artists in various songs. “CRACK METAL” sounds like a long lost twin of Nine Inch Nails‘ “Gave up“: the pace, the guitars, everything screams Broken Pt.2. “DSM-V” could well be a Rammstein single without the teutonic vocals. The velocity of experiencing those two songs live was off the charts.

Rat Wars is an album that flourishes on HEALTH’s strengths: rhythm, atmosphere and melodies. The opener “DEMIGODS” makes you feel the rain on your shoulders while strolling alone through night, before the strobe-light-disco awaits you with the following “FUTURE OF HELL” and “HATEFUL“. Songs like”ASHAMED” and “Don’t try” guide you home into the soft sunrise after you lost every ounce of sweat.

Rat Wars finds HEALTH in the same position they have always been in: one foot in the neon-drenched night-club, while the other one is resting in an 8-bit-pixelart dystopia.

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