HIDE: Castration Anxiety

Chicago's HIDE started back in 2014 as the collaborative project between visual artist, Heather Gabel, and percussionist, Seth Sher, A few singles and EPs later the duo came up with their impressive debut full length, Castration Anxiety, recently released via the much reputable Dais Records.

Based on an old school industrial sound and enhanced with elements from electronica, post-punk, darkwave and gothic rock, Castration Anxiety immediately hits like the most impeccable fusion of all aspects of dark underground music. Each additional listen reaffirms its rank as one of the most engaging dark records we've heard in while.

What establishes this record as such a captivating listen, has to do with the seamless fusion of its two primary, dominating components: the pounding rhythms and the unsettling vocal delivery. Moving from minimally arranged and almost coldly mechanical at often times, to fully textured, resonating sounds, the album's instrumentation never ceases to look for paths towards experimentation, and ways for more forceful impact. Gabel's delivery on the other hand is consistent, mortifying and disturbing at all times, from the quieter mumbles to the angriest growls.

Emotionally Castration Anxiety wavers between claustrophobic anxiety and cathartic release. The album's overall ritualistic feel is preferably to be experienced in its concise, eight-song, forty-minute entirety, still, highlights like Bound/Severed and Fucked (I Found Heaven) with their EBM-inclined peculiarity, or the piercing closing track, All Fours, could effortlessly stand out as modern dark industrial classics, and worthy successors to the work of the genre's most illustrious acts, like Skinny Puppy or Cabaret Voltaire.

HIDE have been very active with their live appearances in support of the album, and they have been steadily gaining notoriety for their act, with the breakthrough point being their opening shows for Marilyn Manson, and also alongside other notable dark acts, such as ADULT., Ceremony and Champagne Mirrors.

Photo by Kristin Cofer

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