Tithe – Inverse Rapture

Tithe started out as the project of Matt Eiseman (guitars/vocals) and Kevin Swartz (drums) in 2017 before recruiting Alexander Huddleston (bass) and signing to Tartarus Records for their 2020 debut LP, Penance. Their blackened death-grind concoction caught the attention of Profound Lore and convinced them to release album number two on their label. How a trio can deliver music so murderous and aggressive with only standard instruments at their disposal is a question you’ll ponder during the twenty-nine minutes of carnage they unleash on Inverse Rapture. This is a vicious album.

Unlike many bands in the extreme metal scene, Tithe understand that two things can make them stand out from the pack. One, they use agonising vocal screams with the muscle of hardcore to great effect. Two, they make sure their extreme metal onslaught is too violent for you to switch off during the entirety of their music. Listen to opener, ‘Anthropogenic Annihilation’, and see if you can withstand the audio assault with anything other than a sympathetic sigh for the other people that might end up on the wrong end of it. It starts like a post-metal band warming up their instruments for a dissonant black metal offensive, yet long spasms of blast beat mania never overshadow the guitars, nor do they underwhelm in the mix. Matt Eiseman’s throat must be blistered and close to annihilation after the strain he puts it through to project at the top of his lungs.

Nothing about this music settles into a comfortable bludgeoning. In the title track, they use thunderous drumbeats at the speed of light to accent arpeggiated chord passages that you’d never expect to align. But they do. Dig deeper into the fury and you can hear a black metal take on the Dillinger Escape Plan. How extreme is ‘Demon’? This is the sound of a vortex preparing to suck you into its abyss. How we might we describe it? Panic-stricken extreme metal as performance art?

Every so often, the guitars emerge in the mix like a hurricane destroying all life and property in its path. Your ears will wince at high-register guitar fills that threaten to snap the guitar strings under the velocity of Eiseman’s hysterical picking technique. ‘Parasite’ is one such example. ‘Luciferian Pathways of the Forked Tongue’ is another. The latter displays an advanced exploration of dissonant guitar shapes. Of course, the agony and ecstasy are the greatest features of this song when it evolves into a psychopathic frenzy of blackened grindcore.

Tithe compose the sound in your head when you try to ward off an imminent nervous breakdown. You know it’s too late to resist the inevitable, but you fight it. The choice is an instinctive one. Adrenaline can see you through it if you summon just one more drop of superhuman aggression. It might also explain why the band end this LP in less than half-an-hour. Think of the reserves of energy you need to produce something as visceral and as draining on the emotions as this affair.

Inverse Rapture thrives on the raw noise of black metal, the blue-collar fury of grindcore, and the complexities of death metal. Your blood levels will skyrocket, and your eyes could burst their vessels if you allow yourself to be immersed. The choice might not be yours.



Release Date: 17/02/2023

Record Label: Profound Lore

Standout tracks: Inverse Rapture, Demon, Luciferian Pathways of the Forked Tongue

Suggested Further Listening: Calligram – The Eye Is the First Circle (2020), Bleeding Out – Lifelong Death Fantasy (2020), Coffin Apartment – Full Torso Apparition (2020)