On a very simple level, Hell Is In Your Head is a record about death. Yet Senses Fail’s eighth studio album is also much more complex than that. Divided into two halves – one set in the fictional world of TS Eliot’s epic 1922 poem “The Waste Land”, one in the more contemporary dystopia of today – it was co-produced by Saosin’s Beau Burchell, and is the first Senses Fail album that sees Buddy Nielsen, the band’s only surviving member, become the band’s sole creative force. The result is a dark, brooding record that Nielsen considers a musical and thematic counterpart to 2006’s second full-length, Still Searching, and which sees him embark on a philosophical and existential journey into not just death itself, but what it means to die. “This record attempts to go to the dark place of ‘What is it that we’re so afraid of death?’” he explains. “We’re afraid of death because of grief. Are we truly afraid of death because of death? Through my own therapy, I’ve learned you don’t even really have a clear understanding of death because it’s unknowable. And since you literally can’t die and come back, I tried to place the record in a much darker fictional place to help talk about those unanswerable questions.”
The Noble Art Of Self Destruction
Thousand Below’s vulnerable, ambient, yet ultimately hopeful self-examination of loss, life and healing is an enduring theme resonating in the band’s signature sound. The range within their genre is an homage to the band’s intimate experience through the stages of grief. The American quartet– James DeBerg [vocals], Josh Thomas [guitar], Josh Billimoria [Bass], and Max Santoro [drums]– descend into the visceral anger and raw anguish echoing throughout their lyrically-jarring debut album The Love You Let Too Close, followed by the somber instrumentation of an ultimately quieter emotional discourse in their sophomore album Gone In Your Wake. Their newest EP, Let Go Of Your Love, persists as a reflective introspection to the narrative of their second album, and demonstrates a maturity of sound.