worriedaboutsatan : revenant

worriedaboutsatan work between the lines. They build quietly, methodically, and with great intention. The musical world of Thomas Ragsdale and Gavin Miller is all about subtlety and nuance, with a quiet dread just under the surface that’s never explained, just understood. Dense electronic music with hints of techno, post-rock, ambient, and downtempo, worriedaboutsatan set a mood with spectral melodies and percussive rhythms.

The last worriedaboutsatan full-length was 2018s Shift, a two-song experiment in improvisational mood building with Wolves and Vibrancy Records. This time around Miller and Ragsdale are releasing Revenant with Burning Witches Records. Revenant is a 6-track deep dive into heady electronic in the vein of Phaedra and Timewind, but with more of a techno beating heart than those 70s synth excursions ever allowed.

Revenant sports a completely different vibe than past worriedaboutsatan albums. There is rhythm and a percussive nature, but for the most part this is Miller and Ragsdale in full synth mode. Songs that are big, moody, and exploratory. It feels like a spiritual continuation of the work Thomas Ragsdale did on his solo album Self Zero from late last year(also released by the mighty Burning Witches Records.) This is Froese and Schulze country, so open your mind and get ready for some deep space meditations.

“Hawk” opens on a muffled voice under pulsating electronics. It’s a moody piece that works right into the epic “Skylon”. Headphones afford the listener a plethora of stereo bouncing and ping-ponging synths that builds into a slow-moving rhythm. This is the kind of song worriedaboutsatan shine in, as it’s a journey kind of track. Moving into the mouth of the black hole, not knowing the outcome or when(or if) we’ll reach the other side. This track also reminds me of the gone but not forgotten music project Darkside, which consisted of Nicholas Jaar and Dave Harrington. Bits of Pink Floyd and bits of Burial permeated their work, and it does so here, too. “Strax” is dark and pulsating, like The Haxan Cloak getting turned onto techno.

Elsewhere, “Dig Into Your Memory” almost feels transcendant. It seems to bubble up from some ancient resting ground. Part sonar soundscape and part ancient temple ritual music. “Wasteland” starts out slow and steady, but builds into a spray of arpeggiated notes that become incredibly hypnotic. You just seem to fall right into the song. It’s a strong track to close this record out on.

Revenant shows Gavin Miller and Thomas Ragsdale in full-on heady synth mode. It’s a 30-minute deep dive into existential drifting and arpeggio dreams. worriedaboutsatan take flight into a darker, denser musical world than they ever have before, and it’s a gloriously beautiful thing.

Revenant is out 2/20 via Burning Witches Records. Pick it up here or at Mondotees.

8.3 out of 10

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