I admit that it is an overwhelming task to link Save Us From The Archon‘s fiercely frenetic Fear Eats The Soul to Rainier Werner Fassbinder’s cinematic parable from which the album’s name is derived. Evidently, this question is best left in the hands of the Pittsburgh four piece. But permit me to try.
Like all of Fassbinder’s films, Ali: Fear Eats The Soul (Angst essen Seele auf) is a projection of human relationships in the midst of societal and moral paradigms. Fassbinder attempted to depict human emotion and introspection mostly at odds with reality, in a partial attempt to make sense of the philosophical problem: where does the unrest actually lie?
SUFTA’s Fear Eats The Soul retains a key motif from its 2014 predecessor Thereafter, that being the juxtaposition of frenzied math rock with dreamy intermittent guitar reverb. In this album it is even more fitting; it insinuates an unbounded wandering between reality and dream. But, as per Fassbinder’s dilemma, which is which? What does the intense instrumentation and the dreamy reverb symbolise, relatively speaking?
Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats The Soul tells the romance between two people of polar opposite backgrounds at the mercy of public prejudices. Perhaps it is then the physical conflicts and oppressions in reality that make it seem chaotic, and the mind is by contrast a dreamy respite. And perhaps SUFTA narrate it as such. However, Fassbinder’s many famous scenes involving characters perched alone on stairwells (incidentally the name of track three on the album) symbolize the irony of being physically alienated but mentally congested. One therefore might argue that SUFTA’s bewildering, impetuous and paroxysmic interludes reflect the intense emotion and catharsis undertaken by the mind and that reality is, in fact, calm and passive – the mind simply endures it as chaos?
With their evident homage to Fassbinder, it sounds like SUFTA are asking the very same questions. Whether you are in the mood to muse over this is your call, but there is no doubt that Fear Eats The Soul‘s musical bludgeon purveys that somewhere between reality and the mind there are forces that are claustrophobic and oppressive.
Instrumental, ethereal, math rock, metal, hardcore, post rock, ambient