Formats and Editions
Oakland’s Houses of Heaven fuse the grit of early industrial with dizzying hits of EBM, techno, and drum & bass, all imbued with lyrical themes that draw equally from the emotional and the mechanical. Within/Without, their sophomore LP for Felte, delves into a realm of intricate intensity, pushing electronics to the forefront with the production prowess of Matia Simovich (INHALT), and features top-of-their-game guest vocals from Douglas McCarthy (Nitzer Ebb) and Mariana Saldaña (BOAN).
While the dub-influenced, shoegaze throb of Silent Places (2020) immersed itself in the paradox of opulence against the unsettling backdrop of California’s wildfires, Within/Without confronts social order through the lens of inner strife. It explores a contrast between the fantasy worlds and unfiltered truths that define modern survival, and a yearning for genuine human connection brought on by the anxiety and isolation of technology.
On Within/Without, Houses of Heaven truly come into their own with a distinctive alloy of electronic, industrial, psychedelic and shoegaze elements. They create a dynamic conduit for discord and harmony with a profoundly human essence, bridging interior lives and exterior pressures through visceral songcraft and deft pacing. In a cruel and technologically dominated world, emotional gridlock is rampant. Yet, in the propulsive paranoia of album highlight “Flesh Techniques”, we’re reminded that it’s often best to “breathe in / these dreams again / shake, shake it off”.