Album: Quantified Self
Artist: Maximum Strength
Release Date: March 23, 2023
Let’s get right into this beautiful album that should be called “Depression Jams ’03.” “Quantified Self” plunges listeners into a swirling vortex of menacing darkwave atmospheres, relentless industrial metal energy, and the dread-soaked ambience of a wasted life.
The first track gaslights you into thinking you’re going to listen to one of these fun darkwave albums with hints of sadness and cool shit you can listen to while you read about “monarch butterflies” on Wikipedia. So when “Inside You There Are Two Wolves…” hits With thunderous percussion and trent-esque bassline, you’re left wondering why you didn’t make the most of your life in the mid 2000s. It’s a chilling reminder reminder of the music you used to love – the crunched, visceral vocals are the confirmation of desolation. And no, it’s not counterbalanced by unexpectedly tender moments of introspection – it’s despair.
Each track on “Quantified Self” feels meticulously calculated to fuck your shit up. It expertly interweaves intense rhythms with raw and incomprehensible vocals. And that’s bad because they could be saying anything about your wasted existence. Every few minutes you’ll forget about that and then get reacquainted with metal-infused breakdowns and cavernous industrial tones.
What is particularly interesting is the mastery of pacing – that shit was intentional and I feel attacked. It’s an album that understands the power of anticipation and release. Especially Cemetery Angel – it’s a standout track.
In the realms of production, the album is as close to spot on as you can get. The mix balances the massive instrumental segments with the more subtle atmospheric elements, and each track exudes a kind of “fuck you” clarity that ensures every beat, every crunch, and every shouting echo is felt as much as heard.
With “Quantified Self,” Maximum Strength has proven their adeptness at crafting music that is as thought-provoking as it is heavy. It’s not sophisticated, it’s just a simple, “What have you done with yourself?” A multifaceted album that never compromises its gritty core for its more reflective moments. This one will require multiple listens.