North Carolina conceptual metal proggers The Reticent released their latest critically acclaimed concept album entitled “The Oubliette” via Heaven & Hell Records this past September. The full length was produced again by Jamie King (BTBAM, The Contortionist, Scale The Summit), and it tells the tale of man’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
The record follows the journey of an old man named Henry, which is based upon a relative of songwriter Chris Hathcock who’s real name was Cyrus. The name Henry was chosen as a somewhat more universal name, but also because Henry was one of the Alzheimer’s patients featured prominently in the documentary “Alive Inside”. The concept of the album is to demonstrate Henry’s descent through the seven stages of Alzheimer’s. He doesn’t know where he is or why he’s there. He doesn’t remember his wife is dead. He doesn’t recognize his son. Step by step the disease takes his memories, his ability to speak, his ability to walk, his ability to breathe.
To lyrically visualize the third stage of Alzheimer’s, The Reticent has put together a new lyric video for “Stage 3 – The Palliative Breath”.
Hathcock adds about the track:
“Henry has brief moments of clarity when he realizes that “holes are deepening in his mind” and he vaguely grasps some of what’s happening to him. More calm and reflective the music echoes the patience that the doctors urge. The beautiful thoughtful acoustic opening gives way to powerful progressive rock, calm folk, and driving metal all to the conclusion that Henry’s best is long behind him.”
The video for “Stage 3 – The Palliative Breath” can be watched and heard via its premiere on NewFuryMedia HERE.
The Reticent‘s new album “The Oubliette” follows the band’s2016 release “On The Eve Of A Goodbye”, which was an autobiographical concept record that chronicled the day before, day of, and the day after the suicide of band founder Chris Hathcock’s childhood friend Eve. Critics and fans of the record alike were moved by the compelling narrative and heartrending performances along with the band’s award-winning live performances that are both an audiovisual and emotional experience that utilizes film, story-telling, and the sheer intensity of the music.
Even though the recording of “The Oubliette” was delayed four times due to a severe injury to Hathcock’s right arm (the deltoid bursa to be exact), he was able to perform all instruments on the full length, he actually began lining up players to fill in for him as doctors told him he may be endangering his arm’s functionality if he didn’t take an extended break from playing. Luckily, rest allowed him to recuperate enough to complete the record. Although, the process was slowed because he was in pain the entire time, every recording session began with him taking at least 800 mg of Ibuprofen to make it through.
Chris Hathcock comments on “The Oubliette”:
“As with my previous album, I hope that ‘The Oubliette’ will provide listeners with a rich and emotionally challenging audio experience. This is undoubtedly the most ambitious record The Reticent has attempted to date. The hope is that listeners will be personally affected by the music on a deep level and that it may draw some attention to a disease that is frighteningly prominent but frequently poorly understood. There will be moments that are soothing and there will be moments that are overwhelming. The story I have to tell is not a happy one but it is an important one – and it is often through the pain that we find the most profound reflection and calls to action.”
“The Oubliette” (Heaven & Hell Records) is available on Heavenandhellrecords.com (CD), Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music.
Music Video – Stage 2: The Captive – YouTube
1. Stage 1 – His Name Is Henry (9:46)
2. Stage 2 – The Captive (6:00)
3. Stage 3 – The Palliative Breath (7:13)
4. Stage 4 – The Dream (11:47)
5. Stage 5 – The Nightmare (12:14)
6. Stage 6 – The Oubliette (10:38)
7. Stage 7 – ________ (6:10)
Album Band Line Up:
Chris Hathcock – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Drums, Vocals, Additional Percussion
James Nelson – Lead Guitars
Live Band Line Up:
Chris Hathcock – Vocals, Guitar
James Nelson – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Cliff Stankiewicz – Bass
Mitch Moore – Drums