The Reticent: A Tale of Man’s Battle With Alzheimer’s Disease

Reticent - The Oubliette

The Reticent began as a despondent side project for Chris Hathcock while he was drumming for Magick Records’ Wehrwolfe and the lesser known blackened death metal group The Torture Cell.  In 2006, Hathcock recored off and on in a homespun bedroom recording setup to create the pieces that would be released as Hymns For The Dejected.  The album was only moderately pushed and promoted at shows featuring Hathcock’s other bands but it went far enough to garner the attention of Heaven & Hell Records. 

After some deliberation, The Reticent signed with Heaven & Hell Records in 2008 and set about the task of recording a follow-up to Hymn”.  This record was to be helmed at Osceola Studios.  Out of those two days of recording came Amor Mortem Mei Erit.  Not soon after the album’s release, Hathcock’s other bands (Wehrwolfe and The Torture Cell) had decided to call it quits.  With time on his hands, he struck out as a veritable one-man show on what H&H Records had dubbed the Lonely Hearts Tour (it did occur in February of 2009) which was a short run of dates to more and more receptive crowds.  As more people began to pick up the album and some reviews began popping up, things seemed to be looking up for the band. 

Now in 2020 The Reticent’s next concept clbum The Oubliette Is A Tale of Man’s Battle With Alzheimer’s Disease.

NC’s The Reticent return in 2020 with a new album entitled The Oubliett set for release on Heaven & Hell Records on September 18th. The full length is produced again by Jamie King (BTBAM, The Contortionist, Scale The Summit) to follow the band’s critically acclaimed 2016 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.

Finally completing The Oubliette, The Reticent shares another stirring autobiographical tale, this time about the tragedy of Alzheimer’s disease. The album follows the journey of an old man named Henry, which is based upon a relative of songwriter Chris Hathcock whose 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.  The music of The Oubliette traverses styles as divergent as jazz and black metal all within the framework of emotionally driven progressive metal.  With each track sonically independent from its predecessor, the album moves the listener from experience to experience, vague memories to dreams and nightmares all toward its heartbreaking finale. Fans and critics alike will be very eager to sink their teeth into another intense emotional outpouring of progressive metal.

Chris Hathcock adds: «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».

Today, the band shares the first tale and the second track on the emotionally gripping release The Captive.

Hathcock explains: «The song starts with Henry hearing the orderly instructs him to return to his room as marching drums cadence him to get moving. Now convinced that he is being wrongly imprisoned and believing his wife is being kept from him, Henry begins to oscillate between anger and despair made all the worse by the fact that he still doesn’t understand what’s happening to him. Decidedly aggressive death metal spearheads the track before Henry’s anger falls into a defeated frustration represented by the pensive midsection».

The track Fade To Black. A reimagining of the classic Metallica song. Stripped down to a minimal ensemble, this somber version seeks to capture the silent desperation of an Alzheimer’s patient trapped in a hospital bed.

Track Listing:

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 Length: 1:03:50

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.


About Ulf Backstrøm (7129 Articles)
Mitt hovedfokus er musikk som er basert på progressiv tenking. Jeg er på ingen måte ensporet innen musikksmak, i likhet med intensjonen bak prog. Sjangerbegrepet er egentlig temmelig uinteressant annet enn til å gi en pekepinn om hva slags musikk det er snakk om i en anmeldelse. Jeg søker god musikk for å utfordre meg som lytter. God musikk til å trigge mine musikalske smaksløker, og til å sette i gang mine refleksjoner. Da er sjansen stor for at jeg utvikler meg og lærer, noe som bør være drivstoff for et hvert menneske. Fordi det å lære og utvikle seg er noe som tilfører livet en nødvendig porsjon "krydder". Slikt krydderet finner man blant annet i musikk. Ikke overraskende mener jeg at progressiv musikk har den fineste "smaken". På den annen side kan musikk med eller uten progressive elementer være godt nok til hverdags. Til fest derimot holder bare rendyrket prog! Må jo også få med at jeg rimelig kritisk, og jeg mener at det lages mye prog som er i beste fall uinteressant, og faktisk mye som er pinlig dårlig. Heldigvis oppveies dette av ekstremt dyktige aktører som for eksempel: Flower Kings, Mostly Autumn og White Willow, for å nevne noen tilfeldig valgte.
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