“It’s like if Gaspar Noë made an album,” is how I recently described the new HIDE record Hell Is Here to my friend. If you don’t understand that then this record probably isn’t for you. You live in a more innocent world.

The electronic duo explore the darker side of human nature, they give commentary to the thoughts we’re keeping secret and the things we scream in anger, and Hell Is Here is a punishing listen for it. The abrasive opening scrapes of ‘Chainsaw’ plummet you head first into this landscape as Gabel viciously recounts cat calls many women will be familiar with, “Bitch/ How much?/ Fuck you then.” The short track ends with a field recording of someone vomiting over a toilet. You have arrived. It’s a jarring assault that captures the inherent unease of walking through the world as a woman and gives a heavy dose of reality.

This aggressive drum programming and stomach churning sub-bass are purposefully vomit-inducing, and at times the record can feel like an art student’s fever-dream, but this gritty grounding in reality is the point. HIDE are the antithesis of escapist pop art. ‘SSSD’ sees them deconstruct our societal based identity, while the repetitive coin dropping sounds of the increasingly manic ‘Everyone’s Dead’ confronts us with our own lack of empathy. This is a theme the highlight in the opening recording of ‘999’; “when you depersonalise another person… it seems to make it easier to do things you shouldn’t do.”

A very human record in many senses, the harsh and repetitive mechanical crunches of Seth Sher’s percussion stand in opposition to create a dehumanized world for Gabel to claw her way through. A lot like life then. You’re dragged through, anxiety peaking at various moments, but at least with Hell Is Here you’ll know why you feel that way. It’s hard to describe this industrial noise as enjoyable, but in many ways it is, and some tracks from Hell Is Here could easily find themselves at home in some hard-core underground clubs. The sharp rolling rhythms of ‘Pain’ are even comforting.

Despite the mechanized nature, the depth of texture on show here is astounding, and HIDE definitely know how to play with space as well as sound. The cracked and spliced screams on ‘Raw Dream’ are defiant till the abrupt ending. It’s a last reclamation of power as Gabel hisses “Spit in my face, I sharpened my teeth for this.”

Gaspar Noë eat your heart out.