thisquietarmy – Anthems For Catharsis

thisquietarmy - Anthems for Catharsis

thisquietarmy – Anthems For Catharsis

At best, Anthems For Catharsis is a challenging listen. While ‘challenging’ is often a euphemism for bad, not everything is bad on this release.  Anthems For Catharsis blends ambient music with black-metal drone and shades of atmospheric rock. The trouble starts immediately when thisquietarmy employs paper-thin drum simulations to structure these dour stretches. The beats sound like an afterthought. Where was the conceptualization? Maybe, after the droney parts were recorded, the band decided the music was too good to throw away but not interesting enough to stand on its own.

As an example of the drum problem, try tracks two and five, “Purgation/Purification” and “Masquerade,” respectively. The awkwardness of the drumming on “Purgation/Purification” is embarrassing. Listen at the 1:25 minute point, to what sounds like a mistake, as if the metronome lost the beat and had to restart.

With the drum kit in error, what remains? Could these droney parts stand on their own, without the drumming? I can enjoy the chilling sounds in “Accommodator.” Except for the drumming, this song subtly but loudly evolves into ambient music that evokes, at turns, both blackness and mystery. Nevertheless, I doubt any of this instrumentation is album-worthy. Most of the sounds are caustic more so than textured. Occasionally a tepid vocal stirs within the doom, but that vocal only amplifies the problem – the more thisquietarmy tries to channel its vision into an expansive sound, the more myopic the vision seems, while seemingly unaware of its own limitations.

Official band website