thisquietarmy - Anthems for Catharsis
ConSouling Sounds
Atmospheric Drone
6 songs (41' 30")
Release year: 2015
Reviewed by Andy

Prolific dronemaster Eric Quach has turned out another mysterious album in his thisquietarmy project. For those who haven't heard thisquietarmy before, it's actually not particularly quiet; Anthems for Catharsis has a cold but chaotic sound that is mechanized and hypnotic. While this one may not appeal to a lot of metal fans, anyone who likes the ambient side of black or post-metal is likely to enjoy this one.

Quach's guitar is the primary instrument, built on endless loops of sound with a whole armada of FX pedals. The drumming is rhythmic but off-beat, almost random, and it echoes. Meanwhile, waves of feedback-laced sound wash in and out like an ocean tide. The sonic palette of Ruminations is dark and a little scary, but not particularly hostile, while Purgation / Purification starts with black metal-style drumming to an endless wail of feedback in the background. That must be the "Purgation" part, because the high-speed drumming drops to a minimalistic few beats with the feedback in the foreground right afterwards. There's a doomy feel to the next track, which gets more rhythmic and methodical towards the end as buzzing, artificial synths and a big humming bass take over.

All that slow, arrhythmic, atmospheric stuff isn't the only thing Quach is capable of producing. Accommodator, one of my favorites on here, is fast and violent, like the spin cycle on an oil-and-razor-blade-filled washing machine. The cloudy melody revealed here is just as hazy when one finally puzzles it out as the track's background noise, but the sound's sharper and more electronic on Closure, the last track, which sounds like an acid house track minus the drumming, electronic "meltdown" synth effects and all.

Definitely strange stuff when viewed from a metal perspective, but the music's interesting, and it's dark and heavy enough to be enjoyable. Anthems for Catharsis shows clear talent on the part of Quach as well as an excellent atmosphere, and drone fans would do well giving this one a listen.

Killing Songs :
Accommodator
Andy quoted 77 / 100
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