Saturday, September 17, 2011

Anatomy of Habit - "Anatomy of Habit" (2011) [Self-Released]

It was really only a matter of time now. After three years of constant live activity and no studio recordings, Anatomy of Habit is finally releasing their debut album of heavy, experimental doom metal tonight. As I've said in reviews before, I normally don't get too stoked when it comes to "supergroups," but Chicago's Anatomy of Habit is a definite exception, perfectly blending various members of our fair city's experimental music subculture. Not convinced? Well, a band boasting Plague Bringer's Greg Ratajczyk, who has also done studio work with Modest Mouse, on guitar, Animal Law's Blake Edwards on metal percussion, Dylan Posa, formerly of Cheer Accident, on drums, Kenny Rasmussen, formerly of No Funeral, on bass, and fronted by Chicago's most prolific (and best dressed) experimental vocalist and noisemaker Mark Solotroff (chances are you've heard something he's on, trust me) is bound to do something unforgettable, and Anatomy of Habit has definitely succeeded with this first release.

There's definitely a lot into which I've had to sink my teeth when it comes to this massive, two-song LP. From the chiming, gothic-tinged beginnings of "Overcome" to the plodding standalone drums that close "Torch," Anatomy of Habit thrives upon unique genre fusion to create their own peculiar brand of doom metal. Like Joy Division on quaaludes or mid-era Swans taking cues from Sunn O))), Anatomy of Habit takes the listener on a journey through sparse post-punk, layered guitar polyphony, jarring percussion and crushing, discordant doom metal. Channeling the late Ian Curtis, frontman Mark Solotroff's mournful baritone acts as a sort of guide through the malevolent, disturbed music, spouting repetitive, cryptic text. This band's brilliance lies not just with their genre fusion, but with their brilliant arrangements, filling in every blank, silent area, with a different sound, however subtle, to create a full, fulfilling sound, no matter how sparse a section of a song may be.

Patience is key with this album; with two songs each orbiting the 17-minute mark, every listen yields some new texture or layer that went completely unnoticed before. In a way, Anatomy of Habit is the closest I've ever heard a band get to achieving the massive sound of Swans's Children of God, and yet it is entirely different and unique in it's own right. Brilliantly melding the wide array of influence between its band members, Anatomy of Habit is by far worth the sum of its parts. An astoundingly powerful and unique album, definitely deserving of your attention. Available soon from the Anatomy of Habit BigCartel.


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