Anatomy of Habit – Even If It Takes a Lifetime (2021)

After seven years of relative radio silence following 2014’s brilliant Ciphers + Axioms, today sees the emergence of the first of two anticipated new albums by Chicagoans Anatomy of Habit


Anatomy of HabitEven If It Takes a Lifetime (self-released, 10 December 2021)


It’s a bit of a challenge to express exactly what it is about this band and their songs that is so intriguing and appealing — I remember struggling similarly the last time around. On paper it probably seems pretty bizarre: an Ian Curtis-esque quasi-melodic talk-singing, repeating poetic utterances over gothy and doomy riffs and minimal post-apocalyptic soundscapes, conceptually similar to an album-length version of The Doors‘ “The End.” But goddamn, it just works.

Brand new album Even If It Takes a Lifetime features three tracks. The first of these, the uptempo, heavy post-industrial-tinged “A Marginal World” ends up the briefest recording Anatomy have produced to date (weighing in at “only” 6:40). “Your Pure Breath” and “Now We Finally Know Ourselves” (around fourteen and nineteen minutes, respectively) continue with moments of ultra-minimalism, gothic atmosphere (“Breath” starts out with what reminds me of the opening few seconds of The Mission‘s “Wasteland” — the part just before the synths and drumbeat kick in, with all the tension and anticipation of what’s to come — but stretched out into like five whole minutes); heavy, droney chords and super-slow doomy drums; occasionally working up to moderately slow grooves; Neurosis-inspired post-metal explorations; (in the closing track) some driving, marching tempoes; and every once in a while tying everything together, a faraway ringing bell almost like the tolling at a distant train crossing.

Again, it’s difficult to really articulate in words, but when all this comes together on the record, like I said: goddamn, it just works.


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