This Will Destroy You: An Impression

Photos by Anna Bursztynowicz

This Will Destroy You & Lymbyc Systym & Sounds Like The End Of The World
Klub Hydrozagadka | Warsaw, Poland
18th September 2014

This Will Destroy You has a special place in my heart. It’s one of the bands with whom I started my post-rock journey and begun discovering the amazing depths of this endless ocean of sounds. To this day they are one of my favourites. Naturally I couldn’t miss the opportunity to join them on the evening they came to my town.

While I’m a fan of energetic concerts—I had the chance to be at a Black Sabbath gig and see Zakk Wylde shredding live and I had really good time on both occasions—this experience was unique and simply different for me. There really is no proper way to compare these events. If you believe that the music This Will Destroy You plays is at least remotely expressive or emotional, then there are no words to describe the effect of listening to these artists perform live, making you believe as if whatever message their songs are supposed to deliver was aimed directly at you. The feeling induced by the atmosphere created by This Will Destroy You was simply magnificent. At times I would stand swooning to the hypnotizing melodies and focusing on the images appearing on the backs of my eyelids as I slowly began forgetting about other people at the venue and my surroundings in general, feeling I was a lone observer being given the privilege to witness something of unique beauty that no one before me had the chance to experience.

My friends often accuse me of listening to music they consider ‘sad’ or ‘depressive’, and these remarks were targeted at TWDY as well. I couldn’t disagree more with them. There is a great distance between what they describe and occasionally slowing down to contemplate or reflect upon the past, which, once again, is not the same as living in one’s memories. Thus I believe this kind of music is anything but ‘sad’ or actually positive as it allows me to take a peek into the mirror of my mind and get to know myself a little better every time I listen to it.

I also believe that music does not necessarily need to be ‘happy’ just by means of a light melody or up-lifting tempo. The way I perceive This Will Destroy You, their art allows the listener to focus on whatever feelings or emotions he believes to be most important, whichever memories surface first and, since this is what we consist of, it’s entirely subjective whether you will find it deep or shallow, depressive or blissful. It will also depend on the moment of listening as the very same song such as Quiet or A Three-Legged Workhorse (which were performed simply brilliantly) may tell you a completely different story whenever you come back to it. I can only hope that if you are reading this you cannot stay neutral to marvels of the world such as these.

The evening I had the chance to hear a small part of their new album for the first time, I resisted the temptation to get it on the release date before the show. I was quite curious as this album caused mixed reaction among our Arctic Drones team and with This Will Destroy You my expectations will always be high. In our informal conversations, some team members told that Another Language was “underwhelming”, “without a purpose” or simply “not what they would expect from This Will Destroy You”. And then Aytac, founder and managing editor of Arctic Drones, pretty much summed up my thoughts:

“Honestly, I have no negative feelings or disappointment here. In theory, I believe one should evaluate each album on its own. We should be able to accept that The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place was a special album delivered and personally experienced in a particular context, so expecting another The Earth… or feeling disappointed because following albums weren’t and won’t be as “good” as that release was won’t do justice to the band. This Will Destroy You is no exception as well. But the problem here is, in practice, it is usually difficult to get over that expectation completely. And although you believe that doesn’t sound right, before sitting down to listen to the new album for the first time, it is hard to keep yourself from asking “Will that sound as good as Self-Titled or Young Mountain?”

Yet, after your few listens—and seeing once again that (perhaps naturally) it doesn’t convey the ‘same’ feelings as S-T does—you start realizing and enjoying the specific beauty that the new album brings out. That is usually what happens for me.

I guess at the end it boils down to the issue of expectations and the inner struggle to overcome it for a more pleasant experience: Heart vs. brain. The latter usually outperforms.”

It’s exactly what happened with me in case of quite a few albums, where I didn’t like the new sound of direction initially and preferred to go back to the old albums, but as time flew by I realised that these were pieces of art as well. And, while different, it’s the beauty of the artists that they do not simply repeat their most successful riffs and tricks but continue to expand their horizon and explore themselves to deliver exactly what we expect from them—music.

Setlist for TWDY

1. Dustism 2. I Believe in Your Victory 3. Burial on the Presidio Banks 4. Invitation 5. There Are Some Remedies Worse Than the Disease 6. A Three-Legged Workhorse 7. War Prayer 8. Black Dunes 9. Villa Del Refugio 10. Threads 11. New Topia Encore: 12. Quiet

All things considered, even though I had the pleasure of attending more than just a few gigs in my post-rock life, I’m quite confident that this was one of the best I had the chance to experience. If I were to describe this performance based on places it took me during this fantastic journey I’d use a single word: unearthly.

While the Sun is quite bright, it’s not the only star visible on our beautiful sky. The others would be Lymbyc Systym and Sounds Like The End Of The World. The former are quite unique as it’s a duo consisting of brother Jared and Michael Bell. Their music is an impressive mixture of drums and electronica and should appeal to any post-fan as it shows some clear indicators of the instrumental genres with their greatly composed songs. What makes their tracks appealing is the focus on music itself with the electronic sounds being a means to achieve it, rather than simply showing off the capabilities of modern technology. Apparently I was not the only one to be convinced by the brothers as Jared was invited by This Will Destroy You and played the keys along side during one of their songs. It was the first time I had the pleasure to hear Lymbyc Systym perform, and I find it a pleasure that I would like to revisit, sooner rather than later.

The latter of the stars is a young Polish band formed in 2012 and debuted at the beginning of 2013. At this point I have to make a confession, with great pain, that I was late to their performance but they managed to enchant me with just two songs and I’ll be definitely looking forward to any other performances of this promising young five-piece as in these few moments they showed great potential.

Follow This Will Destroy You on: Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

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