Fresh from the bustling city of Toronto, Theatria’s self-titled release is an energetic, compelling take on the post-hardcore genre, boasting bright, emotionally-charged melodies against honest compositions and hard-hitting moments of aggression.
The charismatic wails of “Hello, My Name Is:” are a thing of passion and a vigorous entryway into the album. This piece is easily my favourite, sporting adept harmonies between the two guitars and bass and a firm backing by the drums. I am also quite fond of the way the guitarists play off of each other near the entrance of the chorus, seamlessly panning from side to side. A prominent punk influence is ever so present in tracks such as “Gordon” and “The Loudest Man in the Room.” This being said, the band make commendable use of their eclectic tastes by giving listeners a healthy dose of upbeat, catchy pop songs. Here to remind us of our failed relationships and the forlorn tendencies of youth, track four is a great place to start for those just getting on board with Theatria. “Grief Counseling” begins with a pleasant display of innocence, but don’t be fooled by the tender exterior: the chorus is powerful and riveting. Heart on his sleeve, frontman Todd Barriage belts those oh, so tasteful melodies that I have come to admire, accompanied by an uncluttered atmosphere crafted by the other musicians.
Slowing the pace, an acoustic number creeps in and provides the record with a sort of intermission, ending in a very calm and tranquil fashion. Guitar perforates the silence and breaks into the next track, “Marie DeSalle,” a relatively short, though entirely enjoyable, composition. The bassist really gets to shine here with some well-placed licks. This song also has a small, yet noteworthy instance of a divergent style of screaming, much lower and aggressive in comparison to the majority of the album, which I would love to hear emphasised in the future. Despairing and disconsolate, though rather beautiful, the band end on a sombre note with closing track “The Weakest Man in the Room,” building with each section until finally fading out.
Quite pleased with this release in regard to both its material and quality, five-piece Theatria appear very promising and I hope to hear much more from them.