Saturday, March 31, 2012
Along with the gigantic wave of Swedeath worshippers, there has also been a fairly large amount of bands who follow the same path as their death/doom forfathers did. It is obvious that bands like Rottrevore, Incantation, Autopsy and Cianide have had a huge impact on some of the bands today, who play in the exact vein as their masters. Anhedonist, is an abnormal death/doom band compared to the relentless wave of crushing monsters who have spawned almost infiniteley along the road. Odd and unusually grotesque is what first comes to my mind when I am to describe the music they play in terms of death/doom. It almost seems as if Anhedonist have emerged from a dense and callously porous hole that has a crude opening. During this this process, they have gained abnormal features and have been shaped in a way that is utterly grotesque, even when compared to the aformentioned bands.
This is certainly some Nostalgia for me as the album stragely resembles the stylings on Nocturn's ''Estranged Dimensions'' in a way that is more atmospheric and dark. As I have said, the crude opening from which Anhedonist have risen from has shaped the bands features in a remarkable way. I was more than impressed when I heard massive black metal influence, looming over the overwhelming sheet of dense and pessimistic riffage. The atmosphere and the riffs alone are enough to make this album an almost perfect one of its kind. The riffs are all shrouded with high distortion and a muffled cavernousness that emphasises the aura of the album. ''Netherwards'' bestows an impregnable and repetetively inundating atmosphere upon the listener, built upon a solid and rigid structure of pure sorrow and hate, and thus taking the listener upon an infinite journey of uncomprehensible monstrosity and evil that will esteem adorers of blackened death/doom like Hellvetron. Hellvetron's equally drowning album is the closest thing to ''Netherwards'' both sound and aspect wise.
The whole album is quartered into four tracks that are all heavy, brooding and numbing. Ambiance is innevitable and it sometimes that control of grooving and tamed riffs that range from sinister melodies of the most spine-chilling kind to more intense death/doom/thrash monsters, so no matter how good the riffs are, the atmosphere is better. The production and guitar tones are spread out in a volatile way, dispersed and scattered all around sounding both dense and expansive. All the riffs emerge from a dim, blackened edifice, and the vibe of evilness that they project unto you in undeniable as it grasps you within horrendous clutches of pessimistic disbelief and indulging carnage, torturing, agonizing. No matter how much the album, there is not a single sense of optimism or even a neutral feeling because no matter what you do, on ''Netherwards'', positivity is futile. Of course I should also remind you that there are quality riffs hidden under metres of heavy atmosphere and ambience. Once you start to properly comprehend the riffage, the album reaches its climax in entertainment. The riffs have turned into wobbly, quivering pieces of crushing deah/doom magnificence, accompanied with brooding melodies that churn with the atmosphere to create an ultimate feast of blackened death/doom.
''Carne Liberatus'' has to be the best and most ominious track on the album. While still sticking to the blackened death/doom, the song has more speed and energy than any other song on the album, particularly because of its relative shortness and lack of drowsiness. With less complicated verse-chorus structures and even (surprisingly) memorable riffage spawning from the callous creater of darkness, the song can definetely count as a prime example of its kind. During the second half of the song, the riffs become less concise and slowly lean towards the same atmosphere and ambiance that was given perfectly on the previous songs. Believe it or not, the riffs on ''Netherwards'' can sometimes be concise and bludgeoningly stomping. I mean, most of the riffs have the venomous and dark doom metal vibe to them, but when Anhedonist starts to mutate their riffage even more, they can produce some mighty fine riffs, that remind me of Incantation and Asphyx the most. Speaking of Asphyx, the vocals may tend to turn into eerie screams that are very Van Drunnen-esque, though for the most part they are hellish lows and exhuming gutturals, often standing in the back, churning with the aura.
Now, if I am to join all these together, I would only point out that Anhedonist have produced an incredibly atmospheric and gloomy album that is exceptional, unlike countless bands which have repeated the same widespread sound over and over. Anhedonist's ''Netherwards'' is one of the best death/doom efforts of the year for a certainity. I can easily compete with Incantation/Autopsy drones like Undergang, Macabra or Disma (which produce some brilliant death/doom aswel) and manages to leave bleeding and suffered ears after its numbingly infinite impact. Mandatory for fans of anything atmospheric, let it be rock, metal, you name it. Ambiance has no boundries. And that's why I love ''Netherwards''.