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Anachitis – The Sorcerer’s Sorrow

Anachitis
The Sorcerer’s Sorrow
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 October 2020, 12:24 PM

ANACHITIS was an occult divination stone used in antiquity, believed to be a raw diamond used to communicate with spirits in water. This is the name picked by UADA founding member and guitarist James Sloan for his solo project, a kaleidoscopic Black Metal creature deeply rooted in the depressive black metal sounds of the Nineties. “The Sorcerer’s Sorrow” is the band’s debut, where obscure, minimal synths pave the way for obsessive guitar riffs and desperate shrieks recounting a tale of despair and self-destruction. In Sloan’s words, “There is an underlying story here being told backwards of someone who desperately seeks answers to escape the pain of existence through esoteric practices, but finds nothing but a path to total self-destruction.” The album contains seven tracks.

“Athamé of Flame” leads off the album. It harkens back to the sound of 90’s Black Metal, indeed, with elements of despair and being completely lost in the world, and the anger/frustration one would feel. Synths add a layer of complexity here, along with the longing qualities from the clean vocals. The harsh vocals are anguished shrieks. “The Sorcerer’s Sorrow” is a slower moving song, with some gut-wrenching screams that would wake up a corpse. The depressive tones at the end of the album really tell the tale of desolation that the subject feels.

“Drowned in the Spring of Life” opens with dissonant guitar tones and spoken words. Dual guitar harmonies come into play here as well. The juxtaposition of the two creates a unique offering here. A guitar solo is an unusual offering as well. The screams reflect the subject’s feeling of absolute nothingness. “Dead Spirit” opens with just a bit of guitar harmony. You think it’s going to be hopeful but since nothing on the album to date has been, you know the hope will soon be dashed. It is actually obliterated. Towards the middle of the song however, some of those hopeful tones come back, if not just to torture you.

“The Sleepless Eye” features an equal mix of hopeful and despondent tones. This is something that James does very well on the album. Though it’s tale of self-destruction, there must be some moments of hope along the way. “Mirror of Voices” clocks in at over seven-minutes in length. It opens with some light synth notes, and washed out clean vocals that are but a whisper. From there, the screams become almost unbearable. It slows for just a bit, then picks back up to tortured screams. “Livre des Esperitz” closes the album…an under-three-minute affair. The “Livre des Esperitz” (or “Book of Spirits”) is a 15th or 16th century French grimoire that inspired later works including Johann Weyer's “Pseudomonarchia Daemonum” and the “Lesser Key of Solomon.”

This was a very interesting and personal take on the genre of Black Metal. James departed from the traditional tones of the genre with grace and refinement, and really focused on the story line in his music. Feelings of dejection, hopelessness and nothingness abound, but as do slight glimmers of hope, which only tortures the subject further, because hope is a dangerous thing when you are on a path of self-destruction that is, ultimately, inevitable.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Athamé of Flame
2. The Sorcerer's Sorrow
3. Drowned in the Spring of Life
4. Dead Spirit
5. The Sleepless Eye
6. Mirror of Voices
7. Livre des Esperitz
Lineup:
James Sloan – Everything
Record Label: Avantgarde Music
     


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