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Anachronism - Meanders

by David Hough at 07 March 2023, 5:41 AM

Meanders” is the third full-length album from the Swiss technical death metal band, ANACHRONISM. They are heavily influenced by the intricacies of free jazz, and instead of sounding like the lightning-fast work of bands like ARCHSPIRE and CONTRARIAN, their style is more akin to that of ATHEIST and IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT. The guitars are dissonant and the rhythm section is jazzy and unpredictable. “Contrasts,” the album opener, is a study of exactly that, contrasts. The music occupies a space where calm meets chaotic and soft meets hard. Lisa Voisard’s vocals are subdued, yet they carry plenty of weight. Her low, death metal growls punctuate the controlled chaos of the instrumentation well, anchoring them in the moment.

Again, the title of the second track is just as apropos as “Contrasts.” “Meanders” moves from place to place as the song develops. As soon as you start to follow one groove, the song turns on a dime, going somewhere unexpected. At times, Voisard’s vocals were distracting, given the technical prowess displayed by the rest of the band. I would love to hear an instrumental version of the album. “Source” is less melodic than the previous tracks. The bass lines provided by the session musician, Alex Sedin are amazing. The bass notes aren’t content to be part of the background and the overall production is stellar. There is plenty of space for all of the instruments to breathe and at no time does the album ever get too cluttered. The vocals are much better in this track as well.

Mirage” starts with the lead and rhythm guitarists each playing a wandering, dissonant melody. The two instruments, while disharmonious, still complement each other well. Again, the vocals remain a high point. “Contrasts” is the only song where the vocals were a distraction. “Mirage” is full of technical flourishes and has a nice jam session before the final verse. “Macrocosm” sounds chaotic at first, but you quickly become acclimated. Sedin’s bass work is a standout in this track as well. After an excellent bass part, the drums go wild. The jam that ensues is full of blast beats and impressive drumming by Florent Duployer. The vocals don’t come in until late in the song when they’re needed most.

ANACHRONISM doesn’t play typical technical death metal. All of the requisite elements are there, but this time they are arranged compellingly. They have proven that they know how to make technically impressive music with inspired songwriting on “Meanders.” I am a huge fan of their carefully orchestrated chaos.

Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Contrasts
2. Meanders
3. Prism
4. Source
5. Insula
6. Mirage
7. Macrocosm
8. Dialogues
Florent Duployer - Drums
Alex Sedin - Bass
Lisa Voisard - Guitars, Vocals, Lyrics, Songwriting
Manu Le Bé - Guitars, Songwriting
Record Label: Avantgarde Music


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