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Anagnorisis - Beyond All Light Award winner

Beyond All Light
by Daniel Fox at 29 August 2013, 9:41 PM

It is not often that one comes across a Black Metal band excellent production quality, and yet not sounding over-produced. ANAGNORISIS came to me as a pleasant surprise as a first-time listener, already a long-time fan of the various Black Metal 'gods' of Scandinavia (Norway, anyone?); I do not normally hear many Black Metal bands from the USA that I actually enjoy. Their latest release, “Beyond All Light”, I consider to be a Black Metal masterpiece; a 6-track, and yet lengthy, epic; the shortest and longest songs cap out at 5:53 and 9:31 minutes long, respectively.

I find it somewhat hard to classify this album into a genre; each of the six songs are different in their special way. “Eulerian Path” begins with an eerie, heartbeat-esque intro, and leads into a slow, Doom-like dirge brimming with melancholy. It then unexpectedly breaks into a brutal, classically- Black Metal blast beat and we hear Zachary Kerr's vocals for the first time on the album. I am a particular favourite of that style of screams, as one would find on the likes of DIMMU BORGIR and EMPEROR. They are by no means weak or drowned out, and have an eerily painful feel to them. The brutal battery is broken by a deliciously atmospheric tremolo riff by the guitars, and again brings back the previous bombardment. The song ends with the 'beating hear' found in the intro. “This Cursed Blood” is probably my favourite track on the album; nearly six minutes of full-on metallic stampede, with blast-tremolo riffs reminiscent of NAGLFAR and CATAMENIA. This track is easily my favourite on the album; there is no moment of calm until the end of the song. “Death Mimics Life”, the aforementioned nine-and-a-half minute epic is unique in that it continues to evolve as it is played, and shows no signs of monotony; it begins with another atmospheric, Doom-like dirge, and as the drums, bass and guitar come into play, the beat of the kick drums begin to pick up speed at a pace almost undetectable. What my ears were expecting were fully realised by the halfway mark, with an epic (I have to use this word a lot for this band) drum line, and (dare I say!) a solo! A very melodic, soulful and melancholic solo, which makes masterful use of minor scales that compliments the crushing rhythm perfectly. This crushing rhythm becomes more dirge-like as the song begins to fade out.

Track four, “Abyss”, is perfectly-titled. The slowest song on the track, feels like an abyss to listen to. The band's Doom influences are incredibly clear on this track; it feels as if it is depicting the end of the world. “Bountiful Godless Life” comes with some classic, DIMMU BORGIR-sounding riffage hailing Satan himself, and then suddenly; an acoustic passage. Certainly unexpected at first, and taking up nearly two minutes of the song, it begun to grow on me with the sly introduction of the other instruments and reminds one of the emotion that this band is able to capture. The final track, “Forever Night” is a second nine minute epic (there I go again). This time, my ears are brought back to GORGOROTH, with a lengthy, bombastic, blast-filled passage, joining an almost Death Metal-like passage with melodious piano-work. The last third of the song features prominent symphonic elements – unknown to me whether they are created by Samuel Hartman's masterful keyboards' work, that set in motion a powerful black metal riff that sends the listener spiralling down into the black.

The only way I can conclude this, is to say that this has become one of my favorite Black Metal albums of all time.

5 Star Rating

1. Eulerian Path
2. This Cursed Blood
3. Death Mimics Life
4. Abyss
5. Bountiful Godless Life
6. Forever Night
Zachary Kerr - Vocals
Zak Denham - Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Samuel Hartman - Keyboards
Chris Smith - Drums
Josh Mumford – Bass Guitars
Record Label: Independent


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