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Anderwelt – 2084

by Gary Hernandez at 20 January 2021, 11:53 PM

ANDERWELT is a Post-Metal band out of Linz, Austria. They formed somewhere around 2014 and released their debut album, “Schattenlichter,” in 2015. A few years later they dropped a two-track single, “Trinity of Decay,” and more recently, November 20, 2020 to be exact, they released their second full-length album, “2084.” As you might surmise from the title, the album is inspired by George Orwell’s “1984” and lays out for us a dystopian view of the future. From Ayn Rand’s “Anthem” (inspiring RUSH’s 2112) on through Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” to countless others, dystopian novels, movies, and concept albums could constitute an industry unto itself.

In today’s time of pandemic, political unrest, and climate change, dystopian plays particularly well. I mean, it’s kind of our reality. All we need is a universal overarching system that imposes cruel but efficient order and we’re there. And that’s pretty much the point — Dystopian fiction is cautionary storytelling, foretelling dread consequences based on current trajectory . . . and just over the horizon. The only disappointing thing about dystopian novels is they never seem to come to fruition, at least not on time. 1984 has come and gone; “Blade Runner,” set in 2019, is overdue; PKD’s “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?” on which “Blade Runner” is based is set in 1992 which is ancient history; and I guess we’re still waiting on 2112.

The good news is that at least from a musical standpoint, ANDERWELT’s “2084” doesn’t disappoint. We’ll have to wait another 63 years to see how their vision holds up, but I’ll be long dead by then and won’t have to suffer the impacts. The album comprises a scant four tracks and clocks out exactly at 40 minutes. I’m sure there’s some significance there from a mathematical or numerological perspective, but both are beyond me.

Track one, “#plenty” kicks off with atmospheric thundering in the background and haunting female vocals singing the lullaby, “Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree,” recited in Orwell’s novel. The verses are resurrected in the final track as well, bringing the cycle to a satisfying close. The twelve-minute track progresses through multiple movements, including deep-grooved tremolo riffs, guttural male vocals, doom-laden tempos, and cello-accented reprises. The remainder of the tracks stay true this formula of oscillating between ambient and bellicose, creating a roving texture of musical terrain.

My favorite tracks, keeping in mind there are only four, are the opening and closing “#plenty” and “#pax.” Coincidently or not, both are north of twelve minutes each. Each track on the album, btw, has the capacity to stand on its own, but the experience is more rewarding beginning-to-end.

“2084” is a solid piece of Post-Metal that tells us a story, makes us think, and wraps it all up in a compelling package of heavy, dark metal. Come to think of it, Metal is the perfect vessel for dystopian narratives with its wide range of tuning and tempos as well as emotive charge. ANDERWELT does an exceptional job exploiting these traits and delivering an evocative album of our own soon-to-be dystopia.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. #plenty
2. #true
3. #luv
4. #pax
Phil Wintersberger – Vocals
Simon Öller – Guitar
Dominik Königsdorfer – Bass
Andreas Pilsl – Cello
Thomas Kössler – Drums
Record Label: Electric Fire Records


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Edited 09 June 2023

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