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Anhedonist - Netherwards

by Phillip Lawless at 28 June 2012, 3:15 PM

Who would have thought it? They are mixing mysterious Black and Doom Metal now in the wilds of the northwestern U.S. Maybe you could say that Seattle, Washington is like the U.S.’s Norway, except with rain instead of snow. Sure, rain is less brutal, and it probably doesn’t count as true cult, but waves of the wet stuff can get pretty depressing and dark.

ANHEDONIST recorded four tracks for “Netherwards”. Yet, even at four songs, it’s still 40 minutes of music. Well, almost. Actually, when the ‘play’ button is pushed, a listener will have to learn patience. That’s because the opener doesn’t actually start until about two minutes in.

Once “Saturnine” finally begins, it’s a blend of Death Metal and Doom. It first has a fast tempo, but the song’s speed frequently gives way to longer sluggish and slimy passages. The vocals here are thick and echoing. Though the fast parts are enjoyable, the weight of the song really comes from the primal push of the slowest-moving sections.

The second track, “Estrangement” is 10 minutes long. Mournful and morbid, the first four minutes are built on a NEUROSIS drum beat and strangely harmonic guitar parts. As the intensity builds, the vocals go from deep growl to throaty shriek. The beats per minute increase too. A gurgling breakdown at around the seven minute mark is an especially heavy moment – musically and emotionally. “Carne Liberatus” is the shortest track at approximately five minutes. Though the tempo changes stick for the first half of the song, the final two minutes are a crippling doom section. Otherworldly moans accentuate the morose sounds as the song limps to a finale.

The final track, “Inherent Opprobrium” is over 15 minutes long, and it starts with a gentle guitar line. In two minutes, it grows into a doomy dirge with oil-thick vocals poured on top. Slow motion guitars and crawling drums make up parts of the song, while double-bass drums and muddy riffs make up other pieces. It’s an ambitious track that manages to impressively close out “Netherwards”.

If you like your production raw and your music mangled and foreboding, then ANHEDONIST have recorded the perfect album for you. Sit down somewhere comfortable, ingest your substance of choice and get ready. You’re in for quite a ride.

3 Star Rating

1. Saturnine
2. Estrangement
3. Carne Liberatus
4. Inherent Opprobrium
V. B. – Guitar, Vocals
K. H. – Guitar
D. F. – Bass
Z. S. – Drums
Record Label: Dark Descent Records


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