Anomalous
Cognitive Dissonance


3.5
great

Review

by Zettel USER (35 Reviews)
November 28th, 2009 | 12 replies | 3,317 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With this 2006's overlooked tech-death gem, Anomalous breaks into the scene with authority.

There's room for everything on this 28 minutes piece of music: crazy leads, amazing solos, utterly complex guitar parts, tempo changes, buildups, ambient sections, intensity, and pretty much every thing you would expect (and want) from a tech-death outfit. Cognitive Dissonance stands out because it leans towards the brutal side while successfully integrating slow, atmospheric sections, creating a sharp contrast without sacrificing the album cohesiveness. It sounds brutal and tasteful at the same time. Adding a Meshuggah touch into the death metal aesthetic, it creates an interesting brutal sound that gives album a strong individuality.

When album is heavy, there's no middle ground. The guitar work is fantastic and there is hardly a weak spot. Guitarist Max Seeman, even for the genre, shows amazing skills shredding through songs at amazing speed, pumping the blood to song's veins with urgency. His leads and riffs are stalwart and imaginative, never denying his influences, rather elaborating on them. The slower, quiet sections experiment with textures and mood, serving both as buildups and transitions between sections or songs, adding dynamics and depth to the music. Max shows musical sensibility in these sections: "Merge" is entirely subtle guitar notes played on top of a dreamy atmosphere for almost four minutes, but never feels like filler.

Songs averaging 6 minutes, they have enough space to develop and flourish, alternating between the industrial-ish sound, death metal and atmospheric sections with ease, less worried about individual parts and shocking value than songwriting and overall excitement. While most technical death (and in general, all technical music) comes out like unnecessary overly complex and boring at times, the guitar dexterity shown on here serves completely the songs, making for an amazing, highly enjoyable listen.

For a two-man band - guitarist Max Seeman and vocalist Tim Hale, with Nate Vennarucci recruited for bass – Anomalous does a notable piece of work. Unfortunately, with programmed drums, a lot of the music organic interaction is sacrificed, but not so much to take anything away from the songs. Also, Anomalous scantily overcome their Meshuggah influences, both vocal and musically, and despite the organic and cohesive musical work, Cognitive Dissonance does feel incomplete, like just a sampler for an unfinished album.

Cognitive Dissonance is a great EP, that unveils a highly talented band, and with a full-length finally on the horizon, it forecasts a bright future. This EP is worth every listen you will give to it, since it will be on repeat.

3.6/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
OceanOfWisdom
November 28th 2009



99 Comments


Great review, but doesnt justify a 3.5 rating -

1st - The Drums ARE in fact real, not programmed; They had to enlist the aid of Marco Pitruzzella to even be able to keep up with the sheer speed of the album. Alas, he always uses an Electric Drumset so no matter what he does, it sounds digital and often fake. Also, him being what is known as a "Band-Whore", he declined having his name placed on the record OR on their myspace....Just as he did with Vital Remains' "Icons of Evil", The Faceless' "Planetary Duality" and "Akeldama", and of course Brain Drill's "Apocalyptic Feasting", with him ultimately giving credit to someone else.

I do agree that the album does feel unfinished, and that they barely overcome their obvious Meshuggah influences, but as you said - Their lengthy songs and more Extreme-Directed music allows for them more expansion and room to improve with future releases.

IMO - With the room for improvement, and the all-around damn good job they did this time around, I'd give them a: 4/5

Zettel
November 28th 2009



581 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hi, Ocean. The research I did turned out with the drums being programmed, since it's being a theme of discussion. Of course, I can't have for certain if it is true or not, but at least that's what their MySpace said. Even if Marco indeed played (I've seen him playing some songs on YouTube, he's good), I find the drumming little impressive, but now I see why it could be so.

About the rating, I found myself tempted to give it 4 stars also, but it didn't feel right for me.

Thanks for the info and comments.

toolguitarkid
January 19th 2011



258 Comments


this was much too wanky...=/

bloc
March 24th 2011



34500 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm liking this

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

YUJOS
April 18th 2012



890 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This ep haz everything. Crazy tempo changes, fast guitars, hyperspeed drums etc except some songwriting skills....

Digging: Aosoth - Ashes of Angels

Zettel
April 18th 2012



581 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

...well. It is extreme metal.

YUJOS
April 19th 2012



890 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

wished they could play extreme metal....

Zettel
April 19th 2012



581 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

such as...

YUJOS
April 19th 2012



890 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hahahaha good point Zettel! Extreme metal is also about the riffs sticking in your head and of course the compositional skills, such as IX Equilibrium by Emperor for example.

Zettel
April 20th 2012



581 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Alright, I will check out those guys. But you should not miss Anomalous first full-length, it is something. Maybe I will write a review for it too.

YUJOS
April 21st 2012



890 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah I liked more their first full length of Anomalous than the ep Zettel, some really good songs there. Dunno if you are into black metal but I suggest you should definetely check all of Emperor's discography.

YUJOS
April 21st 2012



890 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Maybe I will write a review for it too" That would be cool man. Give it a go. Dunno why this album hasn' t been reviewed already.



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