While many fans of the extreme metal genre have to come to recognize Austin Lunn as the leading light of black metal titan Panopticon, there remains a certain mysterious air surrounding the Kentucky-based native in regards to his prior endeavors. While he will always be known for Panopticon first and foremost, Mr.Lunn was also involved at one point in time, with blackened progressive death metal band Anagnorisis. Formed in 2003, Anagnorisis released their 2007 debut album Overton Trees
a clear display of the groups own unique brand of blackened death metal that leaves even some of the most successful purveyors of the genre, left staring in the dust.
Sonically, Anagnorisis combines more the progressively influenced death metal genre with the bleak, unrelenting black metal genre. Take for instance opening song "Birth of the Pariah", which starts in true black metal fashion, with blast-beats and cold, atmospheric tremolo picked guitar. Soon however, the song is filled with chugging death metal riffs, and deep pinch harmonics. "Virulence" is also a good example of this combination, containing both melancholic atmospheric background keyboards, as well as some death metal styled harmonized octave chords. Partially in what makes Overton Trees
a great album is how the band will sometimes creatively layer black metal parts under or over death metal parts so both are playing at once. One such example would be final track "To Sleep" which cleverly places a death metal lead, over dissonant black metal chords. Despite its many fierce moments however, Overton Trees
does feature it's own fair share of melody. Songs like title track "Overton Trees" or "The Weakness" contain beautiful harmonies, weaving in and out amongst the chaos.
To say each member of Anagnorisis is technically adept would be a huge understatement; every instrumentalists displays a high level of musicianship that would easily fit in the with most complex of bands. Lead singer Austin Lunn displays throughout the album a guttural death metal type approach to his vocals, very much akin to the vocal style of Opeth main man Mikael Akerfeldt. Also, on tracks the tracks "Overton Trees" and "The Weakness", Mr. Lunn shows off his superb clean vocals, which also seem quite influenced by Mikael Åkerfeldt. On the guitar front, Lunn and bandmate Zak Denham absolutely shred, with plenty of moments on the album showing scorching solos and technical riffs. Drummer, Adam Pierce goes all out on this album, with warp speed blast beats playing some sections, along with some great, progressive influenced drumming. Keyboardist Samuel Hartman provides the record with atmosphere, greatly enhancing many of the songs with his subtle, yet effective playing.
Although Lunn has since left Anagnorisis, Overton Tree
remains a fantastic release not only due to his contributions, but contributions from each sole member of the group. With this great release Anagnorisis has plenty to build upon, and even with the departure of a founding member, Overton Trees
proves that the band still has a bright future ahead of them.