Review Summary: A chariot ride to hell and back.
Ana Kefr is a progressive metal outfit from Riverside, California. With The Burial Tree the band has crafted what can only be described as unpredictable. The band is always one step ahead of the listener and thinking outside the box. They blend several subgenres together and manage to create a delicious concoction of bludgeoning, yet beautiful and unique metal. In the next hour you will have a wide variety of sounds wash over you, everything from clarinet sections, mind numbing melodies, and subtle electronics. All instruments are used to their full ability and nothing is left in silence within The Burial Tree.
The vocal styles on The Burial Tree vary, they range from majestic female vocals to gutturals and everything in between. There are blastbeats and pinch harmonics and many other elements that may be found in a typically metal album but in many ways Ana Kefr is truly bringing something new to the table. Six tracks on the album run well over five minutes. Each of these songs seems to take the listener on a journey, and like all journeys there is a climax or "payoff" so to speak. All of the unusual elements blended into the music come and go in a seamless manner. The album clocks in at just over an hour, for many bands this playtime would be far too long to hold the listeners attention, fortunately for Ana Kefr this is not the case. They hold your attention up until the final notes of the epic closer "The Collector", and if they truly wanted to continue they would have you in the palm of their hand for another hour.
Ana Kefr is sure to have the unseasoned listeners scratching their heads in shear disbelief, but upon multiple listens it is obvious that the band has done something great with this release. The Burial Tree manages to capture some amazing songwriting in the midst of all the chaos that is spread like wildfire throughout the album. "Parasites" is nothing short of a classic as well as many other songs featured on The Burial Tree, and while this tracks do work well on their own the album should be listened to as a whole. The Burial Tree plays more like a Dario Argento film than it does an album, it features a beautiful sound but maintains the menacing atmosphere and leaves you in suspense and confusion throughout.
Overall this album is very unique and should be heard by all metal fans at least once. Ana Kefr push the boundaries of metal and in doing so manage to create one hell of an epic and heavy album filled with twists and turns that will prove to challenge even the most seasoned listeners. The band creates an atmosphere that makes many emotions run through those who dare to listen. At times you may be wondering where Ana Kefr is going to take you next but only time will tell. The Burial Tree is nothing short of essential.