Review Summary: Anata shits all over most melodic and technical death metal bands with their strongest effort to date.
How would you define a catchy song? Pop music is revolved around hooks – usually a phrase that grabs your attention and gets stuck in your mind - but does this mean a catchy song has to catch your attention immediately; or can the song take a few listens to sink in before it is embedded into your memory? Is it still considered a catchy song if it takes a few listens to grow on you? Well it doesn’t really matter when we are talking about Anata’s Under a Stone With No Inscription
. If the opening track, Shackled to Guilt
, does not grab your attention immediately and if none of the riffs from the album play in your head for a day or three afterwards you clearly aren’t listening to the album properly.
Anata are a technical death metal band known not for constantly wanking, but creating memorable music, melodic-yet-technical songs, shifting tempos, and an excellent rhythm section - all tastefully done. There is a noticeable change in Anata’s direction with The Conductor’s Departure
which opts for more melody which you have to admit can get tedious with all the songs over five minutes with an eight and a half minute song to boot. However Under A Stone With No Inscription
, the band’s third album, noticeably contains more energy and speed and the songs average out less than four minutes to keep things flowing. This definitely doesn’t mean there is no melody to be found in the album.
The first song opens with a fast riff before slowing down until practically halts at the 35-second mark and already at this point the band showed off their instrumental capacity with ear-splitting guitars, thunderous bass and a superb drum fill - the production certainly does the album justice - then after a few spoken words the vocalist erupts with a roar as the rest of the instruments open fire again with a catchy riff leading the assault. The song seems to be all over the place with the tempo and rhythm shifting now and then, but the drums provide an adequate groove while the guitar riffs are frighteningly memorable with the bass surprisingly keeping up, for the outcome to have a sense of cohesion.
The fifth track, Sewerages of the Mind
, embraces Anata’s melodious side – the main riff of the song is brimming with emotion and is probably my favourite at the moment. This song showcases melodic leads and a brief solo both of which feel somewhat restrained. The Drowning
continues to show off their capacity to produce melody, the song contains an almost dark and depressing atmospheric section which is followed up with a delightful and uplifting melodic riff which was just plain unexpected but executed so well. The same effect is reproduced in the last track but is topped with a solo.
At first the album may seem a bit top heavy, I found myself listening to the first few tracks more than the last few at first, but the album is consistent finishing off as strong as it started. So just like all technical death metal it will take a few listens to digest. The sheer quality and abundance of the infectious riffs littered throughout the album is what makes me adore it. If you have listened to The Conductor’s Departure
, I highly recommend you give this a listen, if you haven’t listened to either you should give both (and the rest of their discography) a listen, but this is definitely their best work to date, and this album alone showcases how Anata succeeds with controlled and captivating amount of skill and coherency needed in order to become the impeccable force in technical death metal they are today.