Review Summary: “I can show you, the stain of mans ambition”Anopheli
, literally meaning “good for nothing”
(Anopheles, is the Greek scientific term for Mosquito). Anopheli
is a (Neo-)Crust band that combines members from both sides of the world (California and London) and started off as a lovely idea of immortalizing a friendship with a musical project. Many will undoubtable be led to this band through the name of vocalist Alex Bradshaw, who is a key member of Light Bearer
and most importantly, (the now defunct) Fall of Efrafa
"The Ache Of Want"
is a concept album about the conversation between a man and Death. The journey between the recipient and the sentinel. The story about a man who is guided to the afterlife by a being that doesn’t know mankind as good as he thought he did. Strong, deep and visual lyricism is not only expected but also delivered. Delivered in spades, as Alex’ his talent has not waned at all!
"I was somnambulant
I caught the gust of
matters dark antithesis
and charted courses
I watched worlds torn,
stars extend infernal arms
and hollow mouths devour
Compared to Anopheli
’s debut “A Hunger Rarely Sated”
, where Alex mostly used Post-Hardcore influenced shouts. He now uses a more growling voice, often accompanied by shrieks, much like his work with Fall of Efrafa
While I might have started this review wrong by shoving Alex to the forefront, this is by no means a way to hide or underappreciate the qualities of the other band members.
plays a particularly unique brand of Melodic Crust. They do this by employing a non-traditional instruments like the cello -which is present in every song-, or even the occasional acoustic guitar. Its these unusual classic instrument arrangements that not only separate Anopheli
from the pack, but also give it an even darker character and atmosphere compared to its peers. The closest comparison would be Remains Of The Day
or Fall of Efrafa
, and even that’s mostly because of the similarities between a cello and a violin of the first, and the production values and vocal styles of the second.
From the starting moments of ”Awoken”
it’s immediately apparent the band places a lot of importance on atmosphere and how this translates into the concept they’re going for. The cello arrangements that make up most of the first few minutes paint a bleak and dark atmosphere, one that will remain lingering in your head long after the final notes of ”Trade”
have ended. Halfway ”Awoken”
the rest of the band enter the fray and we are dipped into a bombardment of d-beat drum patterns, thundering basslines and melodic, yet heavy guitar riffs. No matter how fast or heavy they play (or serene during Ruminations), the song writing never falters and is always on point.
My only gripe with the album is with the transition between the different songs, for an album that’s conceptually about a conversation/journey between two characters it’s a little weird to not have the tracks flow over into each other. A slightly smoother transition from song to song, would have enhanced the immersion even more. This problems is most apparent between the soft serene ending of ”Ruminations”
and the heavy bass start of ”Somnambulant”
. It’s a small gripe, but one made worse because it’s my only gripe, and the only thing withholding me from giving “The Ache Of Want”
a perfect score. But when the dust finally settles all you should know is that Anopheli
has created an amazing album, one that any fan of Hardcore and Crust should check out.
“unravel into me
and I into you,
for I now claim you
as my own”