Review Summary: A blending of cultures.
Azerbaijan is a country that has been known historically to be the connecting bridge between Europe and the Middle East. Being that bridge, you’re obviously going to grow as country with influences generally from both cultures. Black metal is a European bred genre that has grown to become one of the most diverse and intriguing sub-sects of extreme music in recent times, controversially and artistically. Violet Cold’s approach to Black Metal in the past has been tinged with pop-synths, piano lullabies, and even post rock-esque crescendos. While admirable and fun, it would almost feel like a gimmick of sorts on previous albums. Almost as if single member Emrin Guliyev wanted to add as much genre diversity just to seem as “experimental” as possible. That isn’t the case with Anomie.
Upon listening to the title track I was met with the usual onslaught of tremolo and synth, only for it all to change about 4 minutes in. Suddenly, I was struck with beautiful eastern influenced guitar, hand drumming along to a wind-like instrument replicating the zephyr of the desert itself. It hit me then, that this record is a special one. A converging piece of art meant to represent the blending of cultures so seemingly different from one another. The rest of the album follows through, an amalgamation of European structure, and Middle-Eastern thought.
Concise in its execution, production, and influences, Anomie improves upon merely everything from its predecessors. No more do we have odd synth-like abstractions that don’t seem to fit anywhere. What we have now is an intelligent ode, musically and culturally, to the ever-shifting perceptions that we have of people abroad. A resonance that even people from distant countries and upbringings are more like yourself than you thought. Blast beats, harrowed shrieks, and antiquity from a time so seemingly long-lost. This record will have you imagining the vast blankets of stars over the mountain-peaks of northern most Europe, only until you are then taken to the mythical sands that birthed the beginnings of civilization.