Wednesday, May 2, 2012

ANHEDONIST - Netherwards CD review

ANHEDONIST - Netherwards CD
Dark Descent Records
Genre: Death / Doom

I always find it amazing how bands of certain music genre's can create a sound which not only invokes a trance like state to your mind but also helps transcend time and space. The first time I listened to Netherwards was on a Monday night at around eight O'clock. I turned on the music, set it for continuous play and kicked back in the office chair to absorb everything. The next thing I knew it was Tuesday morning and I was laying on the floor with my clothing all ripped and partially covered in blood. Luckily for me I have a place in the country now where one's unique nocturnal habits (and music tastes as well as how loud you can play it) are not a problem. Speaking of which ANHEDONIST hails from Seattle which is far from being an out of the way place unlike Australia which is where this band takes their death doom influences from. I'm sure Seattle is a dismal place with all the rain and people still living off of Kurt Cobain's memory et all but their record stores must sell releases by PORTAL and diSEMBOWELMENT which this combo sounds similar to.

Those two name dropped acts are only the tip of what ANHEDONIST channels as far as band names go but with death doom redundancy is a given especially if it crawls slower than a snail with a fifty pound boulder tied to it's rear end. Don't take my harsh criticism for harsh criticism. I actually think this is pretty good. It's funeral doom from the point of view of the corpse who's already in the ground and being covered with earth. The riffs are like shovel's full of dirt plopping on top of the coffin at least on the opener "Saturnine" which does add some speedy riffs in between the sludge. "Estrangement" is monstrously brutal at first but ends like a procesion through a dark cathedral with ashen faced mourners. "Carne Liberatus" sounds like PORTAL if you got em out of their cave. The final cut, yes there's only four, "Inherent Opprobrium" starts off with one guitar drawing single notes in a introspective way while the second guitar crushes melons with the riff. This is probably the saddest cut or at least trying to be sad, because I'm actually smiling while listening to this, on Netherwards.

What benefits this release from it's genre style predecessors is the production. Even though ANHEDONIST have the down tuned distorted riffs with enough reverb to topple over the Space Needle (which is in Seattle by the way) and the cave beast awakening from hibernation vocals, there's still this rich atmosphere that sets this into clean sounding epic metal territory. Guitarist / Vocalist, V.B. (Very Bad?) even lets loose with some painful screams as if his foot is caught in a bear trap. Netherwards is a little over forty minutes of Australian sounding death doom not made in Australia.

Rating 5/5



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