Beyond All Light
Atmospheric Black/Death Metal
American atmospheric black metal band Anagnorisis this year returns after more than 5 years with their sophomore full length album, Beyond All Light, and what a release this is!
Opening track Eulerian Path does not seem like much at first, but soon enough one is quickly engulfed in a thick and heavy, yet somewhat spacey atmosphere, and one is quickly reminded of the atmospherics and ambience of bands such as Burzum and Walknut, with the epic and rather folkish feel that is emanated. But as soon as one expects this to simply be an easy-listening, atmospheric post-black metal release, Anagnorisis throws all such expectations out with the sudden onslaught of aggressive drumming of Chris and that death metal inspired riffing of Zak.
With that combination of such aggressive elements and the spacey sound, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to bands such as Pseudogod with that spacey atmosphere that they have incorporated into their music, though obviously with Anagnorisis, they have included a much heavier black metal sound. The trem-picked riffs and the melodic leads that guitarist Zak even brings about some depressive undertones, with the bleakness and desolation reinforced by the atmospheric elements of Anagnorisis, especially on Death Mimics Life. The thing that stood out personally was the drumming of Chris, with his quick and precise hits helping to bring out the aggression in the band’s music.
This atmospheric aspect of the band, as would already be obvious from the start, is one of the key elements of Anagnorisis‘ craft, and apart from the rhythm guitars and the keyboards setting the ambience and the tone for the music, the band also cleverly uses instruments such as mandolins, violins and saxophones to further reinforce the emotional aspects of Beyond All Light. The saxophone on This Cursed Blood on instance provides some moments of chaos and disruption, messing with the listener’s head. The tracks on Beyond All Light are also all pretty long, with songs like Death Mimics Life running up to 10 minutes, allowing for the listener to really absorb the atmosphere of the masterpiece of Anagnorisis. Furthermore, the band displays their songwriting abilities with songs like these, with the numerous different passages and influences that are included on a single track, with not a single wasted moment on the album despite the rather long run time.
One who knows my musical preferences would know by now how much I dislike American black metal. But with releases such as Beyond All Light and bands like Anagnorisis, I can’t help but agree that things seem to be looking up for the genre in America, and I for one would definitely keep my eyes and ears out for bands like Anagnorisis, Shroud of Despondency and Shadows in the Crypt in the coming years.