Anata - Under A Stone With No Inscription

posted by Greg, Wednesday June 2, 2004 @ 11:25:28 AM

Artist: Anata (
Album: Under A Stone With No Inscription
Release Date: February 24th, 2004
Label: Wicked World (Earache)

Rating: 9/10

Recommended Tracks: Shackled To Guilt, Sewerages of The Mind, Any Kind Of Magic Or Miracle

Quick! What would you get if you tossed Nile, Meshuggah, Dream Theater, and Cephalic Carnage into a blender? Besides getting a bloody, chunky mess, you'd get something that sounds a lot like the Swedish technical death metal/grindcore outfit Anata. I use the term "grindcore" loosely (there aren't any four second songs on this album, sorry), as it's more of a reflection on how the songs often start and stop on a dime within their 3-4 minute lengths, switching riff lines and time signatures without missing a beat while blowing your mind at how awesome the sound is the entire time.

While the trend among grindcore bands the past few years has been to incorporate heavy metal grooves into their spastic and all over the map sounds, very few bands are talented enough to be a metal band first and foremost while incorporating the complex sound shifts associated with grindcore. Anata pull this off flawlessly throughout the entire album, as within the first thirty seconds of the opening track "Shackled To Guilt" there are three separate start/stop drum patterns and guitar leads to let you know you're in for a wild ride. The overall sound is very refreshing, especially when paired up against the glut of all the In Flames-style cookie cutter Swedish bands that are out right now. This is outstandingly executed technical death metal that will appeal to fans of every musical genre of metal.

You black metal corpse paint kids want furious blast beats? Check. You grindcore weirdos want songs that start, stop, and crash into a fiery sonic explosion all over your ears? Check. You guys that are in to prog-rock guitar wanking want soaring and diving solos set against spectacular drum fills? Check. You technical death metal elitists want seemingly impossible hammer-on and finger-tapped speed riffs? Check. Should you buy this album if you are in any way a fan of heavy metal music? Check.

About the only problem that this album runs into is that much like other technical death metal bands, after a while the music starts to sound tiring, as if they are putting on a guitar clinic rather than focusing on blowing your ears out. For all their perfectly timed guitar mastery it can be a bit much for those of you who don't really "get" death metal, as it will all sound the same to you after about the 4th song.

For that to happen though, you'd have to listen to this album non-stop for about a thousand times on repeat before it begins to bother you as just a tiny bit repetitive. In fact, I think I'm gonna go do that right now just to make sure I got the number right. This is one of the best metal albums to be released so far in 2004, and leaves me excited at the prospect of what kind of music these guys have left in them for the future.

- Greg

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