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The Conductor's Departure

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Album Review

Perhaps its only natural that a band that has a PhD in their midst (this being geology master and bassist Henrik Drake, who obviously must really know how to rock!) like Sweden's Anata should specialize in composing ultra-technical, almost scientific death metal. From the very start of their career, the Varberg natives have purposefully skewed the structural conformities and amenable melodies propagated by their nearby neighbors in Gothenburg, and embraced a far more challenging yet ultimately rewarding brand of songwriting complexity — and this is certainly still the case with their fourth album The Conductor's Departure. Assembled from oftentimes oddly shaped building blocks which only start revealing their carefully measured fittings with time and repeat listens, tracks like "Complete Demise," "Cold Heart Forged in Hell" and "Renunciation," gradually ascend into unconventional edifices, as intriguing as they are surprising. Yet, at the same time, they never prove as impenetrable as Nile's murky catacombs of sound, nor as forestalling as Atheist's wacky death-jazz; but rather find a balance akin to bands like Immolation or Morbid Angel by pulling off their instrumental acrobatics with surprisingly athletic grace, despite their innate intricacies. And the closest Anata gets to relative accessibility is during doom-stricken passages found in "I Would Dream of Blood" and the plaintive midsection of "Better Grieved Than Fooled," though one still has to confront an especially dizzying musical spin-cycle in order to get to them. All of which means that Anata's music may not translate to widespread public consumption, but it's tailormade for adventure-seeing extreme music fans who demand some measure of order and attention to songwriting amid their Byzantine excesses.

Biography

Formed: 1993

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The death metal band Anata was formed by Fredrik Schälin (vocals, guitar), Mattias Svensson (guitar), Martin Sjöstrand (bass), and Robert Petersson (drums) in the town of Varberg, Sweden. Although they first began jamming in 1993, it was quite a few years before they got around to recording their first demos, 1995's Bury Forever the Garden of Lie and 1997's Vast Lands of My Infernal Dominion. The latter earned the group a deal with Season of Mist Records, which released their debut album, The Infernal...
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The Conductor's Departure, Anata
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