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Under a Stone With No Inscription

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Album Review

Considering how many technical hardcore/noisecore bands have drawn from death metal (e.g., Converge, Dillinger Escape Plan, the Locust), relatively few bands have gone in the other direction — that is, starting with death metal and incorporating the frantic complexity of the noisecore bands. Anata, though, seems to be influenced by such developments on their debut album for Earache subsidiary Wicked World, Under a Stone With No Inscription. This is extraordinarily agile, technically accomplished death metal that reaches beyond the clichés of the genre, and it sounds refreshing amid the glut of similar-sounding death metal bands clogging the underground circa the early 2000s with tired impersonations of bands such as Morbid Angel, Suffocation, or At the Gates. Anata's standout traits are incredibly fast, with dexterous drumming and precise, interlocking dual-guitar complexity. The guitar parts are full of difficult hammer-ons and finger-tapped riffs, and the two guitarists seldom play the same line at the same time. It is impressive. But for all their instrumental wizardry, Anata ultimately run into the same problem that Cephalic Carnage and post-None So Vile Cryptopsy have run into, which is that their flawless execution starts to sound clinical and tiring after a while. After all, this is death metal, not Dream Theater or the Guitar Institute of Technology, and it calls for a little more savagery and less perfection. The foundation is set for Anata to do something really great, though, provided they don't get stuck in the dead end of technique obsession.


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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Under a Stone With No Inscription, Anata
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