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Anodyne is a New York-based hardcore band specializing in dense, brutal, cryptic, and murky sludge metal with flashes of dark punk and noisy ambience, delivered with all of the sonic subtlety of an avalanche. Comparable to Deadguy, Bloodlet, and Neurosis, Anodyne's thick crunch and cathartic heaviness is astounding. Anodyne originated in Boston in July 1997 around the core of imposing vocalist/guitarist Mike Hill and drummer Thos Niles. Influenced by Black Flag and heavy metal, the two weren't serious about doing the project as a full-on band until bassist Mike Davis and guitarist/vocalist Ayal Naor came along. As a four-piece, Anodyne soon recorded a demo at Salad Days studios. Davis then left the band and was replaced by Josh Scott. Three of the demo tracks, plus a live song, were compiled as a 7" single and released by Reproductive Records. In 1999, Niles left the group. Anodyne went through a series of short-term drummers until Mike Swanson joined up shortly before the recording of the band's Quiet Wars EP. After performing throughout the Northeast in support of the EP, Anodyne said goodbye to both Swanson and Naor, the latter concentrating on his 27 project with his wife. Hill and Scott, having relocated to N.Y.C., pushed forward with some assistance from Burnt by the Sun drummer Dave Witte, who recorded a new 7" with the band, Red Was Her Favorite Color, which was released by Happy Couples Never Last and includes a reinterpretation of Charles Manson's "Look at Your Game Girl." Witte also stuck around long enough to record tracks for a split single with Cleveland's Keelhaul. Joel Stallings then joined Anodyne as their permanent drummer. With the lineup now solidified, Anodyne recorded material in 2001 for both the Berkowitz 7" on Alone and their debut full-length album, The Outer Dark, which was released in November 2001 by Escape Artist. ~ Ryan J. Downey