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To my mind this CD is great depressive black metal release (maybe the greatest, I can say). I've listened to many DBM groups, 'cause I really enjoy this style, its depressive (funeral and even suicidal in some moments) mood, shrieking mad vocals, special atmospheric sound. So, DBM is very divergent style of extreme music. It can sound like Judas Iscariot or Nachtmystium, Nortt or Armagedda, Shining or Mutilation.
But style that is played by Anhedonia was new and original for me. I was excited, maybe even amazed, when I listened to "Der Schrei Der Natur". The whole album keeps you in suspense. So, not only Anhedonian style is different - the musical landscape changes from song to song. There are interesting "Intro" and "Outro" with choral superposed singing, protracted, but not boring "Lingering I" and "Höstkänslor", melancholic, sometimes aggressive and malicious "Dies Irae" and "Nattvardsgästerna". And "Omnes Una Manet Nox" is the best song from this inimitable, brilliant depressive album.
Here, I want to describe the Hörgr's style of playing music. Of course, drums on "Der Schrei Der Natur" are splendid.There is a right combination of blast beats and usual apathetic slow drums. But the best thing about this album is incredible use of double plates in songs. Magnificent, superb playing!!! Guitars are also unusual and not bad at all. They are calm, quiet, clear, and with excellent atmospheric sounding. What is concerning vocals. They are not common BM vocals. Usually DBM groups use ordinary screaming or inhale, but Hörgr sings with some kind of cloak, caw vocals. So, that's brilliant.
What can I say about lyrical themes? They are partially based on Satanism (not on Anti-Christianity!, there's a big difference between Satanism and Anti-Christianity), and, of course, on depression and misanthropy, because Anhedonia is DBM. Lyrical themes are the first and only usual thing in Anhedonia.
In the long run, I could call "Der Schrei Der Natur" masterpiece. That means I'm impatiently waiting for the next full-length from Anhedonia.
In an album that is charged with ambiguity and individuality, Swedish black metal project, Anhedonia revives the more traditional sounds of a genre that seems to be constantly evolving. While most Scandinavian black metal bands are heavily compared (and contrasted) with their predecessors, Anhedonia’s material is uniquely different. Recognised for its raw sound, occult-riddled themes and often eerie vocal accompaniment, Anhedonia avoids the generic conventions of black metal and stems into an innovative and new musical soundscape.
Moving through a series of abstract compositions Der Schrei der Natur is a truly engaging album that not only explores the darker, more provocative sides of music but does so with faultless consistency. Produced, written and performed by the projects only member, Alloces, the musicianship expressed in this debut album is hugely enjoyable. Musically, the album ranges through moments of minimalism and technicality meaning the album never becomes flat or simplistic.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of the album is the vocals – initially the listener would probably be puzzled at the unusually low volume attributed to them throughout the songs. And because they are hugely indecipherable and the booklet contains no lyrics, the vocals become just another ambiguous aspect of the accompanying music. While many people enjoy being able to understand the artists intended messages within a song, I find the lack of lyrics and the minimal volume given to the vocals hugely commendable. Instead of listeners merely reading what is being sung, they are encouraged to interpret the song in their own manner placing their own thoughts, feelings and biases into the music. Ambiguity is not something many artists take the time to incorporate into their music and, despite the simplicity of such an idea; it is a strangely refreshing way to listen to an album.
Some of the most notable tracks on the album include Höstkänslor, Dies Irae and Nattvardsgästerna which have a combined duration of just under 30 minutes. Starting with a prolonged shriek, Dies Irae is arguably the most ‘evil’ sounding track, combining a wealth of double bass kicks and eerie, echoed vocals the track is an eccentric mix of sounds and rhythm. Not hugely technical, the song uses a surreal simplicity to hook in its listener – most notably through the choice of vocals. Ranging from one extreme to the other, the vocals become the central instrument in this song and are (naturally) manipulated so an engaging continuity can exist as the song progresses.
Another highly impressionable song (and my personal favourite on the album) is Nattvardsgästerna. While this track is also driven by the diversity of the vocals, it is the drumming that not only stands out, but proves to be the best thing about the track. Fading in with the sound of blast beats, Nattvardsgästerna cascades into a slow, repetitive guitar riff that changes as smoothly as it began. Ending with the sound of blast beats and nothing more, the song proves to be perfectly situated towards the end of the album’s track list. Like the end of a dramatic film, the track list is just as important as the music itself with the concluding track gently sealing off the mood of the album. Finishing, most appropriately, with the echoing sounds of tenors and baritones, Der Shrei Der Natur excels in maintaining both its musically eerie tone and its lyrical ambiguity.
Where do I start with this release. I've seen this album and Anhedonia in general described as "depressive" black metal, and whilst I do understand why, I'm more inclined to refer to Anhedonia as black metal with touches from just about every subgenre of black metal in existence. This album ranges in a multitude of ways, from the vocals that shift between Silencer like wails and typical black metal screeches, the drums which switch between Burzum-esque minimalism to the upper extremes of double kicks.
The album booklet comes with no lyrics contained, and 99% of the time, all of the vocals are indecipherable; leaving the listener to interpret the vocals as simply a musical creation/addition to the music. This coupled with the production of the songs, creates quite a mysterious atmosphere and whilst openly making clear the feelings expressed, still leaves room for personal interpretation of the music and vocals/lyrics.
The only reason this album doesn't receieve 100% from me is because the production seems to change slightly between songs, and whilst I don't usually care for production - this is a black metal album afterall - the feeling and power of the songs is slightly diminished with constant changes between songs. I can't name specific stand out tracks for they are all special in their own way, and all have subtle hints of genius to them, but the last few minutes of Omnes Una Manet Nox (6:50 and onwards) and the last few minutes of Höstkänslor are worth noting.