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Perfect; Cause Nothing Out There Really Is… - 100%

bayern, November 8th, 2018

This was the first Anata album I bumped into and I couldn’t help but marvel at the guys’ creativity and visionary flair, a hard-to-believe stance in the midst of the 00’s when the fan simply wasn’t prepared to be amazed, having already heard all that had to be heard. I certainly tracked down every other effort the guys had put together only to find out that regardless of how good all the three previous instalments were, they couldn’t quite hold a candle to this grandiosity.

Although the Swedish metal scene will largely remain synonymous with the Gothenburg sound, there was another stream that started running parallel to the latter over there, one that was much more engaging and more proficiently executed, requiring greater skills and vision, spearheaded by Theory in Practice and the act here, and later joined by other talents like Spawn of Possession, Sectu, Terminal Function, Soreption, Temisto, etc. A handsome bunch with each representative twisting the technical/progressive death metal perspective in their own way, surprisingly sounding different from each other without at the same time producing anything completely ground-breaking.

No, these outfits didn’t re-invent the wheel; they used what was alreadily available to them, from the dazzling brutality movement (Suffocation, Cryptopsy), Morbid Angel, Atheist, Pestilence, also their compatriots Meshuggah, and created something more or less individualistic, and by all means equally as, if not even more, captivating. Alongside the recently reformed Theory in Practice Anata are the most famous and most celebrated act from this group. They didn’t quite start with a bang like the Theories and Spawn of Possession, but their gradual evolution couldn’t have reached a more logical culmination than this opus here.

What could be considered some kind of a pullback on their earlier repertoire was the adherence to more or less misplaced blast-beating brutality that didn’t always do the trick when stood against the surrounding it infernal, labyrinthine intricacy. Much tighter control has been exercised on such outbursts here as evident from showpieces like “Downward Spiral into Madness” where those are embedded so well into the mazy amorphous structure, never rudely interrupting the supreme surreal walkabouts and the surging attempts at nearly thrashing waywardness all three sides bonded in ever-circling riff-spirals. At times they are given more freedom like on the wayward shredder “Better Grieved than Fooled”, but its more urgent layout gracefully absorbs them, not without the help of oblivious spacey serenities. Mentioning the latter, one will find it really hard to give a better example of their application on a death metal opus, the excellent short instrumental “Children's Laughter” notwithstanding, the band utilizing them in various ways, either as an “aggressive/quieter” alternation (the staccato-prone masterpiece “Renunciation”) throughout, or as a wholesome, uninterrupted, never overlong, passage (the expansive cosmic title-track).

The guys’ uncanny skill at combining perplexity and accessibility, already handsomely exhibited earlier, is in full swing reaching an absolute pinnacle on “Complete Demise” which main riff-motif is a total no-brainer the band modifying it at will, also serving it in the form of an impetuous speedy crescendo in order to fit the shape-shifting, hyper-active nature of this number. A slight extension of it can even be detected on “The Great Juggler”, albeit more nervily applied with more hectic configurations propelling it forward. Yes, quite a few jolts and bounces here, but it can’t be any other way with so much puzzling technicality waiting at every corner “Cold Heart Forged in Hell” and “Disobedience Pays” presenting the ultimate challenge for the headbanger both immaculately arrayed, most dizzying amalgams of spastic riffs and marginally more linear sections that overlap each other in a firm logical fashion, “reaping” quite a few sprained necks along the way, not to mention the merger of all nuances into one simply overwhelming, gorgeous musical pageant that inevitably transcends all genre boundaries at some point, one that the listener wouldn’t even bother defining with any existing terms.

The vocals may pass completely unnoticed on this unparalleled roller-coaster their somewhat muffled semi-shouty baritone making a momentary impact on “I Would Dream of Blood”, the only more introspective proposition which morose doomy, less exuberant execution doesn’t bury the singer under a fountain of dazzling rifforamas. A respite well noted, also very appropriately placed in the middle, that even enhances the extraordinary musicianship on display the guys adhering to less versatility, proving themselves equally as expert at handling less complex templates. A surreal, ephemeral otherworldly listening experience that sums up the lofty aspirations of the mentioned group, this opus was smacked right in the middle of the 00’s, prompting the death metal scene to re-consider any potential switches on auto-pilot which was a very likely option having in mind the excitement and jubilation around the old school’s return to glory, and the instilling “as old school and as formularized as possible” mentality.

On the other hand, stagnation never became fully synonymous with death metal in the new millennium with similar eye-openers like Psycroptic’s “The Sceptre of the Ancients”, Crimson Massacre’s “The Luster of Pandemonium”, and to a lesser extent Necrophagist’s “Epitaph” provided earlier, but a genuinely bold attempt at placing the genre on a higher, more ambitious, more challenging to stand on as well, pedestal was still missing… until our friends here provided it, with all the needful ingredients firmly in place. It would be too farfetched, and also probably not really fair, to blame them for the diversification process that began within the death metal roster very soon after, but traces of this magnum opus can be clearly detected on the finest examples from it like Beheaded Zombie’s “Happiness for All”, Serdce’s “The Alchemy of Harmony”, Disaffected’s “Rebirth”, Morbus Chron’s “Sweven”, Deeds of Flesh’s “Portals to Canaan”, etc.

The “conductors” departed after this one, not yet for good as evident from their reportedly active status, but there’s no sniff of nervous anticipation and anxiety in the air… the fans are still spending their days listening to this last grand instalment of theirs, and it seems as though it may as well suffice for the next few centuries… sorry, years.

The Great Jugglers - 94%

Tofumanchu, January 26th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2006, CD, Wicked World Records

The stone cold blue artwork of Anata's 4th album willfully perverts any preconceptions that maybe Schalin and his cohorts are heading for clinical methodology. Far from it, this is a turbulent, vivid, redolent and delectable offering. Once you accept the fact that it lacks the consistent extremity and pace of their excellent 3rd album, it transpires that this is a classic that rips your central nervous system apart then tenderly kisses your naked brain. It does this in a deceptively stealthy manner, striking like an assassin with a psychology degree.

Schalin is still the innovative overmind of this operation but the psychic link between himself and Allenmark is evolving still, displayed instantly via out-of-phase dual guitars that fade in from the start. This technique is used later during the first track after Andreas shrieks "Into madness!" to create a handsome turn-based harmony (although generally dual vocals are not used enough in this album). After this, the composition is kept fresh by jumbling previous riff orders, shuffling drum patterns and adding layers instead of direct repetition. The super-catchy but intimidating introduction to Complete Demise allows Pettersson to explore evolving drum territory, broken by churning melodic polyrhythms that Anata do so well. This track first employs the twinning of chunky Morbid Angel blast-supported mid-paced riffage to the swift elegance of dark Swedish death metal. Memorable tapping and hammering riffs abound in the third track, but there is a shocking downshift to a laid back interlude that slowly cancels inertial effects using a monolithic chug and wraithlike fastpicked melody.

The fifth and sixth tracks introduce a classic Kreator/Slayer vibe that fuses seamlessly with Anata's natural grandeur and lurching atonal grooving. Disobedience Pays is possibly the most byzantine and fret-wearing of all of Anata's output. It has a gyrating intro and an obscure rhythmic structure that mutates like an engineered adaptive nanovirus creeping and crunching towards dominance. The emotive and organic Children's Laughter is a worthwhile interlude prior to the glorious and warm Renunciation that ends on a soaring timeless melody. Finally, the title track, with its Rutanesque rotten majesty melting into a harmony of bubbling fluid, allows Pettersson and Drake to shed all constraints and allow their individuality to craft new dimensions around common intersection points rather than merely add weight to proceedings.

Affection for this album grows with every listen, as details crystallise and grow within the subconscious to form gems of power and polyphony. The sound and production is justifiably magnificent for this elite act who deserve to be held up as an example of what is great and good about the death metal genre.

[originally written for Diabolical Conquest webzine]

Tech-death done right - 97%

AlphaSignalFifteen, November 5th, 2008

While only the most cynical metalhead could deny the death scene is flourishing right now, there's no doubt that for every great tech-death act out there, there are ten more frustratingly mediocre Psycroptic wannabes boasting overly saturated distortion pedals and a severe lack of any real songwriting ability; plus, with the malignant 'core' virus spreading far and wide, no-one is safe, regardless of their legacy or stature in the metal world (naming no names, Cryptopsy).

It's refreshing then to come across a band that, rather than participate in this futile competition of "fastest-blasts-and-all-the-sweeps-you-can-shake-a-spiky-logo-at" rejects convention and plays to their own vision and strengths. Anata just happens to be such a band. If you haven't heard them before, think a more refined, focused Spawn of Possession and you've at least got some sort of idea, although, quite honestly, there isn't really a description I could give that would fairly convey their unique approach to death metal.

They're very technical (although never just for the sake of it)- time and key signatures, tempo and rhythms constantly shift, but there's an underlying cohesiveness. Songwriter Fredrik Schalin seems to love venturing outside conventional scales and explore more chromatic territory- the result is that the album benefits from a range of moods and atmospheres. There's some really strong guitar melodies on show here- they just all sound as if they were warped by a schizophrenic. The arrangements are excellent- the ideas grow and develop and each track stands up on its own as an accomplished piece. The production is also worth noting; the drums are full, yet tight and punchy, the vocals are tastefully produced and sit well in the mix. The bass manages to play a main part in the madness, being audible for the whole album without ever muddying the bottom-end and the mix makes full panoramic use of the guitars, pushing them to their frenzied potential.

The appropriately titled opener 'Downward Spiral Into Madness' charges along throwing guitar and vocal trade-offs left, right and centre. 'Complete Demise' goes straight for the jugular with its bulldozer main riff while 'Better Grieved Than Fooled' contains the most gracious guitar melodies this side of Gothenburg.

Stand-out track 'The Great Juggler' shows the band's musicianship on top form, packing groove and drum flourishes galore. 'Cold Heart Forged In Hell' is a progressive death metal masterpiece, from the eerie opening guitar lines through an intricate labrynth of dizzying passages.

Anata prove that, whilst happiest boggling heads, they can also bring enough force to cave them in, with the bludgeoning, doomy-as-fuck 'I Would Dream of Blood'. 'Children's Laughter' is a great example of this album's expert crafting and masterful execution- the principle of a short, mellow iterlude on a death metal record is nothing new; but where, for most bands it serves as either a couple of minutes of filler, or a shallow attempt to add some contrast to the album, here it becomes an essential part of the overall package. Soaring melodies and spacious atmospherics combine to lift the record to a new dimension before everything is plunged back into chaos by the truly sinister opening riff of 'Renunciate'.

The album is brought to a grand finale with the title track; riffs that most guitarists would give a left bollock for are traded off every few bars, the track snaking this way and that before returning to the dark, disturbing pit it emerged from.

Aside from the strength of the musicianship and songwriting (not to mention the depth and scope) of this release, I think what sets it furthest apart from the legions of uninspired 'Necryptic' tech bands out there is its ethos. It refuses to pander, or beg for you to like it. You have to accept and understand its twisted, psychotic take on death metal before it will reveal itself fully. And if you don't, then that's your loss.

THE album of 2006 - 100%

quacktheripper, November 18th, 2007

Technical or progressive music often has a way of falling prey to its own pretensions, of being sucked into the inflated egos of the musicians practitioning such form of music. There are many examples of such bands where the sum of the parts has ended up being far lesser than the parts themselves. case in point: every Dream Theater album after Metropolis:Scenes From a Memory or mercurial Dutch death metal band Pestilence's last studio album Spheres or Athiest's disastrous foray into the murky realm of death-metal-by-way-of-jazz wankery on Elements. Technicality in death metal is even more iffy, with lapses ranging from a near total lack of acknowledgement to some pioneers ( I could scream my lungs hoarse about Hellwitch and I'm sure most of you would go "Hell who??") to appliance of what is a rather elite adjective to third grade rejects of the putrid underbelly of death metal (I'm sure all of us have seen "Fisted By Maggots play fast,technical, brutal, skullfucking YAAAAARGGHHH death metal" proclamations) and nearly all NYDM (yes you, Suffocation. Why do people call your music "technical"?).

It looks like a dismal scenario (well, USDM post 1996 mostly has been) but take heart, young padawan. Hope still shines, albeit on another continent. My love for Swedish metal is quite well documented (ask for a copy at your unfriendly local internet forum.You know you want to.) and today we travel back to this land to worship at the altar of ostensibly the best technical death metal band in the world today, Anata (at which point, may I remind skeptics who are wondering "Sweden??Tech DM?" that Sweden also plays home to the super awesome Spawn Of Possession and up-and-coming tech DM marauderers, The Shattering and Deviant). Anata has, since the release of their debut full length The Infernal Depths Of Hatred back in '98 continually pushed the limits of their music to mind-numbingly brilliant levels.

Anata's 4th full length studio outing, The Conductor's Departure is a magnificent excursion into the creative dementia of this Varberg quartet. I say dementia because Anata, since inception, have lived and played in a mad, mad world of their own, with rules set by noone else. The twin guitars of Frederik Schalin (vocals, lead/rhythm guitars) and Andreas Allenmark (lead/rhythm guitar, backing vocals) twist and weave in labyrithine sinuosity, seemingly in different directions but melding to create an exquisite harmony of morbidity and melody. Hendrik Drake's bass provides the perfect foil to the lead pair, ducking in and out of the line, sometimes substantiating, sometimes challenging the rhythm lines. Conny Pettersson completes the musical carnage, his drum patterns performing with near vulgar precision the unenviable task of having to play timekeeper to two of the most deranged riffmen in music today.

Anata recognize the importance of having a strong album opener and the result is Downward Spiral Into Madness, a positively raging mother of a song. Kicking off with dual guitars, both blazing in on veritably different planes, yet culminating in perfect harmony onto a riff that drops the metaphorical ton of bricks on your head and crushes you into submission. Yet, this song is actually be the closest that Anata get to a conventional structure on the album. What follows is 50-odd minutes of sheer technical death metal orgasm. Complete Demise, unlike its predecessor, wastes no time in pummelling your cranial contents into forced retirement. It's the song that most mirrors Anata's previous effort, Under A Stone With No Inscription in terms of mixing enthralling melody and savage brutality into a cocktail of musical annihilation. Next, it's time to play a bit of "spot that riff" on Better Grieved Than Fooled. The intro riff is an extension of the post-breakdown riff (around the 1 and a half to 2 minute mark) on Faith,Hope, Self-Deception from their 2nd (and in my not so humble opinion, their finest) album Dreams Of Death and Dismay. The song also has one of the most haunting breakdowns in recent memory, going from a riff hanging straight from the jugular to a droning, positively evil rhythm and a superbly executed solo. The 4th song is my personal pick for song of the album, The Great Juggler. This song represents everything which makes Anata's songwriting stellar. For most bands, the line between brutality and melody is a firm one, both being treated almost universally as mutually exclusive events (damn you, didn't you learn your probability theory, philistine?), the existence of one almost certainly precluding the chances of occurrence of the othaer. However, Anata operate under no such constraints. They break, nay, RAVAGE, that line with disdain, blending skullcrushing, barbarian rhythm lines with intricately layered melody and more importantly, make it work without sounding contrived. A lesson to be learned for many bands, perhaps, that brutality cannot be forced or pre-concieved. It must be innate, as a logical outcome of the songwriting process than a deliberate will to achieve such ends. The title track is a grandiose effort, alternating between near mournful contemplation and breakneck riffage. There aren't as many solos as one would expect from a band with capabilities as impressive as Anata, but one hardly notices the dearth of solos in the presence of riffs as resplendent in dexterity as are in abundance here.

The Conductor's Departure and Anata in general hardly invoke a reference point and I doubt that you will see any bands trying to replicate Anata's sound either. This album is probably the most searing, yet unpretentious piece of technical music you'll get to listen to in a while. And alas, I am fresh out of superlatives. Buy or die!

Originally written for [url]http://www.kvltsite.com[/url]

Sweden's finest Tech Death Metal - 99%

Invaginator, June 16th, 2007

When you think about Technical Death Metal, to your mind first get the thoughts of Necrophagist, Spawn Of Possession or Beneath the Massacre, but if you don't know Anata, then start collecting CD's, 'cause Anata is one of the better bands in Technical Death Metal these days. They completely succeed in combining the influence of Morbid Angel with passion for classical influences and fast Swedish Death Metal, non of the Melodic Goethenburg style. I was fascinated at first listening through this release; it simply blew me away, just as Necrophagist did. Although using complex patterns and breakdowns in their arrangements, Anata still impress with the marvellous sound of their Death Metal. There is no way you can get lost in the amounts of genuine chords and drum work. Only more and more fascinated by the harmonies the band creates with their play.

Like I said before, Anata is obviously influenced by Morbid Angel, like most bands in Death Metal, but unlike the majority of them, Anata tends to provide a sound of their own, developed from the influence of Morbid Angel. All that I ever missed in Morbid Angel, I find done better and more efficient and incredibly proficient in Anata's 'The Conductor's Departure', which just bursts with creative melodies and still keeps hard riff textures. All songs on 'The Conductor's Departure' have a sad. almost grieving undertone, fro the lyrics are mostly about grieving, mourning and love struggles, but Anata never let go of brutality. The clean and over the top perfect production on this release leaves no place for complaining or unsatisfied listeners. It really seems that Earache found a great band to replace all the other fantastic bands that left Earache years ago.

My biggest compliments go to the guitarists, Fredrik Schälin and Andreas Allenmark, extremely talented and skilled, the best for this job, and also the drummer Conny Pettersson. His drum work is unbelievable, he jumps from blastings to slow strokes, and plays with sucha feeling, that Pete Sandoval is a lumberjack compared to him. And this is what makes this band, and especially this release genuine - feeling and passion in creating such crushing and wonderful music. You are simply forced to listen through the whole release, and repeat this at least ten times a day, until you can recall every riff and drum beat from the CD. And even then you will state that this is more than just a regular release, but a definite release. I can't say that I doubt Anata will be able to do better than this another time, but they will have to work harder to surprise with something in the vein of a perfect release.

One of the highlights of 2006 - 95%

asymmetricist, March 14th, 2007

The immediate stimulus to write this review was provided by the fact that some people have seen fit to give this a fairly low score, which is only further proof that genius is not appreciated by all. What's special about Anata is that they can't really be compared to other bands; there are plenty of blast beats, yes, and plenty of melodies too, but the songs don't sound at all like the scores of blasting or melodic bands that have flooded the death metal scene. Perhaps it's because the blast sections often have very melodic guitar work going on, or that the more obvious melodies are usually somewhat angular and go unusual places that are different to the usual melodeath progressions -at any rate, we're dealing with a genuinely unique album here.

Though I'm not going to go through all the songs, every song is different and has a character of its own. That's pretty rare in death metal today, and something that was lacking even in other good 2006 releases like Spawn of Possession's "Noctambulant". Whether it's the hocketing guitars on "Downward Spiral Into Madness", the shifts between asymmetrical grooves, unstoppable speed and emotionality in "The Great Juggler" or the slightly menacing introversion of the short instrumental "Children's Laughter", leading into the lyrical frenzy of "Renunciation" - every song is unique and rich in ideas and musicianship. The members of the band all stand out as masters of their craft, but the songs are no means written as technical exhibitions. In fact, they don't sound much like what's generally considered "technical" in death metal these days. They show the greatest taste, and everything that happens is in the interest of the songs, not the show. And the production really supports that, giving the guitars and bass a sound that is full and heavy, but refined enough to hear details - of which the bass has more than normal, with parts that are actually composed in their own right, rather than just doubling the guitars. And the drum sound is so punchy, but with real body, not the sharp clicking that's so common. They sound organic, but are as incisive as anything. And Conny Pettersson does a superb job, of course, adding plenty of intricacies here and there that lift his performance far above that of a mere death metal beat machine. The vocals are perhaps the only unexceptional thing here, but I don't have a problem with Schälin's voice at all. It's not very varied, but then it's not dominant here - in fact in "Better Grieved Than Fooled" we get a purely instrumental section of a couple of minutes, something that's not exactly standard practice.

So to conclude: this is a truly unique album that defies categorisation and displays the highest level of musicianship not simply in the sense of technical dexterity, but rather in compositional refinement, taste and imagination.

Should be Awesome - But Isn't - 50%

demonomania, March 2nd, 2007

This album has the potential for greatness - everyone from Anata is obviously very talented. No, I take that back, they need a new vocalist ASAP. Seriously, you guys are from Sweden, there is probably a dude who can do death grunts waiting at the local bus stop, shopping at the nearest grocery store, or asleep on the street outside your house. Anata - go talk to these growlers, get their help! Or hey, even get a celebrity Swedeath growler to be on your next album. It will guaranteedly boost sales. How about Lindberg? He'll be in ANY band. Or, for some variety in a melodic technical death metal band, try some fucking evil vocals. Give Sandstrom a call, he might be willing to sing and would give some satanic power to your lyrics.

Anyway, enough about the vocals. Suffice to say, they are no good. I've already complained about this on "Under A Stone..." Hell, they even use less of the high-pitched vocals that another bandmember contributed, which at least made the songs more listenable - when they do use him, like on "Downward Spiral Into Madness," the song is ten times better just from a little bit of gremlin vox in the chorus! Ok, I said enough about the vocals.

It does seem that while each band member displays formidable prowess, especially the drummer, Anata may be caught up in the idea of making their music "technical" and forgetting to make it "memorable." Not that there are not some great songs on here, like "Downward Spiral...," "I Would Dream..." and "A Cold Heart.." Hey, looking at the titles now, why are so many of them so long? Not to bring up Incantation again, but they sound like something off of "The Forsaken Mourning of Angelic Anguish." Too long song titles are occasionally cool, but more often silly.

Ok, now I'm being picky. What it comes down to is that they have failed to write an album full of interesting songs, and while there are highlights, great sections, and some amazing time changes, riffs, drum fills, etc - it just doesn't add up to a whole. "The Conductor's Departure" becomes a fitting title - it was as if the person overseeing the musicians stepped out and left the players to do whatever they wanted - there's no oversight, no grand scheme behind it all.

But I still like Anata, and I think if they wrote a concept album or something with a few more hooks and a new singer, they'd make something incredible. Till then, "The Conductor.." has its highlights, but overall is not an engaging listen.

Album Noir! - 92%

MikeyC, February 10th, 2007

Is it just me, or does this album feel really dark? If this album was a film, it would be a dark film, or film noir. As it is, if it were a film, it would be pale in comparison to this album.

To be honest, when I bought this album, I didn’t have any high hopes for it. I had heard the first track, “Downward Spiral Into Madness”, and thought it was okay, but nothing great. I saw the album, thought “oh, what the hell?”, and bought it. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised at what I heard.

So, what makes this album portray its darkness? Probably the guitars. Anyone who knows anything about death metal, or metal in general, would know that the guitars are (mostly) deep and crushing. While there are some deeper notes scattered throughout, they aren’t limited to that, keeping the listener intrigued by adding high chords everywhere. There are two guitarists, and they both play very well. I might add that an untrained ear wouldn’t distinguish what guitar is playing what riff, as they both mold together in a way that is separate from their other metal counterparts. This gives the music an extra dimension, and keeps the album unique from other death metal releases.

The vocals are another reason of the darkness. They aren’t taking the limelight by any means. In fact, they are almost obscured by the atmosphere of the music. This is definitely not a bad thing, because his growling, throaty vocals are distinguishable, but not overpowering. Fredrik’s vocals really fit in with the music, too, leaving more darkness and emptiness in the atmosphere.

The drumming…superb. What more can I say? This guy is awesome behind the kit. The short instrumental “Children’s Laughter” brings out the best in his double-bass work, and he pulls it off with perfection. His drumming is great all over the album.

No other song on the album can match track 3, “Better Grieved Than Fooled”. It is the best track here, and probably in the top 20 tracks I’ve heard. Why? Two reasons. One: between 1:49 and 5:11 is just instrumental. No vocals. The music starts off slow and simple and ends with the main riff of the song. I noticed it the first time I heard it, and was amazed/surprised, which brings me to the next reason. Two: it’s completely unpredictable. How many bands do something like that? Not many. Music needs to be unpredictable like this so there’s a reason to replay it.

Well, I’ve had my opinion, but don’t just read it…go out and buy it! If you want death metal with a difference, check this out. But even everyone else can get into it, as it’s just a really great, dark album.

Best tracks: Better Grieved Than Fooled, I Would Dream Of Blood, The Conductor’s Departure.

Beautifully Brutal - 100%

HeySharpshooter, November 10th, 2006

With the rise in popularity of such acts as Necrophagist, Cryptopsy, and Spawn of Possession, Technical Death Metal has become the big new Underground buzz. This has also lead to a much broader fan base for Death Metal, as fans of extremely technical Metalcore(for lack of a better label) bands such as Between the Buried and Me, Psyopus, and Into the Moat are jumping on. Due to these circumstances, many Underground treasures are coming into light. One of these bands is Anata. This four-piece powerhouse has gone mostly over-looked over the years, even though the quality of their work has been far superior to many of thier peers. But with The Conductors Departure, Anata are ready to step into the limelight and show everyone what Technical DM is all about.

The first thing I noticed about this album is its beautiful, solemn artwork; The soft blue colors, the bands expertly crafted logo, the original art design. It may only be a small piece of the package, but its nice that the band went out of their way to make such awesome cover art. And whats even more impressive is how the artwork reflect the feeling of the music.

Anata's brand of dark, epic DM is the thing of subtle beauty. Its impossible technicality doesn't jump out at you with wankery or lots of speed; its slow but not pondering, beautiful and epic without any cheesiness. Guitarists Fredrik Schälin and Andreas Allenmark, with incedible skill and song writing, have crafted musical tour de forces, each with a sickiningly sad undertone. Of course the boys of Anata are unafraid of brutality; the songs on The Conductors Departure have their fast, heavy moments to keep things energized, but these parts a less fullfilling than the more somber moments. Bassist Andreas Allenmark is also a machine, slamming away at his bass, and adding wonderful low end elements to every part of the song. Drummer Conny Pettersson will not jump out at many as a first-class drummer, but his drumming is perfect for the album. Schälin and Allenmark also provide the vocals, and both do very well, and although they are not the most vicious or brutal lead men, their hurt, dark growls and screams work perfectly with the music.

In the past, I have complained about bands having too clean of production. However, I do believe some bands need clean production, and Anata are one of those bands. The production on The Conductors Departure is fairly clean, which is great for a band like Anata. However, the sweeps are low, and the bass production could use some work. This doesnt take much away from the bands music, but it is worth mentioning.

I must also tip my hat to Schälin for the poetry of the lyrics on The Conductors Departure. Not many DM bands have the balls(or the skills) to write songs about such subjects as depression, lost love, and other "emotional" things. Schälin is a poet, and it reflects on the album. Even the title of the album has a wonderful poetic ring to it, and a real meaning. I cant find the fucking CD booklet right now, but when I do, I will write an example.

I have no complaints about this album at all. Its a true work of art, a masterpiece of not only DM, but of music as a whole. I do suggest the band add some clean singing, but other than that, nothing is missing. Hopefully, Anata will recieve some the attention they so rightly deserve.

For those of you who have yet to experience Anata, I suggest you get moving. This is a must have for all fans of Extreme Music.

Nothing Special - 56%

GuntherTheUndying, October 10th, 2006

Anata originally captured my attention after I heard some songs from "Under A Stone With No Inscription." The music on that album was technical, brutal and exciting. This was a major plus for me since my love for technical death metal is always expanding and Anata seemed like a band that would never bore me, but I was wrong. I heard some tracks from Anata's 2006 album, "The Conductor's Departure," and I became a bit skeptical because these song seemed to lack any form of energy . Sure it was technical and brutal, but something just made it seem boring. After getting a copy of the album, I found that "The Conductor's Departure" is an album that is creative and different, yet somewhat boring and uninteresting.

Anata is properly labeled a technical death metal band because of their complex musical abilities, and "The Conductor's Departure" operates in that same fashion. There are some moments when guitar players Fredrik Schälin and Andreas Allenmark shred like crazy. "Downward Sprial Into Madness" and "The Great Juggler" show the technical side of Anata's riffs due to their speed and swift note changes. This album also has Anata tampering with melodic riffs on some of the other tracks, yet they still manage to keep their technical edge. The riffs seem a bit boring sometimes, but the guitar work is pretty decent overall. Conny Pettersson's drumming is the highlight of this album. Pettersson is always drumming technical patterns and he never lets down on his drum attack.

Even though “The Conductor’s Departure” has its positive aspects, there are some negative points that drag the album down. The biggest mistake made on this album is the production. Production on a typical metal album should sound like the band is playing right in front of you, but this isn’t the case on “The Conductor’s Departure.” Instead of a clear and crisp sound, the production is very muddy and sounds a bit faint. Another complication that infects this album is the vocal work. Schälin’s vocals don’t match up to his stellar guitar show. His vocals sound rough and a bit forced. Schälin’s voice sounds unclear throughout most of the album, but this is mainly because of the muddy production. His vocal patterns seem to be a bit messed up too. The vocal patterns tend to be placed in rough areas that sound like that don't fit the music. Schälin’s vocals don’t completely suck, they just don't match Anata’s musical style in any proper form.

I did my best to like this album, but it just doesn't seem to be anything special. I really didn't find "The Conductor's Departure" interesting, but it isn't something I'll be disowning any time soon. If you're considering entering the world of Anata, you should start with "Under A Stone With No Inscription" and get used to their sound before trying out "The Conductor's Departure."

This review was orginally written for: www.Thrashpit.com

Chaos and harmony...a great balance. - 89%

Spawnhorde, September 17th, 2006

This is Anata's fourth full-length album, following their 2004 disc Under A Stone With No Inscription, which was released on the same label as this one. Musically, I find this to be the best since their fantastic debut, The Infernal Depths Of Hatred, finding a good balance between heartfelt, passionate, unique melodic lines and splintering technicality. The drumming is fantastic, their best drum production ever, by far. Petersson's kit is fully utilized, with a fantastic array of toms and cymbals crashing left and right (see crushing opener "Downward Spiral Into Madness" and deviously quiet-sounding mid-album intro track "Children's Laughter" for examples of his mastery over the drums). The riffs alternate from brutal, percussive death metal riffs to the unique melodic sections Anata has been known to utilize at least once per song ever since their debut. Their sense of harmony is nearly unparalleled, they leave "shredders" in the dust with their alternating lead style and perfectly poignant, epic riff structures. This is when the album truly shines. The opener contains a melodic guitar part, for instance, where the left speaker/headphone is playing one line and the right is playing a fugue-type deal at a different time signature so the result is both beautiful and confusing, representing a great deal of the range of emotions I tend to get from this album, sometimes all at once! It really has to be heard to be believed. The album alternates from brutal and fast paced ("Complete Demise" and "A Cold Heart Forged In Hell") to more melodic and precise (just listen to the technicality at mid-paced displayed in "The Great Juggler"!). The final solo in the album, on the epic, marching title track is unbelievably fantastic. This album has grown on me a lot. Definitely check it out if you're into modern technical death metal or just something fresh and new. Anata plays with a full deck of surprises.

Originally written for RateYourMusic.com.