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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.