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Anata at their most technical. - 79%

Andromeda_Unchained, November 29th, 2011

Album number three sees Swedish technical death metal maestro's Anata, at their dizzying technical peak. You could kind of tell they were pushing towards this sound on their previous release Dreams of Death and Dismay, although this time around they really took the proverbial biscuit.

On the one hand, I admire this release as it manages to avoid a lot of the modern technical death metal pitfalls, they don't rely on sweep picking and running through scales to substitute for actual riffs, and when the band do delve into lead guitar work it is all the more memorable. Restraint is a word that should be in every guitarists vocabulary, and as far as lead guitar work goes Fredrik and Andreas show that elusive trait.

However, on the other hand the band show next to no restraint in arrangement this time around. Which serves both positive and negative to the overall sound on Under a Stone with no Inscription. This is fun, energetic, and very nearly over-the-top, yet as a result it sounds a little too schizophrenic places. Opener "Shackled to Guilt" is a perfect example of this, showing the band in crazed hyperactive form.

Fortunately, amongst the mayhem is the Anata I came to love on their debut album. You can hear nods to the melodies that made The Infernal Depths of Hatred so special. Also detected are the bands Swedish routed Morbid Angel riffs, which are utilized to devastating effect in "Entropy Within" which also bashes out some meticulously calculated lead guitars. "Under the Debribs" is another of the more note-worthy offerings here, with some well developed riffs, as well as good use of blasting and pyrotechnical guitar work.

This is the Anata album you could give to the Necrophagist kids, who would be guaranteed to make a mess of their underwear. Hyperactive music, for the instant gratification needs of your modern technical death metal fan. However, considering this is Anata, there is enough weight to the arrangement, as well as depth and to an extent dynamics to keep the thinking man...well thinking. Both instantly accessible, as well as highly worthy of repeated listens. A worthy addition to the Anata backlog, although I really wish they would go back to the style of their debut.