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  #91  
Old 08-22-2011, 05:05 AM
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7. Anata - Dreams of Death and Dismay


Ever since Anata bursted onto the scene with their rough but powerful debut, "The Infernal Depths of Hatred", they have made legends out of themselves in the metal underground with their unique, progressive, and passionate take on technical death metal. With their sophomore effort, "Dreams of Death and Dismay", Anata make their stand as a standout band in technical death metal.

This album takes the melodic edge of the previous album, and adds a more progressive spin on it, with increased technicality and a wide variety of tempos. The songs themselves are never boring, and you can tell they really put a lot of thought and emotion into the compositions and where everything should go. One thing that separates this record from their other albums is the crunchy guitar tone. As opposed to the more fluid sound they would later pursue, this album finds Anata using a bit more of a darker, more buzzing sound that isn't too far removed from the Swedish death metal guitar tone of the early 90's! Anata are honestly the only tech-death band i've ever heard who has actually tried this. Fredrik and Andreas really know how to write some DAMN good riffs, as there are plenty of them. They are extremely technical and progressive in nature, yet they also happen to be very catchy and have the slightest hint of melody. This also happens to be the album where Anata really begin to use their counterpoint melodies to their advantage, which truly gives the guitars an element all their own. The leadwork is some of the most tasteful in the tech-death genre. The soloing is very melodic, and is only used when it actually compliments the music, not to show off their skills. Another note must be made about their drummer Conny. His percussion skills will leave you in awe. While Robert did a good job on their debut, Conny simply blows him out of the water. His fills are more fluid and technical, his blastbeats are faster, and he knows just when and what beat or tempo to play in at the right time, and yet he knows when to restrain himself and play something a bit more simple.

This album is kind of the "black sheep" of Anata's discography, being overshadowed by the rest of their work. That sucks, because this album is a real gem in the prog/tech-death heap. Listen for yourself, as a mere explanation doesn't do this justice.

On a sidenote, the album art is BADASS

Examples:
Faith, Hope, Self Deception
Metamorphosis by the Well of Truth
The Enigma of Number Three
Drain of Blood
The Temple/Erratic
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  #92  
Old 08-22-2011, 05:25 AM
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I had no idea you liked Anata!
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  #93  
Old 08-22-2011, 08:59 AM
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I had no idea you liked Anata!
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  #94  
Old 08-22-2011, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by AnataFan4Life View Post
...and Nile gets the honor of being the first repeat band on the list.
>implying there will be others

Anata, perhaps?

But seriously, I'd better start seeing some Origin around this motherfucker, or somebody's gonna get slapped in the mouth.
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  #95  
Old 08-23-2011, 05:21 AM
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6. Augury - Concealed


When it comes to technical death metal nowadays, having a sci-fi or space theme just seems to be an inevitability. However, Canada's Augury were the first band of the genre I had ever heard who really attempted to tackle this theme musically, not just lyrically. Coming out in 2004, Concealed may not have been the first album to do this (that honor would go to Nocturnus' The Key), but they more or less took this theme and headed in their own direction with it, creating a rather unique, progressive, and textured sound that allows them to stand out from the tech-death heap.

One thing that may surprise you about this album is how brutal it is. A lot of bands who dwell in the more progressive and melodic realms of technical death metal are often criticized for their lack of bite and heavyness, but Concealed has a much more abrasive sound than most bands of their style. This works in Augury's favor, as the more brutal edge allows the more melodic and progressive parts of their sound to really stand out. These guys really know how to write a damn good song. Rather than the technicality being used to just show how well they play, on this album it is utilized to make the songs twist, turn, and flourish into all kinds of varied dynamics and exceptional song structuring. The guitars create some very extraterrestrial sounding stuff here. From brutal tremolo riffing, to more technical, progressive chording, to insane soloing, to weird melodies and crazy sound effects, Patrick and Mathieu do it all here. While both guys play leads, there is a very distinct contrast in their soloing styles. Mathieu takes on a more melodic, fluid, and neoclassical sound, whereas Patrick favors a much more atonal, experimental style of leadplay (such as the closing solo of Beatus). Speaking of Patrick, he is also the band's lead vocalist, and boy does he have a RANGE. Everything from typical growls, to brutal bellowing, to an almost black metal-style shriek, he is all over the place. He even throws in a few Obituary-esqe growls in a few songs! His cleans are a bit tough to get into at first, sounding like a mix between 80's James Hetfield and folk, but they will grow on you, and they are simply amazing. This album also employs a female singer, who would leave the band after this. Her voice is quite beautiful, giving songs like the crushing "In Russian Dolls Universes" and the epic "Lair of Purity" an odd sense of mystique with her almost operatic vocal style. This album is another that happens to host the talents of the amazing fretless bass player Forrest. He really gets a chance to show what he's made of on tracks like the jazzy "Cosmic Migration", as his basslines bob and weave throughout the songs in a very classy manner. He never comes across as "HEY GUIZE I CNA PALY BASS RLY GEWD", but instead you will hear some of the classiest bass playing in tech-death. The drumming is probably the least standout element of the album, but that isn't to say he's bad. He does an excellent job at playing technically but tastefully, and keeps the songs flowing like they should.

This album really opened my eyes as to what bands in this sub-genre can really do when they get creative with their playing skill. This is an amazing debut of a band who would later go on to become a rising star in the world of technical death metal.

Examples:
Beatus
Cosmic Migration
Nocebo
In Russian Dolls Universes
The Lair of Purity
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  #96  
Old 08-24-2011, 12:25 PM
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5. Obscura - Cosmogenesis


I became interested in Obscura when they actually sent me a friend request on Myspace (back when everyone actually used it) and I noticed they had members of Necrophagist and Pestilence. After checking out their debut and being impressed by it, I had a feeling Cosmogenesis was gonna be a great album, but I never expected it to be THIS good. This album's brand of cosmic-themed, progressive, technical death metal sent waves across the metal community, and for a good reason.

One thing that I really enjoy about this record is that they are able to mix old-school and modern sounds so well. One minute you will hear elements that are similar to what you'd find on a Necrophagist (obviously) or a Decrepit Birth record, and next you'll hear something that harkens back to the days of Cynic and 90's Death. However, don't mistake these guys for simply worshipping their idols, as they take these influences and mix them with their own sound, rather than just copying it. While this record may not be exactly groundbreaking, it doesn't matter because it's just so WELL WRITTEN. Vocalist/guitarist Steffan and former Necrophagist guitarist Christian really take command of their guitars, with Christian really showing how much he has evolved since being in Necrophagist, as he and Steffan really know how to write riffs that are both catchy and complex, whether it be the mind warping fury of "The Anticosmic Overload" or the Human meets Focus style sound of "Incarnated", all of the riffs are well structured and have a somewhat proggy structure to them, and they really know how to give this album an extraterrestrial atmosphere with their use of melody. The soloing is in the neoclassical vein ala Necrophagist, but I like the solos better here, as they show a bit more melody and passion (the solos in "Noospheres" is a good example). Steffan's vocals are also nicely done, ranging from a Chuck Schuldiner style screech to a more modern sounding death growl, and he even throws in a few Cynic-esque vocoder parts. Another big highlight for the album is Jeroen Paul Thesseling, who also lends his talents to Pestilence. It's a shame he left, because his basslines are amazing. He also play a big part in giving the album it's extraterrestrial sound, as his basslines are very unique for tech-death, in that they tend to have a somewhat dark, ominous sound to them, such as in "Choir of Spirits", where Jeroen plays a tremolo riff on his bass. Hannes has also evolved since his time in Necrophagist. He doesn't blast as much on this album, but he really explores some new avenues behind the kit on this record, showing off a bit more of a tasteful sound here.

Obscura definitely earns their place on the list with their sophomore effort. By kicking things up to the next level from their debut, Cosmogenesis has plenty to offer and left a lasting impression with me. At the very least, it's something to check out while you patiently wait for the new Necrophagist record.

Examples:
Choir of Spirits
Incarnated
Infinite Rotation
Noospheres
Centric Flow
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  #97  
Old 08-24-2011, 12:41 PM
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I've enjoyed Omnivium a lot more. I haven't given this one as much of a chance though.
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  #98  
Old 08-24-2011, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by srm90 View Post
I've enjoyed Omnivium a lot more. I haven't given this one as much of a chance though.
I like Cosmogenesis much more than Omnivium. Omnivium just lacks something for me...I still need to listen to it more though.

Also, this list is great so far
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  #99  
Old 08-24-2011, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by NecroRob View Post
I like Cosmogenesis much more than Omnivium. Omnivium just lacks something for me...I still need to listen to it more though.

Also, this list is great so far
Yeah I need to listen to Cosmogenesis more. The only songs I remember well are Universe Momentum and Incarnated. Universe Momentum is a fantastic song though.
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  #100  
Old 08-24-2011, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by srm90 View Post
Yeah I need to listen to Cosmogenesis more. The only songs I remember well are Universe Momentum and Incarnated. Universe Momentum is a fantastic song though.
The solo in Universe Momentum is one of my favorite solos of all time
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