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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Anodine - Passages review

Year : 2013
Genre : Alternative Rock, Electronic Ambient, Trip Hop
Label : Independent
Origin : Germany
Official site : > - here - <

Anodine occupies a multitude of stylistic positions in its current state, a circumstance that equates with the most beneficiary perk of this current-one-man-band which is though at the verge of forming into a full escalation silence massacre squad. The moods and directions the disc seeks to flatter towards throughout its 80+ minutes of playtime, are versatile and numerous. The most prominent form is that of dark alternative rock of massively midtempo demeanor, and, what is especially dear to my heart, are the eminent rhythmic Meshuggah influences -even if there are no more than 8 bars of those on the package - and the great melodic hooks that reek the best moments of Stone Sour. Corey Taylor is your papi, if you have ever wondered.

These affections are not at all in any kind of hurry to exhibit their beneficiary presence, mind us, as the album takes the liberty AND the time to court prolonged electronic fascinations whenever its pacing feels the need to do so. At their best moments, these electronic quasi-ambientistic (TUKK!) immersion-attempts summon some promise of VNV Nation, and, sometimes they just hang in the air and keep you hanging on with no top of the foodchain prime Kim Wilde present, which saddens me greatly. The bass guitar always is live though, radiating an organic, fat, evil and dirty quality - in the positive sense of the expression - to simultaneously assuage and provoke an otherwise icy, cybernetic fabric. The album, though deeply personal, places considerable and eloquent musical emphasis on the silly little thing called clarity of thought and its bestest buddy called dignified thematic accessibility. Read on to know more about this.

The ambient affectations, thank God & Co., are more of a complimentary aspect than the designation of the full fledged sonic warfare. Do not give in to your assumptions and hypothesize that the beginning of the disc reveals something of its full value, because it does not. The current musical fascinations of the mind behind the curtains will reveal themselves nicely by the third of the disc. The name of the game is gloom, but the musically intriguing type of it, and not the niche which would exhibit interest in crushing souls for the tepid enjoyment of the related instant replay value. The album, for about 85% of its massive playtime, consists of mature and solid compositions. The lead singer has more talent than he gives himself credit for, too. This is much better than the opposite of it would be. The remaining 15% of the playtime showcases some "meh" grade Marylin Mansion "things" with the usual Child Rhyme antics and some rather tepid hooks that come intent to save some of the day and succeed instead at putting a seizure on your face, yet, these shallower moments at least serve considerably well as the dangerous precursors of the much more steady deliveries, which equate with the majority of the flow, I can not stress this enough. It is sympathetic to include your terrible songs on a release. It is kind of like having a picture on your Facebook profile on which you look like a turd.

As noted, the harmonic structures-, the compositions themselves are quite mature, and a maliciously restrained demeanor is observable, which shows an almost constant readiness to flatter Tool-esque undertones as an attempt of spicing up the narrative alternative rock orthodoxies. Luckily, the Tool influence takes the liberty to omit the mystical folk-nonsense that I personally think said ensemble sounds to rely too much on - though I'm not the Tool expert at all, because Tool is not the GyZ expert either, so...

A traditional image of songwriting is revealed throughout, which correlates greatly with what I have referenced as the respected requirement for the clarity of the musical thought. For the "mere" existence of it. It does not matter if it is borrowed, heck, does not matter if it is stolen, IF the fugitive idea is being fed new found originality and freshness. Sometimes the intent IS there, and sometimes the artist thinks that it is sufficient. The artist can be wrong. "No Summer" is a spiritual reflex response to "Black Hole Sun", - hence the subconscious admittance, you know - only, this time, the verse is much less successful and much more forgettable than in the inspirational original. "Somewhere Sometime Somehow"' exhibits particularly interesting chordal work and a nice sense of harmony. Track 14, "Room 23" courts similarities with the great System Shock 2 soundtrack, Cargo Bay level, anyone? "This Moment" starts out with ballsy guitars from hell, and the fact that it gets almost Bon Jovi ballad on your hide, accomplishes the Impossible 2.0, and entertains throughout, with a particularly nice over-emoted climax that maintains a risky balance between emotion and hardcore Camambert cheesefest.

Track number 5, "Break Away" is a personal current highlight for me, and also a great example of how colorful the fray can get/end up as - the brief-, but ultra-powerful 4/4 groove of the guitar puts a smile on the face of Philip Anselmo, and the lead singer delivers an acceptable Muse-imitation with his vocal performance - all complimented with a haunting guitar tone that emerges as a nice rendition of post-grunge, deciding to submit to the type of doom metal which is compatible with your favorite set of pink plastic razors. All these elements are courted by additional stylistic elements too numerous and pleasantly surprising to spoil those by mentioning them arrogantly - best is to check them out yourself and emerge delightful of their presence in the context of this especially colorful track, though I stick to my impression that the whole album is pretty colorful as an overall experience, and its modest share of more enervated segments are not as hard to tolerate as they would be twice as hard to tolerate as they actually are. A pleasant, relevant surprise. Recommended.

Check out Anodine - Passages at the official Bandcamp.

GyZ at Bandcamp.

If you want, check out my music

and / or

Buy me beer.

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