The Burial Tree (II)
Muse Sick Records
03 May 2011
by Tom Dare
With so many different furrows of metal’s sordid fields already ploughed well beyond barrenness, it’s becoming increasingly hard to come across genuinely distinct, high-class bands. Ana Kefr’s second album The Burial Tree (II) marks them out as one such act – they’re also barking fucking mad.
Oddly, despite how genuinely lunatic The Burial Tree (II) feels, it makes an inordinate amount of sense. It’s one thing being able to write crazy music, it’s quite another to mix genuinely vicious death metal roars with almost catchy clean singing. The twisted progression of the song structures feels totally logical and natural despite the dramatic switches between pace, mood and musical style. The brief pieces of atmospheric, almost noise-like ambience allows the radical side-steps to achieve their unsettling goal without feeling tangential or unfocused. The music itself is constructed from a variety of death metal riffage, from the classic evil variety to some slightly more technical passages, as well as all sorts of oddball bits and pieces, from jazz (the saxophone is once again proved to fit surprisingly well into metal) and classical to prog and classic rock.
Part of the individual approach is achieved from the myriad of sounds they incorporate. While the saxophone is no longer an unheard of instrument in extreme music, neither is it yet ubiquitous, and when it is used as prominently and as powerfully as it is here – left out all on its own in a guitar-free void – it is both highly effective and unlike most other acts who use it. The net effect of all this is to produce a shifting maelstrom of perpetually strong atmosphere, and one where the raw components are exceptional too. The composition may be artful, but the riffs and vocals – melodic and roared both – that go into the final opus are unusually effective in and of themselves.
Listen to ‘Thaumatrope’ from The Burial Tree (II) here:
The Burial Tree (II) is a tempestuous and sordid experience that grabs you by the ears, twists, shouts in them and then drags you on a filthy journey the like of which no one else has before. There are moments of beauty and tranquillity amid the muck and violence, and the links between it all feel as natural as a sane verse-bridge-chorus structure. This is a proper gem of a record.
Sounds like: Cynic, Death, Obscura
Top tracks: Ash-Shahid, Monody, The Blackening
Ana Kefr – The Burial Tree (II) tracklisting:
In The House Of Distorted Mirrors
Bathos And The Iconoclast
The Zephirus Circle