Tech Death Thursday: Anata

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What’s this? The criminal maniac is doing a write up on a tech death band? You’re not Jack Bauer. You don’t even like tech death. What is going on?

Well the answer is simple, citizens. Me and supercop Bauer had a meeting, in which, surprisingly,we didn’t try to shoot each other, and came to a quid pro quo deal. I told him of the existence and workings of a huge and dangerous homegrown terrorist cell residing at a secret location somewhere in the Northeast who have plans to kill the President and prominent members of the Senate. This group has deemed my weapons too expensive even though they are of good stock and mostly untraceable, and have instead bought tons from my competitors. I couldn’t let that stand. So I figure instead of wasting manpower why not get someone else to eradicate them?  In exchange he has allowed me to do this week’s TDT to expose you to what I think an ideal tech death band is.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy what is considered classic tech; bands like Atheist, Demilich, and Nocturnus. And Mr. Bauer has certainly put me on to a couple of decent modern bands in the genre since I started writing for this blog, but for the most part the genre in its current form is as appealing to me as the prospect of wearing Raymond Cocteau’s stupid kimonos; too goddamn colorful with no feeling or sense of organization behind the patterns. Every time I listen to a band like Born of Osiris I feel like putting a drill through my brain. Yes the pun was intentional and terrible, and still less lame than the majority of modern tech death. Really, there are only three or four big modern bands that I like, and I’m going to talk about one of them here.

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Actually Varberg, Sweden four piece (currently trio) Anata are not modern at all; they formed in 1993. But in my opinion they perfectly embody what modern tech should be. While they have had a number of shifts in lineup, they are and remain the brainchild of guitarist/vocalist Fredrik Schalin. They have two demos, a split with black/death Swedes Bethzaida, and four full lengths under their belt, the latest being 2009’s The Conductor’s Departure. Supposedly they already have a new album completely finished, but they can’t release it because Earache are a bunch of wieners that have the band stuck in a limbo in which they can’t release a new album or leave the label. This is fair how?

Now why do I love Anata so much? The basic answer is that they are a tech death band that hasn’t forgotten the “death” part of their name. If Cryptopsy’s …And Then You’ll Beg had not-shitty production and vocals that didn’t suck. Or if early At the Gates and Morbid Angel (before they started killing cops) had a one night stand, the result would sound similar to these guys. I prefer bands of this ilk that don’t shun the brutality in exchange for guitar acrobatics, or rather balance them out far better. It’s a cliche thing to say concerning this genre now, but Anata play songs with emotion and feeling that don’t sound like a fucking computer programmed data into a circuit board and spat out second rate chords and shitty sweeping. The riffs that Schalin and former co-guitarist Andreas Allenmark come up with don’t melt faces so much as vaporize them into a fine white powder. They have plenty of fretboard play, this is a tech death band after all, but they counterbalance it with some great mid-paced sections and melodic passages that one wouldn’t expect to find in a band this brutal (listen to this for proof of both in one song). This is combined with a fantastic guitar tone that bleeds menace right from the amps. Another highlight is the drums. Conny Petersson’s work on the skins is top notch. While he is no Kollias or Proscriptor or Roddy, he still tears into his kit like the fat kids tore into that first pack of Twinkies the day Hostess brought them back. He has this technique on the first two albums that, while not quite a blastbeat, is still pretty fast. A perfect example of this can be found in the song below at 1:50

Pretty awesome right? It’s not as prominent on the later two full lengths but it’s there if you look.

So where should you start with this band? While sophomore album Dreams of Death and Dismay is my favorite of theirs, newbies should start with the Conductor’s Departure, as it is their most fully realized record, combining all of the elements of the first three into a solid techy concoction. The aforementioned Dreams and debut The Infernal Depths of Hatred are more raw and death metally but have plenty of guitar wizardry to be awed by. Third album Under a Stone With No Inscription has the band at their most tech. It’s good but easily my least favorite. Still it’s worth checking out and has probably their most well-known song “Entropy Within.” No matter which album you listen to first, do yourself a favor and check out this band. And to all aspiring tech-death bands, listen to this band’s discography to learn how to do your genre properly and not suck. As an introductory course I’ll leave you with this gem off Conductor’s.

Until next time flushers, stay tech. Am I doing it right Bauer? I don’t fucking know.

PS: Please let them release a new album Earache. Don’t make me have to come find you.

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  • Edward/Breegrodamus

    Fantastic writeup on this band SP. I will make an effort to look into them in the immediate future.

  • DDubya.

    Can we have kimono Fridays? Also, I enjoyed this post. Earache are indeed a bunch of wieners.

    • Dagon

      I haven’t put a kimono in ages. I need to get back to jiu jitsu.

    • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

      What about Toga Tuesdays? That sounds like it would be fun.

      • DDubya.

        No. Togas are overdone. Only floral kimonos are real.

        • Dagon

          We need Donaldkacsazas Mondays as well. I already adhere as it is very difficult to find something proper to cover mein teil.

        • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

          What about Tarzan style loincloths?

          • Jefrey Waylon Mann

            That’s for the Manowar days.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            Isn’t every day Manowar day?

          • Jefrey Waylon Mann

            Not in my poser calendar.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            I still pencil every day as Manowar day even though I’m the king of posers.

          • DDubya.

            Randall Thor has never been more proud of you.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            Yay!

      • Not The Ideal Tapir

        I would really enjoy Testicle Thursdays.

      • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

        This still disturbs me greatly.

      • Not The Ideal Tapir

        Buutiful

    • Remember Blackberry Smoke.. Always >_>)

  • CyberneticOrganism
    • CyberneticOrganism

      Also: “Morbid Angel (before they started killing cops)”

      Brilliant.

  • DEAR FRIENDS,

    HUZZAH!! I AM HERE TO INFORM YOU THAT I WILL BE ON A JOURNEY STARTING TOMORROW THROUGH THE 16TH OF FEBRUARY OF THE YEAR 2015 AND WILL NOT BE PRESENT DURING THE DURATION OF OUR TRAVELS. FIRSTLY (!!!), I WILL TRAVEL TO THE LAND OF SIN, LAS VEGAS. SECOND, I WILL TRAVEL TO THE LAND OF LIBERALS, SAN FRANSISCO. THIRDLY, WELL, IT IS IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA…. ALAS, I WILL MISS YOU ALL DURING MY ABSENCE AND HOPE YOU WILL ALL CONTINUE OUR PATH OF GLORY AND RIGHTEOUSNESS. I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING PLACES NOT COVERED IN SNOW. I LOVE YOU ALL.

    <3

    GL

  • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

    Born of Osiris aren’t Tech-death silly, they’re Deathcore. They also suck, and a lot of Tech-death bands don’t.

    • I enjoy BOO, goat. Although, the dbaggery around them is strong.

      GL

      • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

        BOO!

      • Lacertilian

        I enjoy a couple of tracks from A Higher Place & The Discovery (mostly the last track Behold).
        VoM are very hit and miss for me. Marc can write some great riffs but sometimes he just djoesn’t.

    • DDubya.

      I had some friends who were really into Born of Osiris and Veil of Maya. I honestly don’t think I could distinguish between the two if you held me at gunpoint.

      • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

        I think I could, but you’re right, they’re almost the same. BOO are just slightly more stupid.

      • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

        I wouldn’t know if there was a difference either. They sound very similar to me.

      • tertius_decimus

        Every tech-head knows “Veil Of Maya” is the Cynic song!

    • i can definitely tolerate The Discovery by BOO, there’s enough cool elements to make it interesting. however, that is all.

      • They went lolbuttz after the discovery

    • BOO is very average and snooze inducing.

  • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

    Anata is a very good band. Earache is very unpleasant. Iör-Eik the label is shit that belongs beneath the heels of a woman.

    • DDubya.

      Speaking of women in heels, are you still dodging Vammatar’s calls?

      • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

        Yes. Loviatar (her daughter, we used to go out) tells me she ain’t ever going to stop.

        • DDubya.

          I suppose it’s hard to get a restraining order when her mother is the goddess of death.

          • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

            (Did you know that Marvel used Vammatar in their version of Conan?)

          • DDubya.

            I did not. I never actually read any of the Conan comics, but it doesn’t surprise me. Marvel has pretty much plumbed the depths of world mythologies.

          • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

            I thought it was quite funny, in Conan of all stories.

  • Count_Breznak

    You asshole, there I was hoping the new album is finally out.

  • Dagon

    Just chiming in to say I approve of whoever slapped their bass in “The Great Juggler”.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    • Dagon

      I might be the only person here doing this, but it is oddly soothing.

  • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

    What’s with the numbers on the logo?

    • BXAXXBXAXX

      Illuminati

  • Tyree

    I remember listening to The Conductor’s Departure way back in high school. Never listened to Anata since though.

  • Haven’t heard these guys in ages! I should remedy that once I catch up on this never-ending queue of music and movies.

  • Man I hate sleeping late, feels like I have wasted half of my day now. Great writeup though dude! Maybe we will finally get that album this year.

  • I guess I’m definitely going to have to listen to these guys, then.

    • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

      Indeed, they’re fantastic. One of the first “technical” death metal bands I really got into.

    • tertius_decimus

      You won’t be disappointed. Song writing is top notch and they’re definitely not these tech-wankers who overcomplicate songs for the sake of complexity.

      • Lacertilian

        When I hear ‘tech-wankers’ I think of a robotic terminator arm masturbating furiously. Not pleasant.

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    Doesn’t Earache have a history of contractual disputes their with bands/artists? I seem to recall that Deicide had a lot of problems with them as well.

    • tertius_decimus

      Care to share the link?

  • JWG

    Reminder: the author name is on the bottom of the post.

    We can’t be confused by a guest author if we don’t technically know it is a different author until you tell us, or we start to see a different (and recognizable) style.

    • Lacertilian

      Great point, I immediately scroll to the bottom to check the author for context prior to reading the article these days.

  • tertius_decimus

    Sincere apologies for caps, toilet citizens.

    ANATA IS THE FUCKING ON THE TOP-3 OF TECHNICAL DEATH METAL BANDS IN MY BOOK!

    I would literally kill for their new album. Back in the day, “The Conductors Departure” made me stunned and I’m still making goosebumps while listening it. Go, Anata!

  • When I grown up, I want to be as badass as our Simon Phoenix 😀 #SimbaRoar

  • BobLoblaw

    Not being a dick but one kinda big mistake in this write up. Conny Petersson wasn’t on the first two albums, it was Robert Petersson. Conny joined right after dreams of death and dismay was released. Here I was thinking I was on a more reputable site then metalsucks.

  • This was supposed to be me, but I agree with this completely.