Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Anu- Nighthymns (Wohrt Records)

About as obscure as they come Anu is non-other than Chad Davis (ex-Seven Foot Spleen, Hour of 13, Subklinik…) under the alias Drathrul. The world is littered with his works yet each one is as unique as they come, so when I had thought he was done with the project I got a bunch of tapes from WOHRT a few months back with this one and this was a pleasant surprise to say the least. I really enjoyed the EP III when it came out in 2011 on the same label and was surprised that it sold out so quickly, even my version is the downloaded version.

Much like the EP Nighthymns opens with an ambient track, “Risen…” and to set the ambience of the album, which is wintery and soulful. “Winterfall “ itself is one of the two ambient tracks in which subtleties of synth based blankets of snow fall evenly as a few additional layers unfold underneath it. Instantly I’m reminded of Moloch, with the half to full ambient black metal that is reminiscent of harsh Ukranian winters. One could easily write this one off as more one-man band bedroom black metal, but DON’T. With heretical nihilating screams of angst amidst a bombardment of fuzzy black guitar that cuts like ice against the cold bleak synth work, I can assure you that it’s more than worth its weight in character alone.

The “Shadowlands” kicks in instantly with a tortured cry and rattle of drums/drum machine into a torrential blistering cold. With so much of this out there that tends toward the raw and/or minimal it’s amazing to hear a release that is as composed as this. Take “Nighthyms” for instance where the synth almost sounds like a celestial hymn complete with what appears to be a chorus.  Then finally we end up with “Enter the Chasm”, another violent outburst of maniacal shrieks amidst a blizzard of buzzsaw guitar. What stands out the most here is the vocals are not buried in or behind the mix, they’re out in front and prominent. If you want freezing moonlit skies and desolation look no further. I hope Chad finds it in his heart to produce more Anu, the Encyclopedia Metallum says "split up" but I can't imagine him not producing more when he gets enough material together.

Youtube video of "Enter the Chasm":

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