After having been completely crushed by the German gods NECROS CHRISTOS last week at Roadburn, here's a new release that can largely fulfil my expectations when I feel a strong need of tormented Doom blended with dense and styled Death Metal... Don't think that we've got here exactly the same kind of band, the german is basically DM where ANHEDONIST is basically DOOM, it's just that beyond their obvious quality there's a few common elements that can gather fans of both these bands... and a few others !
Coming from Seattle, ANHEDONIST, after a promising demo "the drear" in 2010, presents here its debut album "Netherwards" freshly released on Dark Descent rds. Just keeping a few ideas from older material, the band proposes 4 new songs "Saturnine", "Estrangement", "Carne Liberatus" and "Inherent Opprobrium" for about 40 minutes.
The result shows a neat development in the songwriting and originality, not as raw and grinding in the fastest parts, not as monolithic and introspective in the slowest ones, but more aesthetic and sometimes almost epic. You'll maybe think I like too much comparisons, it's just that I feel it's helpful when you wanna discover new bands, but the DISEMBOWELMENT influence is far less obvious, the sound gained in personnality : globally still very dark and despaired but a great part of the ugliness has let place to some beautiful melancholic soundscapes (2nd song), including in the vocals who have a lot more variety than previously, with some menacing and abrasive tones too at times.
Shreding death metal parts are present but, as you've guessed, don't form the essential of the songs, save the 3rd one which stands rather more in a sepulchral DM motion in the godly vein of INCANTATION, not a coîncidence if this one is by far the shortest of the album!!! ANHEDONIST is before anything else a DOOM band : hauting, slow, mournful, extremely heavy; sure there's here a feeling of early doom/death era, english more precisely, but I don't think this sounds too old-school or like already-heard ten times before stuff, because those abyssal, soaring and tumultuous moods make it a very rich and pretty daring affair.