Anomalous
OHMnivalent

Definition of ANOMALOUS:

1: inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected: irregular, unusual

2 : of uncertain nature or classification.

It would be easy and somewhat accurate to lump Anomalous and their debut full-length album with the likes of Born of Osiris and The Faceless for their progressive and experimental and synth flocked take on tech death metal, mixed with stuttering Meshuggah-ims. Not that there’s anything with that, as I happen to enjoy both bands and especially Born of Osiris’ recent album, The Discovery. However, when you dig a little deeper you’ll find a far more intriguing and skilled band than you might initially think.

Firstly, you should note that drummer Marco Pitruzzella is in the band’s rank (replacing the programmed drums of the bands Cognitive Dissonace EP), who has previously plied his skill with the likes of Vital Remains, Vile, The Faceless and Brain Drill. That there gives the band instant death metal and technical percussive credibility. It’s like adding Tim Yeung or John Longstreth — you just know the drumming is going to be insane. I can vouch for that as having seen the kid live with Vital Remains, he’s about as good as it gets.

Second, while a lot of folks seem to feel that bands of this ilk are simply skilled but lifeless, with robotic shredders and no real riffs, true tech death metal aficionados (or maybe it’s just me) will hear something other than easy Cynic name dropping (which is also accurate) lurking in the band’s influences. One that will surprise — namely, Sweden’s Theory In Practice. Somehow forgotten in tech death realms since 2002’s genre defining Colonizing the Sun, Anomalous carry the same sort of ethereal intelligence and cerebrally jazzy but brutally dizzying, off kilter but cohesive aura. Especially in the synths, the spacey solos of Max Seeman and the distant, unforced rasps of Tim Hale.

Where Anomalous also differ from the likes of The Faceless and Born or Osiris is longer, rangier songs. Even with plenty of jagged, staggering polyrhythms, solos, blasts and experimental tangents, rather than short sharp bursts, the songs tend to take longer to develop. The technicality isn’t forgettable and completely over the top like say Brain Drill or Necrophagist, though it comes close at times (for example “Hypnagogue”), but a finely tuned mechanical precision. The result is an often enthralling 55-minute album of technical metal; death, math, prog or whatever you want to label it. OHMnivalent delivers.

Like a Decrepit Birth or Obscura album (though this is far more jagged and less silky smooth and melodic than either), it’s hard to single out single moments amid the vortex of seething complexity. But, Anomalous are equally engaging when either delivering a lurching Meshuggah-groove (the pummeling closings to “Demigurge” and “Binary Resurrection”), staccato guitar shreddage, spacey/jazzy atmospheric segue or full out brutal tech death metal assault. The first two tracks alone “Premeteria (A Fire Birth)” and “Seraphim Veil” provide an ample 10 minute look into Anomalous’ complex soul. One that is certainly not hollow or lifeless, as OHMnivalent is as much more of living breathing entity than simply noises on a CD. Not that the rest of the album is worth skipping, as the likes of “Bicruciforms: The Eternal Return”, the 8-minute title track (where I really hear the Theory In Practice influence) and the mid-album break, the surprisingly languid, almost 9-minute instrumental “Mitosis” will command your attention.

It’s a shame that Brutal Bands isn’t better about promotion (or maybe answering emails) of their releases (I recently had another Brutal Bands act email me a ask if they could personally send me a CD because Brutal Bands didn’t promote it), but they can keep their brootal/slam death bands, as Anomalous deserve a bigger, better label as they look to have created a pretty special album. One, that should burrow its way onto a few year end lists…if only more folks knew about them. I Hope they do now.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 12th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: xbenx

    Album fuckin rules!


  2. Commented by: jerry

    theory in practice is one of my favorite bands of all time, but man, i can’t hear that at all. then again people hear spiral architect in protest the hero (!), etc. the main problem is that none of these new school bands know how to write songs that differ from each other. you really can’t call something progressive or anomalous for that matter if it sticks to the cookie cutter formula of what masquerades as technical death metal nowadays.


  3. Commented by: legumbrera

    This is a great album!!


  4. Commented by: Storm King

    Time to check these guys out and see if I hear the Theory in Practice influence. As TiP is still one of my favorite bands ever, anyone who draws from them would be quite appreciated around these parts.


  5. Commented by: jerry

    the band themselves leaked the whole record on youtube, if you want to hear a track or two.


  6. Commented by: Clauricaune

    2011 is looking like a damn good year for tech death. I’m really impressed with this album.


  7. Commented by: Storm King

    Having given this a listen now, I definitely DO hear a Theory In Practice influence in several songs. “Premateria” in particular has the same sort of choppy, jagged riffs and slightly off-kilter yet somehow melodic soloing as TiP had. Anomalous is TiP on steroids, though. The new Obscura is likely to remain my tech death CD of the year, but damn, this is a close second. Buying it as soon as I can get my hands on a copy, they deserve the support.


  8. Commented by: jerry

    TIP were songwriters. this is just scales and random chug riffs, and its all interchangeable. why can’t people hear that with bands nowadays?


  9. Commented by: jerry

    i’m not gonna say that the band isn’t talented, because they obviously are, but what i’m trying to say is there is little to no creativity in death metal nowadays. listen to this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84siEpf6nuI
    super creative riff ideas, and unforgettable melodies. bands like Anomalous and Obscura will never even come close to this in terms of songwriting. if you feel a song more when its needlessly cluttered with scale runs and off time open chug patterns, then more power to you, but i want to hear something interesting when i put a record on that is supposed to challenge the listener by being part of a progressive or technical genre. while the current genre leaders are clearly skilled, which can you honestly say are interesting?


  10. Commented by: gordeth

    Right on, Jerry. Sadly, tech death is quickly becoming the new deathcore.


  11. Commented by: OhJerryTIPisoHiatus

    Jerry please shut the fuck up, and learn to deal with the fact newer bands in the tech genre exist and are here to piss you off. I mean I know you are kvlt as fuck and all. But seriously stop whining, and coming off as a total asshole. How does Obscura NOT have any riffs? You listen to the new record yet or not? No I guess not since you want to compare a band who has been on hiatus since 2002 to these bands. Do YOU play any riffs by any chance Mr. “I know these bands suck because I love trolling websites?”


  12. Commented by: smokecRACK

    Jerry, please stop hating on the best band to come around in years. thank you! PS you must have not listened to Mitosis or the title track(or any of the songs really) Anomalous are great songwriters!


  13. Commented by: Storm King

    I have to admit, citing The Armageddon Theories as an example of memorable songwriting when it is far and away TiP’s least accessible and most wankery filled album (and this comes from someone who loves all three TiP CDs) is kind of funny. I love TiP as I said above, but that CD is pretty much as insane and over the top for its time as Jerry sees Anomalous being today. And the simple fact of the matter is, Jerry…if you can’t hear TiP in Anomalous, I don’t know what to tell you.

    If you were talking about, say, Brain Drill or Origin I might…MIGHT…see your point (though I wouldn’t necessarily agree.) But Anomalous and Obscura? Lol no.


  14. Commented by: jerry

    yes, i play riffs-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLrPP0vV-6E
    i cited armageddon theories because sure, it may have wank solos, but the actual riffs on that one are by far the most creative, and the point of technical/progressive music is to not be immediately accessible but instead offer new things to be heard on multiple listens while still maintaining enough structure/hook to be even labeled music. i didn’t bother with a Third Eye song because the record lacks diversity in my opinion, and its complexity relies on meshuggah-like rhythms which are cool but not necessarily creative. Colonizing was a clearly more stripped down approach but still, way more riff based and interesting than Anomalous, Obscura, etc. the first riff on the TIP track i mentioned after the intro is way, way more creative than any band in death metal would attempt today.
    regardless, this is all opinion, and people hear and look for different things in music, but no one yet has answered with who they feel is an interesting band in technical death metal today. i dont hear anomalous in TIP because well, anomalous is ALL flash. i listened to the entire record. i know enough about songwriting to hear substance over flash, so i’ll choose TIP over Anomalous every time.


  15. Commented by: Brian

    I grew up with these guys and can tell you amongst theory in practice, influences span from allan holdsworth to bork to Ion dissonance and so on. This album is dope as fuck, why does it have to fit into a category?


  16. Commented by: imn602

    thank you for showing me theory in practice!!!


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