With four albums under their belt, Anachronaeon is a melodic death metal from Sweden that unleashed their fifth record, “The Oracle and the Keyholder”, in early 2015. Despite the title, Anachronaeon is a band that can turn up the heat when needed; in fact, the beginning of this record starts out with some serious death metal stylings (no melody). Throughout the record, the band seamlessly switches between insanely brutal moments, and a more traditional melodeath sound. Additionally, Anachronaeon’s vocalist comes from the school of Johan Hegg; his voice is thunderous and deep. It is relatively easy to understand, which usually is a good thing, but occasionally the band’s lyrics can be a bit on the weak side (“I Was Failing To See” being one example that comes to mind).
Throughout the record, there are definitely some interesting things that the band does to separate themselves from the pack (both good and bad). On the intro to the aforementioned “I Was Failing To See”, they offer up seriously brutal riffs with lots of speed that far exceed was most melodeath bands are doing before transitioning into more of a black metal riff. At other times, however, they get a bit too ambitious. On songs like “Flowing Like An Ocean Of Grief To Be Framed” and “Her Words Pierce My Heart”, there is just too much going on at times (if the song titles didn’t give it away, the music is similarly convoluted on occasion).
As with most melodic death metal bands, Anachronaeon experiments with clean vocals towards the end of the record. And like 90% of melodeath bands before them, it just doesn’t pan out that well. They aren’t terrible, but the band’s growling is so good that it’s just unnecessary. I definitely appreciate the attempt at experimenting, but it feels forced.
Though I’ve been a bit critical above, it’s fair to say that “The Oracle and The Keyholder” is a pretty good record. The band goes beyond simply copying what is around them, and instead takes a variety of influences and combines them into an enjoyable package. This album will definitely appeal to big melodic death metal fans, but for only casual listeners of the subgenre, it may be a skip. Any bass players out there will also really dig this record because the bass playing is top-notch, with plenty of interesting bass lines.
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"I Was Failing To See"
3.6/5 or 72%.
Written by Scott