Anhedonist is a four piece doom metal band hailing from the West Coast of the states, Seattle to be exact. In the US, Seattle is not particularly noted for its metal scene and is way too often associated with grunge style of music, which is good or bad depending on your point of view.
“Netherwards” is the band’s debut LP, and what a debut it is. This release is not for the weak willed, it a bleak filled release choking all the senses with an ever enclosing blackness, that gives true mean to absence of light. Some may call it funeral doom I call it good doom, with a certain slow sludge that has been absent from the American scene for some time. Saturnine, starts with a drone interlude but soon descends into the darkness of crust and abyss of nothing. The band has a devilish blend of downtempo and quicker tempo that add some real textures to this soundscape.
Trudging into ‘Estrangement’, the Anhedonist universe is now taking shape into pure bleakness. The vocals of the simply known as V.B., are the real power punch on this track. That haunting voice yet slightly inaudible lyrics and the final touch that really add to the overall depressive emotions on this one. ‘Carne Liberatus’ has the same vocal power as ‘Estrangment’. This is not to take away at all from the music but its really these vocals that provide the final joining weld to all these tracks on the release. The tempo adds the proper sludge and thunder and it’s the vocals that really set this off as a great release. This aspect has been mishandled many times by many bands, but these lads from Seattle have captured all the necessary parts to make a dark sometimes ethereal whole.
Anhedonist is no doubt off to a great start, treading water in a sub-genre that is not particularly populated with bands from the states. It is a great collection of down tempo crust and sludge executed nicely, albeit in the blackest of ways possible, on all fronts. This band is a great living example of the whole is greater than the sum of all the parts. One could not exist without the other on the this release. This may not be for all metal fans but certainly this is for doom metal fans. For us doom metal aficionados this is a must buy and must listen, preferably at 11 with headphones on. It is then that the true black and crust soundscape of Anhedonist is truly revealed.