The Anomalous – Gently Smiling Jaws

Everyone thinks that the spirit of Gorguts has been resurrected in Negativa. Bullshit. The Anomalous (not to be confused with plain old Anomalous) carries the spirit of Gorguts much more heavily than Negativa does, and adds a measure of Psyopus or Dillinger Escape Plan-style tech metal to make the proceedings even more bizarre and unintelligible to your average listener. This is progressive because it’s abstract and esoteric, not because it has sweep picking, and that’s why it’s cool.

So everyone knows how later Gorguts was different from everything else, most obviously on ‘Obscura’. This was because Gorguts wasn’t composing music with predefined notes; they were inventing the sounds in their head and replicating in whatever way necessary on their instruments. The Anomalous is doing the same thing here, which makes ‘Gently Smiling Jaws’ weird as shit to listen to but also awesome. Half the notes don’t seem like notes: they’re little clicks and shrieks and booming noises elicited from instruments being used completely improperly, and it makes it all sound mind-bendingly unique, to be honest. It all sounds very awkward and improper, but deliberately so, with each instrument off-kilter and seemingly out of time with the next. This is in no way connected to average death metal or grind, but it is still an undeniably metal music.

Production is rehearsal room quality, but still audible. Vocals are relegated to a supporting role, and take the form of loose, hollow growls ala Vital Remains with more marijuana, or the chaotic shrieks of noisecore artists like 2 Minuta Dreka. Unlike Gorguts, The Anomalous employs the jazzy breaks and funk-related rhythms of some of the mathcore bands out there today and pulls them off nicely, making them sound much more ominous than silly, and still with an aura of harshness and abrasiveness. ‘Gently Smiling Jaws’ is noisy and most certainly not an easy listening experience, which means that I love it to death. It’s weird and abstract and it delights in it, with not even the slightest attempt to dumb it down for a larger audience being made.

A lot of people will hate this. A lot of people won’t get why ‘Providence?’ is awesome with its clicking drumsticks and little sludgy bursts, or why the Goatsblood sound of ‘Buddy Cianci’ is a completely realized composition at a monolithic four seconds long, but the few of you that appreciate this sort of thing will find it awesome. This is metal for the guy that listens to Anal Cunt and Spastic Ink at the same time and shows all his friends how ‘You Rollerblading Faggot’ and ‘The Mad Data Race’ harmonize for half a second.

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~ by noktorn on August 19, 2007.

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