"Think metal spirit. Think future. Think Teramaze…" – this is how the label recommends Teramaze's long-awaited latest effort, Anhedonia (the band's previous full-length album, Tears to Dust, was released in 1998). And they sure aren't far off the mark, really. After listening to Anhedonia I can honestly say - yeah, it's actually not that difficult to imagine this band as the future of metal.
It all starts off in an insanely energetic way with the title track that is the essence of the band's style: it's jumpy, atmospheric and powered by strong guitar riffs; Brett Rerekura's truly daunting vocals add to the overall feeling of thrash/prog metal goodness and the haunted lyrics are, too, a cut above the cliché-ridden average of the metal genre. At first you might be tempted to think that the opener is the album's most deadly weapon, but the very next track, "Without Red Hands", will swiftly set you straight with its galloping rhythm and some perversely beautiful melody added to the mix, and the third cut, "Through the Madness", which is born out of another great guitar riff and at some point lets a bit of the titular madness creep in, is a damn clear sign that you're dealing with one very special record here.
Other highlights are: "Black Circles" that sports some torching guitar solos, and "Egostatic" in which Rerekura performs some of his most impressive vocal acrobatics, as well as the album's longest and most complex track "Where the Dead Grow", and "Machine" in which some lighter, balladic moments are skillfully balanced out with the vocalist's hearty screams. It must be said, though, that there's no single bland track to be found anywhere on AnhedoniA. This is a collection of ten consistent and very carefully thought out pieces of first rate metal music that don't try to enchant you with just one or two catchy choruses or fine guitar riffs; just the opposite, in fact: it's one of those rare albums that enchant you because they work perfectly as whole, from the very first to the very last note. And the bonus song #11, acoustic "Ever Enhancing II", doesn't change this impression at all, even though it's certainly the softest touch on the album.
Let's just hope we don't have to wait another decade and a half for the follow-up to Anhedonia. This band has way too much potential to stay away from the studio for that long.
Dean Wells -Guitars/Vocals
Brett Rerekura -Vocals
Mathew Dawson -Guitar
Mick Tallent -Drums
Tijon Lolis - Bass
2. Without Red Hands
3. Through the Madness
5. Acts of Reparation
6. Fear of the unknown
7. Black Circles
8. Proverb Le Jame
9. Where the Dead Grow
11. Ever Enhancing II (Bonus CD only track)
Added: August 16th 2012
Reviewer: Bartek Paszylk
Related Link: Band Website
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Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-08-16 12:58:32
Fusing together thrash inspired riffs with a slightly more progressive outlook, Aussie five-piece Teramaze have laid a solid foundation from which they can hopefully grow into a band capable of bringing something more off the wall into tried and tested genres. That said, there's work to be done, with a touch more diversity needed to raise the band from promising, with hints of greatness, to real metal contenders. However if the sound of brash, yet focused riffs, excellent vocals, which range from clean and soaring to aggressive and rasping (not growled), with an air of keyboards, sharp time changes and precision drumming, sounds interesting, then you should be bold enough to venture into the Teramaze.
The dry production on tracks like "Anhedonia" and "Through The Madness" whisks you back to the halcyon days of thrash, with a waft of Metallica being interspersed with something a whole lot more technical. Double kick blasts add body, but varied time signatures which unobtrusively flash past and tom flurrying fills add a stronger hint of Dream Theater and the like, keeping things from falling too far into retro territory. Then add to the mix a seriously impressive vocal display and Teramaze really do have a recipe for success. Blast your way through the ever evolving and guitar heavy "Proverb Le Jame" or the more considered "Where The Dead Grow" and it is hard to resist the mix of metal from days of yore, bang up to date sonics and intricate and well thought through arrangements. A tasty broth it certainly makes, but even the most inviting concoctions can lose their lustre if they are savoured over and over again and while all of the songs on this album have their highlights, the similarity of the approach and construction from song to song does mean that the initial impact is lost with repeated listens.
An interesting album, Anhedonia undoubtedly suggests that Teramaze are a band who could blossom into something rather special.
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