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Anta: The Tree That Bears The Equine Fruit

Sonically Anta are not a million miles away from Rose Kemp or Jarboe. Two of the members of this band actually played with Rose Kemp on the stunning Unholy Majesty album, which would explain some of the similarities with the sonic approach.

As with the name The Tree That Bears The Equine Fruit, Anta's album is anything but straight forward. We hear an eclectic mix of old school King Crimson and Pink Floyd mixed in with the drone tones of such bands as Isis and Sleep offering a very strong sonic landscape. The musical approach is almost apocalyptic, low sonic's, dark, dangerous, challenging sound structures that seriously reminding me of Godspeed You ! Black Emperor too especially with its psychedelic, ambient, experimental and progressive approach.

The album offers up five monstrous instrumentals that really echo round the mind like some demented madman, mentally torturing your inner Zen. At first I wasn't enamoured with this album, but as time has passed it has really grown on me, usually the sign, in these eyes, of a strong album that has longevity. As with the music it is melancholic, melodic, challenging but yet abstractly rewarding, not applied or practical but rewarding.

As the gong crashes on the opening track Abyssal Ibis, the driving heavy organs and synth' kick in, with their repeating rhythmic passages which are punctuated with some heavy artillery percussion work, with flailing guitar chords bouncing off it all. Needling Seamaw oozes and bleeds that massive organ sound they have going on throughout the album.

Firm sees the band exercising their version of experimental and somewhat psychedelic tones which features one of the most haunting piano melodies I've heard in a while. It's all a bit of a respite from things past and paves the way for things to come.

Abtenauer is particularly graceful and fluid in its movements, a mood and approach Anta have manage to capture perfectly within the instrumental structure. The band have presented a modern take on Krautrock, which almost feels devoid of emotion in the cold light of day, but the more you listen, the more the strength of the piece grows, each layer just presenting itself to you. As Abtenauer segues into Apical Dominance the album closer Anta really find their pace, as the track travels, it grows with grace and elegance, its sturdy and confident structures just ignite the whole piece, breathing life and character as it builds. Each musical interaction is fit to perfection, as with the phenomenon of apical dominance the phenomenon whereby the main central stem of the plant is dominant over other side stems; on a branch the main stem of the branch is further dominant over its own side branchlets, (who says music is not educational?), which adds to the atonal Sci Fi approach of the piece, with swathes of power chords included.

All in all this is a very rewarding album, which is in my view, well work spending some time with, allowing you to understand and grow with the creations. It's not immediate by any stretch of the imagination, but once the light turns on, you, as a listener are sonically rewarded.

1) Abyssal Ibis
2) Needling Seamaw
3) Firm
4) Abtenauer
5) Apical Dominance

Added: April 25th 2012
Reviewer: John OBoyle
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Hits: 1798
Language: english

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