The fourth album from Austrian band Anomalie spins a preternatural web of post-black metal: Tranceformation.
Aomalie is Christian “Marrok” Brauch, joined by Lukas Schlintl on drums and percussion. Operating under this name for just over a decade, Anomalie has released three previous long-players and the EP Integra (2018).
The new album is an induced trance in six movements. The opening track is absolutely mesmerizing. It is not too much to call it hypnotic. The black metal elements are clear but they are not as prominent as the comely vocals and the melodic guitar entreaties. The percussion is held at a subdued level in the mix but the playing wicked indeed. This is “Trance I: The Tree” and if it was the only song on the album I would be satisfied, but it is only the beginning.
“Relics” is next and it lays down a pulsing groove. The track is nine minutes long and by the end you are sorry to see it go because the composition somehow keeps you transfixed the entire time. The movement from melodic to coarser vocals is seamless and occurs in synch with unseen powers that, while unexplained, make perfect sense. “Alive” is quieter overall but has some of the most urgent guitar work in its midst. By this point I was completely absorbed in the music and I had only heard side one.
The back half of the trance-set continues the work of the first part. I don’t know what I expected from this album, but what I heard was fantastic. Calling the music post-black metal isn’t wrong, but it doesn’t cover it, either. Cross-over and fusion music is sometimes disappointing because it ends up with too much of one thing or not enough of the other. But Anomalie has created something that is completely different from its constituent parts where the balance is unassailable.
Set aside some time to be taken away because when this album is on your attention cannot go anywhere else. Highly recommended.
Tranceformation is out now through AOP Records. In the US, Bandcamp is the one-stop shop.
AOP Records, http://www.aoprecords.de/