Monday, November 5, 2007

Anodyne - The Outer Dark

The Outer Dark
Escape Artist

Anodyne plays fierce, technical hardcore in the vein of Rorschach and Burnt By the Sun, but not quite as spastic as the previously mentioned bands. Anodyne’s album “The Outer Dark” has the same droning quality found on a large number of Hydra Head Records releases. This combination of influences seem to occur primarily in musicians from the northeastern U.S. Others try to copy it, but they can never quite pull it off. Maybe it’s the drastic winter weather that produces such a furious sound. If you like heavy, and by reading this I assume you do, then check out the closing riff on the song “Form Is Emptiness.” It’s beyond devastating.

An enjoyable facet of Anodyne’s mystique is the listener’s inability to accurately pin down exactly where this band is going, musically speaking. For instance, former Madball guitarist Matt Henderson helped to engineer “The Outer Dark”, but no traces of “tough-guy hardcore” can be found on the record, in spite of the potential influence from Henderson’s former band. One may have nothing to do with the other, but the temptation is there. Either way, I find the enigmatic nature of Anodyne appealing.

The songs on “The Outer Dark” are precise, if nothing else. “Knives” is a great example of Anodyne’s skilled playing. This precision is also applicable to the band’s lyrics. Much like Mastodon, their lyrics are abstract, repetitive (in a good way), and to-the-point.

Once again, PA’s Escape Artist Records outdid themselves in the packaging and design of this LP. The marble-gray swirled vinyl is as beautiful as the cover art.

“The Outer Dark” may not be for everyone, but those who appreciate rock music with an adventurous spirit are encouraged to check out this band. Something I’ve always appreciated about hardcore is the diversity of the music produced within the scene. Anodyne doesn’t easily fit into any mold, which is probably why I like them.


No comments: