Listenable Records, 2004
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
1. The Shining
3. Sister September
4. Worship Manifesto
6. An Amen
7. The Sacrament
8. Les Tzars (Indochine Cover)
Anorexia Nervosa has returned to the scene with a very impressive follow up to “New Obscurantis Order.” I’m not entirely sure how they managed to do it, but they have brought forth a more impressive composition this time around than their incredible previous works. Although there have been some slight changes to Anorexia Nervosa’s sound design and compositional elements. However, they are highly well performed on this release, but they are, honestly, slightly simpler in design and concept. While I was truly enthralled in their complexity of the previous works and chaos, I now find myself appreciating this slightly more straightforward Anorexia Nervosa. This album only proves further, to me, that despite a decent length of a career they have managed to refine and redesign their sound. It’s just as beautiful as it has always been and in some ways even more divine in its representation.
The first thing I noticed about them is that they greatly changed their image. They look far more professional nowadays and less like an image act. Rather than being pictured in gaudy dress with lots of leather they are now pictured in suits, which I think complements their more refined sound this time around. The second aspect that changed on this album is the lyrics behind the album. Basically they shifted from having predominantly sexual based lyrics to more religiously based lyrics. I will get more in depth with that aspect in a later paragraph because they have progressed a lot in this area. Thirdly I noticed the lack of a predominant chaos which has overridden their previous works. For some listeners this may be a damning aspect to wanting to purchase this album, however, I say, don’t let this hold you back in the least. The power, the grace, the intensity all still remains integral to their musical performance and I feel it is as impressive as ever. An album of this particular design may have waned under the chaotic structuring of their previous works, but this album brings forth focused listening to the listener. Something that I think was very intentional behind Anorexia Nervosa’s grand design for this album.
The vocal arrangements, while not as complex as “New Obscurantis Order,” are no less astounding. Hreidmarr has taken his vocal abilities to the proper next level and exhibits range like never before in the Anorexia Nervosa world. His words are nearly perfectly audible and his harsh wails where he does octave shifts mid-riff are simply beautiful. He has progressed greatly as a vocalist to perform such transitional shifts and his arrangements are no less than perfection. We all saw how exceptional he was at this particular area with “New Obscurantis Order” when he comprised a simply flawless vocal performance for a highly varied album. Take note here as you listen to the song “An Amen” the flawless vocal tone between the pause transitions in the music when he sings the lines “Just between the ant-hill and the opium den.” While Hreidmarr may run his voice through a chorus processor to get this tone, it’s clear that it’s very close to the recorded aspect and this is essentially vocal perfection in my world. While I can personally hit ranges far more complex than this, I am constantly impressed with Hreidmarr’s work because few Black Metal bands meet my vision for vocal arrangements. Most bands stick with a monotone performance, Anorexia Nervosa graces their listeners with all points of their skill on every level, throughout this album and throughout their discography.
A very interesting point to this album is the production shift from their previous works. I know that Xort and
One of the more impressive tracks held on “New Obscurantis Order” was “Hail Tyranny,” a piano solo by Xort. You won’t find anything like this on this album, so unfortunately you don’t get to hear him flaunt his skill as a pianist. This is probably due to two reasons that I can identify. One being that he already did it and doesn’t feel the need to show off again, because Anorexia Nervosa seem to be quite respectable musicians and realize that too much flaunting lends to people being bored with such a practice. I must say, though, that the orchestral keyboard work is nothing less than supremely impressive on here. It sounds even more than ever like they worked with choirs or a full orchestra on this release. I find this humorous; because bands like Dimmu Borgir who actually do work with real orchestral elements manage to suck so much more than Anorexia Nervosa and on so many more levels than just the keyboards. The keyboards on “Redemption Process” lend that extra kick of power into Anorexia Nervosa’s design and give even more interest into their grandiose design. Secondly, this is a concept album and doesn’t bear the need of such brazen musicianship because it would take away from the glory experienced to the tracks as a whole. Thus I am lead to my lyrical interpretation of this indomitable release.
Anorexia Nervosa’s lyrical inceptions bear second only to those of Deathspell Omega this year (2004). Like many bands in
They specifically render their disdain for
I look to the lyrics behind "Antinferno" technically, “Anti-Inferno,” but they have no doubt taken some poetic license. “A new cross on the hills of
As further proof for Anorexia Nervosa’s endless hatred for Christianity I turn to “Worship Manifesto” to the specific lines, “Seven mortal wounds for my vanity. Stigmata of your mockery.” This clearly identifies that Christianity is a religion of the vain. A conclusion I have long ago come to.
"Codex-Veritas" seems to be a true acknowledgement behind this wisdom and truth of the universe. “Learn to not care about their punishments. Act of war and liberation. You are not one of them, not the same breed. You always felt out of place. Join your true scene. You want fire, you burn. Want the Great, not minor. The absolute, the black and blue, the forever storm.” For me this is a statement about the achievement of freedom. Living and growing up in a religious community and then completely breaking away from it!
For my final lyrical work up I turn to “The Sacrament” the closing track on this album for those who have the regular jewel case edition. “It is coming. My last day, sinner and saint.” As a closing track this is superb because it alludes to the fact that everyone dies and no one can escape the fact of doing good or doing in evil in some way. “We’re all waiting for this masquerade to end and nothing happens. No tears required just some dead meat between your thighs.” Since this album takes reference from Christianity, the masquerade could be the predominant Christian faith in the world as being a masquerade. Everyone is waiting for the truth to be revealed and clearly Christianity is not going to give any answers. In fact I think this ending to the album digs even deeper and delves into an atheistic concept. This would be the "...and nothing happens" part. Meaning, when you die... you just die. That is the end for you! Atheism really is the most logical conclusion.
For those that have the special edition digi-pak such as myself you can find an Indochine cover called “Les Tzars.” A song completely in French and a bit more upbeat than the other works of Anorexia Nervosa, but I have yet to hear the original unfortunately. Honestly, I think the song is interesting and quite enjoyable and doesn’t really take away from the awe inspiring concept held within this release. However, I can see why they made this a limited press of six thousand copies; because it could take away from the overall majesty they exhibited here.
Clearly I highly recommend this album and I think it is a real testament to their true abilities as musicians and philosophers. It may be an easier album to grasp musically, but lyrically it has myriad points that can enlighten those who seek out deeper meanings. This is a truly great work about the “Redemption Process” on this planet.
Apokalypse Records, 2004
Genre: Black/Death Metal
1. Scene I: Le Patient Est Isolé
2. Scene I: In A Brown Gnostic Study
3. Scene II: Quelque Chose Comme L'idée Qu'il N'aurait Mieux Pas Fallu Naître
4. Scene II: Anamorphic Effect; The Revival
5. Scene III: Retrouver Son État Initial, Éviter… Avant Qu'il Ne Soit Trop Tard
6. Scene III: In The Mental Confinement (Mosaïc Of Infinite Visions)
7. Final: Avec Le Triomphe De L'esprit Et La Faillite De La Déite
Garden of Delight:
8. The Shadows Howling
9. Garden of Delight
10. Dismal Paradise
Live At Le Caméléon, Lille, France In 1995:
11. Autoerotic Death
12. Lepros Darma
Even though this came out in the year 2004 this is not new material. In fact it’s the re-release of their demo material. One of them, “Nihil Negativum”, actually got some distribution in the underground. However, the other one “Garden of Delight” seems to have been something that band has kept to themselves. So this is probably one of the only places you will be able to hear these three tracks, which pre-dates their more “official” demo of “
Now this is an extremely limited release with only 999 being printed. I have #592 hand numbered. It