Hailing from Germany, ANODINE present their innovative take on trip hop, blending it with elements of alternative rock and industrial. The band is the brainchild of Dusseldorf-based composer, producer and vocalist Patrick Heyer, who joined forces with Rumen Iliev (guitar), Fabian Siepen (bass) and Boris Frenkel (drums) to bring the music to life.
The album’s opening track We Wanna Know I would describe as industrial rock/metal, bringing to mind early Nine Inch Nails, though more raw. Loved the wiry guitar riffs. The dissonant, unusual changes were effective in keeping the track unpredictable and the lyrics seemed culturally relevant, seemingly about government internet surveillance, from what I could make out. The singing here is low and guttural, so the second track Sanctuary (“Inside this sanctuary I draw breath and forget...”) comes as a surprise.
Here the vocals are in the higher register, and the singer shows an impressive range with a powerful and distinctive delivery. This track is slower and more epic in style, even bringing to mind Muse with the swirling synths in the background, though I expect this band’s influences are generally heavier. This track was well constructed and performed, justifying its length.
Third track WTF mixes the two singing styles, low and guttural, high and expressive, in the manner of metal bands like Killswitch Engage and Sepultura. This track is extremely aggressive and catchy with it, the track’s title forming an effective hook. The contrast between the vocals and the half-time, then 4/4 drums works well.
Transparent Skin is another epic track like Sanctuary, which got going for me around the three and a half minute mark. The drumming at this point is superb, as it is generally, with some excellent double-kick work. Next song Stranger is of a similar vein, the longest track here, which also has a powerful end section. The riff that kicks in at 5 minutes is extremely powerful and I loved the complex time signature (10/8) employed here.
Black Bile is a change of pace with a pulsing electronic beat used for the first two minutes before developing into a more traditional section. I liked the musicality of this track, the synths used in an augmentary way that was a big part of the Faith No More sound, and this band has shades of them in their more commercial tracks like this one.
This more poppy side continues with All I Want, which has a great punchy chorus along with some soaring harmonies. This could be a good choice for a single. One Last Time is a well-constructed instrumental, adding some variety.
The final track I Walk Calmly Through The Fire is a strong way to finish the album (“I walk calmly through the fire because I bear a dark flame in my heart…”), with perhaps the finest vocal performance of the lot and a musicality that is beyond most metal bands. Overall, this is a highly accomplished album, with high levels of musicianship, but more importantly consistently good songs, which I’m sure will get a positive reaction amongst the metal community who are a tough crowd at the best of times.
Verdict: 8.4 out of 10
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