The Haves and Have Nots

July 21, 2015


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From the first moments of “Awoken,” I could hear that this was something a bit different. Primarily, the vocals are deeper and bit more hardcore and black metal compared to the previous demo's preference towards post-hardcore shouting. The shrieks and growls help to differentiate, but also only further prove how well Anopheli's unusual sound-fusion works in any style. The lovely cello arrangements and ragdoll drumming join these aggressive voices to create a sound that is utterly bleak, but wholly engaging.

I could go on and repeat all the great things I already had to say about A Hunger Rarely Sated, but that would be redundant. Just know that all of the great guitar, drum, and string work is still very much intact. What I want to focus on more this time is the overwhelming sense of imagery. Without having yet disseminated any lyrics, this music fills me with lush visualization. It's the soundtrack to walking down a disheveled street in London circa 1800's. I can see the filth dumped from windows, the blind beggar on the corner, the dirt-coated children playing in the cobblestone streets. This is the sound of abject poverty...and it's breathtaking.

The heavy, churning qualities of sludge and frenetic anarchy of crust combine to take us on a double-speed tour through dilapidation and deterioration. Why are we moving so fast? To stop would mean making it real. I dare not rest, lest I accept that places like this exist. While I sleep on my memory foam mattress, and stress about whether I can afford to trade in my current car for a new one, people are dying out in the cold. It's a harsh reality, but the music captures the feeling so well that it becomes art. Art that makes me want to stop being such a consumer and do something about it.

But hey, who the f#$% am I anyways? Maybe you'll have the same reaction, maybe we'll all just laugh at the irony of listening to this through a $$$ iPhone. Whatever the case, The Ache of Want is some beautiful and heavy music that belongs in your ear cavities like yesterday. Since the demo, Anopheli have cranked up the aggression and sludge elements, but also greatly advanced the presence of the strings. Another step forward for a promising young band. Name Your Price on bandcamp. Brother, could you spare me a dollar?