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Anodyne Lifetime of Gray Skies

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01. Arctor 02. Carnot Engine 03. Portable Crematorium 04. Zero World 05. Infernal Machine 06. The Mind Is A Terrible Thing 07. Plastic Will 08. Against Architecture 09. In The Desert Sound Precedes Sight 10. Blood Meridian 11. Philosophy Of Failure 12. From The End Of The World 13. Standing On The Beach
2004 Level Plane Records
Our score 7

by Graham Landers
8/1/2004

Mastodon incarnate Honestly, it’s the next best thing without sounding like a rip-off artist. This is meant in the best possible way, as hard as that is to believe coming from me. Being a huge fan of all previous Anodyne releases, as well as the aforementioned Mastodon, I was eagerly anticipating this latest offering from the band. With a slew of one-off 7” releases as well as previous records on Escape Artist Records, Anodyne was becoming a force to be reckoned with in the land of the bleak. I hate to even fault this band in the slightest way, but throughout their career it has seemed like they had subtly changed their style ever-so-much to coincide with what band was most popular at the time. Isis was seemingly the main inspiration for "The Outer Dark" as is Mastodon likely the inspiration for this latest album. Whether this nuance is merely a musical evolution within the band or just an attempt to sell more albums, Anodyne never fails to deliver a record worthy of attention. Although similarities to Mastodon’s rocked out stoner worship can easily be detected within the first chords of opener "Arctor," the main objective of this record is to beat the listener senseless. Take one listen to the album’s next two tunes, "Carnot Engine" and "Portable Crematorium" -- look me in the eyes after these songs are finished and tell me these dudes don’t mean business. The drum fills, as well as the harmonized guitar riffs, found on "Portable Crematorium" are the clearest instances of Anodyne's wrecking ball mentality. Notably though, Anodyne have sped things up dramatically on this album, whereas previous drone material would rarely achieve a comparable pace. The majority of these songs are over before you even know they started. Shortly thereafter you arrive at the five-minute instrumental track, which in my eyes is a sitting duck on this album. It probably shouldn’t have made the record, as it truly kills the flow that Anodyne so voraciously establishes on the tracks before and after. The song apparently serves to showcase the drummer’s skills, with both feet and hand speed alike. Bottom Line: If you have ever liked Isis, Neurosis, Mastodon, or Catharsis, you will definitely be into this latest Anodyne offering. Their bleak trademark sound is still present, yet they have improved the schematic side of their delivery - everything seems to be balancing out now.

13 comments

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fuk_ 8/1/2004 3:12:07 PM

1st post. no hear.


thiscdowns_ 8/1/2004 7:19:39 PM

dude, your review is garbage


Lauren_ 8/1/2004 9:18:04 PM

i agree


anonymous 8/2/2004 3:04:21 AM

well documented fact: worst reviewer ever


Fraulein_ 8/2/2004 3:05:34 AM

Graham Landers, you are an awful writer.


somebody_ 8/2/2004 8:14:30 AM

wow, you guys are harsh


chris_ 8/2/2004 9:09:30 AM

yeah, unless this new album has upped the rifgaye,anodyne have very little in common with mastodon. using the generic term "stoner rock" and slapping it on anything that is even remotely slow and heavy is just incredibly lazy reviewing/writing.


Daniel _ 8/2/2004 5:01:53 PM

Not a badly written review per se, but you really can't compare Anodyne to Mastodon, since the two doesn't sound remotely the same. Moreover, how can you compare "The Outer Dark" to Isis? Anodyne kicks Mastodons and Isis collective butts anyday, and you can qoute me on that.


mouse_ 8/2/2004 5:32:10 PM

GRAHAM LANDERZ BTBAM REVIEW SUKKS


mister fister_ 11/4/2004 6:53:06 PM

Mike Hill is my hero! Anodyne RULES!!!!


Jesse_ 12/14/2004 10:27:44 AM

very good album. but where are those mastadon references coming from?


Your mom called._ 9/11/2006 11:46:28 AM

I've got to agree with other posters... The Mastodon comparison is coming out of left field.


PukeSkywalker_ 12/18/2006 6:34:07 PM

this is retarded. Sounds VERY little like mastodont, even at the time this was written. crap crap crap. this band is cool. "In The Desert " is an amazing song