"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Anaemia - "Osiris" (CD)

Anaemia - "Osiris" CD cover image

"Osiris" track listing:

1. Introduction (1:14)
2. Jesus Withdrawal (8:09)
3. Impossibility of Being Happy (4:56)
4. Like A Glowing Darkness (5:57)
5. Stabwounds Of Spiritual Alliance Of Shining Seth (1:41)
6. No Acid (6:56)
7. Antarctica Lights (4:51)
8. Desert Desolation (6:22)
9. Paranormal Eonic Mantra (4:15)
10. Zhuangtai Qui Si... (4:52)
11. Perpetual Will (7:40)
12. Distorted Dimensions Of Mangled Valley Of Raham Rise (1:44)
13. Osiris (4:07)
14. Cowards Rise Again (7:47)
15. Endtime (8:17)

Reviewed by on September 27, 2008

"Stylistically, I was anticipating crushing death metal with an Egyptian flavor, but what 'Osiris' actually delivered was slow, repetative and emotionless songs that went nowhere."

Formed in 2005, Russian based band Anaemia is a hard band to classify. My best description of their style is perhaps stoner-groove-core with punk drone vocals. “Osiris” was released in 2007 and is the bands first full length release.

A quick glance at the Egyptian themed artwork gives off a promising first impression. The album title of “Osiris” and song titles such as “Stabwounds Of Spiritual Alliance Of Shining Seth” and “Distorted Dimensions Of Mangled Valley Of Raham Rise,” I was intrigued that perhaps there would be similarities to that of Nile; maybe not an exact copy cat, but lyrically heavily rooted in Egyptian mythology/history with some Middle East inspired instrumentals. I was also anticipating an epic album as the 15 tracks averaged over five minutes per track with four tracks clocking in over seven minutes. Unfortunately, the artwork turned out to be the best part of this album.

Musically, “Osiris” is weak in the melodies, uninteresting in the riffs and awful in the vocals. There are a lot of clean guitar sections that are nothing more than strummed chords with irritating vocals over the top, but we’ll get into the horrendous vocals later. The guitars sounded like they were down tuned to C, which didn’t win any favors from me, with poor tone to boot. The majority of the music was loaded with slow to mid tempo riffs that were very repetitive, along with many single note breakdowns. A lot of it is so non-musical that it sounds like fuzzy noise with a whiney kid intentionally trying to be annoying for a “singer.” There weren' a lot of guitar solos, and the ones that were present were poorly done. There are several clean intros that make it clear that the band is trying to achieve a Mideast/Persian/Egyptian feel similar to Nile’s excellent trademark instrumentals, but with horrible guitar tone and musical ideas strung out far too long, Anaemia fails to achieve it.

Stylistically, I was anticipating crushing death metal with an Egyptian flavor, but what “Osiris” actually delivered was slow, repetative and emotionless songs that went nowhere. The album kicks off with a promising, though not great, Egyptian themed instrumental track, “Introduction.” It was short and simple and despite the poor guitar tone, it had me waiting for more. This would be one of three instrumental tracks on the album. “Zhuangtai Qui Si…” was done entirely be a solo flute. It had a very Native American/Oriental type vibe, but its biggest weakness was that it was too long. It was interesting for the first two minutes, but then went no where by repeating the same melody for three additional minutes. There were also a few unpleasant notes that were hit near the end that took away from the serenity of the song. The third instrumental, “Endtime,” had a very Oriental/Chinese/Japanese feel too it, done with a flute and some sort of harp-like string instrument. This was a very soothing track that was my favorite from the record.

However, aside from the instrumentals, the music on this album is dismal at best. There were several moments, particularly in the clean parts, that A Perfect Circle came through as a primary influence in many of the songs. One such song was “Cowards Rise Again,” which was one of the few highlights of the album. Influences of stoner rock, -core and grunge also came through in the majority of the riffs and breakdowns. However, very few of the songs were listenable to me.

By far the worst part of this album is the vocalist. The vocalist killed every song immediately. He is a tone deaf “singer,” and is constantly off key with a very monotone singing style, acting more like an off pitch drone reciting painfully bad lyrics. Almost every vocal melody in every song is the same. I would rather listen to a screaming infant during a temper tantrum in a shopping mall for an hour than listen to this vocalist vocalize.

The lyrics on “Osiris” are another negative, as they come off as illiterate attempts at poetry. It seems that an effort to sound intense and cleverly deep was made, but the lyrics end up either not making any sense at all or being redundant repetitions of meaningless or lackluster phrases. They don’t flow, they don’t tell a story and they aren’t catchy or moving. There is also little lyrical variety throughout the 15 songs on the record, as a very limited use of vocabulary is used.

Overall, I believe that this was a failed attempt to create an atmospheric concept album. It was extremely boring and repetitive all around, and the music didn’t go anywhere. I would not recommend this album to anyone.

Highs: The artwork, the instrumentals, and song "Cowards Rise Again"

Lows: Poor guitar tone, annoying vocalist, redundant music, bad lyrics.

Bottom line: An uninteresting album not worth listening to.

Rated 1.0 out of 5 skulls
1.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)