Anata - <em>The Conductor's Departure</em> CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Anata - The Conductor's Departure CD Review

Anata - The Conductor's DepartureThis CD made a number of "Best of 2006" lists and, while I never made a "Best of" list, I have to agree. This is one of those rare CDs where the vocals serve as an instrument and all the instruments serve a clear purpose. Clear production highlights the talent of the band and none of the instruments are mixed on top of others. Every note seems to have been chosen with precision and Fredrik Shalin's vocals go beyond the cookie-monster growl that is used too often in this genre. The technical precision of the band isn't to say this is "math metal" -- the tempos are a bit slower than some of Anata's contemporaries and there is no "speed for the sake of speed". The slower tempos add to the pounding brutality of the songs and yet every song is still melodic. My favorite tracks are Downward Spiral into Madness and The Great Juggler. I also enjoyed the disc's instrumental track Children's Laughter. There is a poll on Anata's website where visitors get to select their favorite songs and current fan favorites are Downward Spiral and Better Grieved than Fooled.

The lyrics are fascinating and complex. I was impressed with the response that Fredrik gave when asked about the lyrics to The Great Juggler (from Anata's web forum):

I'm glad to hear that there is at least one person who read my lyrics, thanks! The great juggler is like most of my lyrics about myself. Firstly, I am the great juggler. It's about how I was (dis)regarded by other people in my younger years, aspiring to achieve something musically. "Joined the circus at seventeen" stands for forming Anata. Later on it deals with getting so consumed by my music that I almost alienated from the rest of what is life. You prefer staying inside and doing your thing, while neglecting a lot of other things. And the thing is, that no matter how good you get at doing your thing, in this case playing alternative music, the circus tent will always be very small. You will forever be regarded an outsider and a freak. For most of the time I love it, but sometimes it hurts quite a bit.

Btw I initially wrote this as a short story "(taken from) A letter from The Great Juggler". It's about a person that travels with a circus, now writing a letter to his old friend. Later I wrote some music to fit parts of the story, and that is what you hear in The great juggler.

Feel free to ask about other lyrics! I'll try to check in once in a while.


The band also posted to their web forum that they are recording a new CD this summer. Let's hope for a US tour to follow.