[Reviewed by stark]
Actually it’s but twenty minutes of new music by Anemone Tube, but it’s still better than no fresh sounds at all generated by this gifted German. Released by The Epicurean, which is the publishing banner of Stefan Hanser, it came out on cassette tape only and is entitled “In The Vortex Of Dionysian Reality”. According to the press note it expands on the ideas contained in the Suicide Series, of which two parts have already seen the light of the day (“Dream Landscapes” and “Death Over China”) and another two for are for the time being just a future melody – one of them not that distant, as “Golden Temple” is planned for release on the first half of 2016 through the Raubbau label. One more quote: “”In The Vortex of Dionysian Reality” allures us into the Dionysian dreamland, where tragedy reigns, in pursuit of the ultimate oneness.”
The EP is also a musical tribute to guitar solos and dreamy sci-fi death metal influences. And to me it seems a very interesting and quite original approach to the subject, especially in a post-industrial/ ambient context. I grew up with Nocturnus and Pestilence myself and the MCs of “The Key” or “Testimony Of The Ancients” I ‘ve worn out almost completely. Therefore, reading the quotes announcing this EP I was subconsciously expecting something reminiscent of a more or less breakneck concoction of, say, “Voices From Within” moods and solo performances straight from “Land of Tears”. Did I actually get something like that? Yes and no.
Both sides of the cassette contain the same piece of music. Five tracks, or rather four plus less than a minute interlude called “Terror Of Nature” (which in fact is a sample from “Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind”, an anime by Hayao Miyazaki). And indeed it is characterized by an oneiric, heavy atmosphere, the sounds are suitably intense – it is Anemone Tube after all – although I feel it’s calmer than the project’s previous materials. What draws “In The Vortex Of Dionysian Reality” near those aces of death metal music – well, maybe not “draws near”, but rather builds a bridge between one musical world and another – is this combining of guitar clamor with cosmic landscapes. But this is only the form, the similar sound base. It should be remembered that Anemone Tube is still a post-industrial act, which draws largely from both dark ambient and experimental music or noise. Therefore, guitar treated with pedals and feedbacks, squeaks, grinds and sounds more like Skullflower rather than metal tycoons, while monumental ambient constitutes a balancing force, is probably something that no metal soul would ever be able to generate. It should also be mentioned that there’s a solid dose of musical surrealism, a lot of not exactly obvious solutions and changes of atmosphere, often caused by surprising samples and field recordings (like police sirens ending “In The Vortex of Dionysian Reality / Le Pont du Diable”).
I think it’s good that the release is only twenty minutes long because this form, although interesting and intriguing, could prove to be a bit tiring over a full-length. And so we get here a concrete and reasonable dose of sounds that only increase our appetite for “Golden Temple”.