Anta – Centurionaut (Thrones and Dominions)
Bristol based Anta describe themselves as ‘Loud, visceral, imposing, intelligent’. They also say that with their latest album they have produced the most convincing demonstration of their vision so far. Adrian Bloxham has listened to Centurionaut for Louder Than War, read what he thinks below.
It starts with a massive guitar riff, it slams you in the face and then it just flips over into a high and discordant melody on the top of off kilter drums to make a jazz mental instrumental freak out. This doesn’t make sense. Just when you think you have a handle on where they are going or what they are thinking they throw in a rudimental keyboard plinking or a spacey whooshing behind the music. There are big chunky Sabbath riffs, high, whining Kennedy’s guitars and juddering, off centre percussion that both glues it all together and makes it even harder to get your head around. The sound pulls you under and immerses you inside their madness.
They find a groove and batter the living crap out of it, the music is layered and disconcerting. It’s as spaced out as if you are drifting in an empty black vacuum and then flips over to make you feel like you have been buried deep below the ground. Underneath the music is an undercurrent of deep doom laden heartache, just waiting to bleed into your heart. This isn’t an easy listen, it’s not immediate, but then the best albums I own have rarely been an instant like. This builds up menace and stress until it has to give and erupt into a psyched up freak out.
The last two songs, Cenotaphium I & II, are between them just short of nineteen minutes, and even at that length there is nothing wasted, no idle widdling, no mess and nothing that needs trimming. Just a piece of guitar music that you really need to hear. It’s the guitars that rule this record, and I think that the louder you send it into your head, the better it sounds.
Centurionaut is an album that will grow, it’ll make you listen when you put it on, and bear continual plays until it is inside your head and you can’t get it out. Just don’t try and make sense of it.
All words by Adrian Bloxham. More work by Adrian on Louder Than War can be found here.