First I have to make a confession. I did not know this band from Belarus. Seriously, I had not heard of Reido before. And you know, I am gonna make it up all right, because this release… Nope, first things first.
This trio, hailing from Minsk, the capital city of Belarus, started almost two decades ago. But there’s a reason why I did not know them yet, for their recordings are so limited. In 2006, Solitude Productions did release Reido’s remarkable debut album, F:/all, and then things faded away into silence. Until 2011, when the band returned with the sophomore, yet quite different album, called -11 (Slow Burn Records, existing under the protective wings of Solitude Productions). And then again, oblivion took over. Eternal nothingness entered.
But praise the, yeah, whatever lord or deity, because apparently Reido was not gone yet. Actually, original members Alexander Kachar and Anton Matveev, this time with assistance of Moscow-born drummer Dmitry Kochkin, decided to record a third album, after almost a decade of sardonic absence. The result is called Anātman, a six-track experience that lasts for more than one hour (!). Anton once more took care of the mix and mastering at his BlastWave Studio, but what I like is the fact that no other but Aesthetic Death was (is) responsible for the release of this album. …an extremely fabulous label, with a wonderful taste for … No, sorry, this review deals with a release by a band, and not the label – but let’s just keep in mind, that this UK-based label causes erectional pleasure time after time.
So, Anātman got released in a three-folded digipack, limited to just five copies – no, I’m just kidding, but this material is so good that you need to hurry up. Anyway, besides the digital edition, there’s a physical version, on digipack compact disc, including an eight-page booklet with the lyrics (for the first time, in English) and impressive artwork by some Vladimir Chebakov (who worked with / for bands and projects like 1914, Rossomahaar, Arkona, Anachronaeon or Ossuary Anex, amongst many others).
The album starts very impressing immediately. Deathwave, the first composition, opens extremely haunting, with a couple of eerie, even contagious guitar drones, slowly creeping forward, covering everything in a poisonous veil of impenetrable mist. It takes a couple of minutes, but then the core of Reido takes over. Oh, what a grandiose and colossal funereal atmosphere comes forth when the melodies turn into Doom Epic, joined by truly cool drum patterns. Deathwave is a splendid introduction for sure.
As from The Serpent’s Mission, Reido offer massive Funeral Doom with a morbid old schooled Doom-Death Metal attitude. The instrumental side mixes a heavy string section, quite melodic in nature, yet rather acting as a vast, powerful team than a tremolo-only based thing. It differs a lot from the former material, for soon you’ll notice that the focus lies on overwhelmingly majestic heaviness with a huge ‘funeral’ character, more than the debut, and much more in comparison to -11, their second full length. And okay, melodies are still of huge importance, but it’s that intoxicating torpidity that impress more than ever before.
Lots of things are going on. Actually, the whole album sounds like one lengthy sonic journey (you can’t exactly speak of ‘different’ songs, for that would almost be denigrating), but with many chapters passing by, distinctive in execution yet cohesive in result. Acoustic and ambient intermezzi (the synths have been used so ingeniously correct and well-thought), subtle alterations in structure and arrangement, even some gloomy solos, whispered voices and so on; it’s all part of the impressive outcome. Sometimes it is within a song (listen to a piece like Liminal to understand my humble esteem), then again it is a track itself (like that cosmic title song), yet as said all of it as one huge, coherent experience.
Everything is drenched in pitch-black spheres, because of the immense indolence and the overwhelming slowness. I can imagine that this might turn off some listeners, but I am convinced that many will adore this gigantesque doom. In my case (okay, subjective, but that’s a part of personally experiencing Aural Art) it enthrals me the whole sixty+ sonic travel. …time after time…
Most lyrics, by the way, have been written by Alexander, but some excerpts are inspired by, or taken from Buddhist sources – this purely informative.
And a last word, short but necessary, about the sound quality: gargantuan! Seriously, the mix is just perfectly balanced, and the production enormously powerful yet still rough-edged, and therefor strengthening the listening experience with grimness and sardonic pleasure (or something like that).
Recommended if you adore stuff à la Lycus, Mournful Congregation, (early) Ahab, Evoken or Profetus, a.o.