Undersmile – Anhedonia (Black Bow Records)

album by:

Reviewed by:
On 23 September 2015
Last modified:23 September 2015


Shimmering pulverizing melancholic sludge with a twist.

Undersmile – Anhedonia

A creeping melody creeps from the speakers as Undersmile unleash their second full length record with the track “Labyrinths” which has an uneasy atmosphere and has you expecting the worst. No jolt to the system, no hammer to the skull just yet. The cello joins the melancholy after the first new notes which reminds me of Earth’s “Angels and Demons” opus. The voices of Taz and Hel interweave with each other giving an almost chanted feel but remind me of Kim Deal in her more miserable moments. Not until the latter part of this 10 minute opener is the killer blow dealt, with a crawling rhythm augmented by an off kilter guitar line adding a harsh melody. The first 3 songs follow the pattern of the quiet intro and Jarboe influenced vocals before bringing the weight. What is very noticeable is the separation of the instruments which is not always obvious when you get into the heavy sections of this style of music. The clean guitars playing discordant chords gives the impression of sinister nauseating goings on but at the same time being overwhelming mellow. The switching between the clean and suffocating distorted guitars flows perfectly and the clashing vocals of clean almost childlike droning vocals into the screaming banshee style gels perfectly. The vocals are extreme but due to the pronunciation actual words can he heard clearly. All round heavy, mellow, frightening and enjoyable album  which has set the bar high early for possible album of the year. It may even get people to dip their toes into the sludge/doom/acoustic gloom territory who might not otherwise have done so. The production is superior to many in the genre, Chris Fielding has produced yet another blinder ; the small detail of the simple ride bell hits are picked up and each individual note clear as a day. I would advise you to hasten yourself to a supplier and buy this immediately.

1. Labyrinths
2. Sky Burial
3. Song of Stones 11:08
4. Atacama Sunburn
5. Aeris
6. Emmenagogue
7. Knucklesucker

Band Members
Olly Corona-Brown – Bass
Tom McKibbin – Drums
Taz Corona-Brown – Guitars/Vocals
Hel Sterne – Guitars/Vocals

Shimmering pulverizing melancholic sludge with a twist.

About Dave McCallum

Old enough to know better. I have been a metalhead for a long time, I am a lifelong collector of vinyl and cds, the more the better.