Anomaly - metal prog fusion rock - Ivar Pijper - "Eclectic Earwig Reviews Music and More for You!"
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Anomaly Anomaly (2000, Bee & Bee Records)

The Dutch quartet Anomaly plays crunchy, instrumental
progressive metal with melodic development and intricate
rhythms, a completely different band and style from the
Florida, light prog rock Anomaly of Jim Studnicki and Jim
Dorian that featured the rhythm section of Cynic.

Anomaly adroitly tackles the difficult task of writing engaging
instrumental metal by utilizing the melodic roles of guitar,
keyboards, and bass, in addition to their rhythmic roles
ordinarily featured in heavy music.  Solid riffs alternate with
melodic passages, and crunchy guitars with piano or ambient
synth textures.  Gentle passages, such as the bass and synth
intro to "Mt Chamber," compliment the heavy sections, but they
bleed off some of the aggressive steam and usually contain less
of the snappy rhythmic interplay found in the rest of the
music.  The main guitar riffs in different songs occasionally
sound fleetingly similar, such as the heavy arppegiated chord
patterns of "B-yond 2K" and "101101001." 

Anomaly effectively mixes jazz and fusion influences into their
instrumental metal, despite the awkwardly placed swing intro of
">4hth&x."  Several passages impressively combine the quieter,
melodic feel with the rhythmic pulsing of the crunch, including
the mellow synth lead over a tight guitar and drum pattern in
the intro to "Vir2al," and the atonal piano line over guitar
and drums at about 1:50 in "Xtreme."  Keyboardist Ivar Pijper
writes or co-writes all but one of the songs, but the
arrangements spread the focus among all instruments.  The
melodic lines of Pijper's keyboards and Rory Hansen's guitar
keep the instrumental metal uncommonly engaging.

Hansen plays rhythm guitar with tight, melodic metal chops like
late 80s Fates Warning.  Some album reviews have superficially
and misguidedly compared him to fusion legend Allan Holdsworth,
but Hansen's smooth lead style is more crisp than Holdsworth's
liquid, saxophone inspired tone, and he perfectly compliments
the melodic crunch of Anomaly's music.  The sharp rhythm
section work of both bass and drums leads the guitar without
missing a step.

Anomaly sounds clear and dry, retaining a pure tone and
sound that places the focus on their music.  The heavy yet
articulate guitar sound represents an ideal crunch tone, and
the bass projects openly on high, melodic passages as well as
low bass lines.  Some odd choices of synth texture occasionally
draw attention, but the electric organ, clean piano, and analog
synth patches appropriately complement the feel of the music.

The mature song writing, playing, and production of Anomaly's
self-titled debut CD compares very favorably to the few
instrumental metal bands out there today.  It retains metal,
rock, and jazz and fusion elements without leaning excessively
toward any one of those styles.

Reviewed by Scott Andrews []

More Info: Lineup: John Aponnen - bass Ivar Pijper - keyboards Rory Hansen - guitars John-Paul Munoz - drums Tracks: 1) B-yond 2K (5.34) 2) >4hth&x (4.06) 3) 101101001 (4.57) 4) Xtreme (4.54) 5) Mt Chamber (4.39) 6) Xs D-nied (5.06) 7) Vir2al (8.36) 8) None Of The Above (4.47)




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