This is the debut album from US doom metal band Anareta.
Fear Not contains 44 minutes of orchestral doom metal. Anareta aim to blend doom metal with classical music, and on Fear Not they manage this with aplomb.
Anareta’s orchestral elements include the use of violin, viola, and cello. These are an essential, fully embedded part of Anareta’s sound, and provide an emotive focus for the music. They’re absolutely exquisite, and I love how they coat the rougher metal elements in luscious texture and colour.
The music has a crude base of doom metal, (with sludge and heavy metal elements), which is then enriched and refined by a sophisticated set of orchestral sounds. Of course, I’m making it sound too simplistic, and both sides of the Anareta sound are fully entwined.
The songs are well-formed, drawing the listener in with the promise of deep rich feeling, and holding attention through the good use of music that flows and twists as if alive. Anareta have a knack for a good tune, and the highly melodic strings coupled with the grittier metallic aspects of the music make for a compelling listen.
Vocally we get a selection of harsh screams that sound like flesh being shredded, and sit somewhere between a black and sludge metal delivery. Clean singing appears rarely, but to good effect.
Fear Not has impressed. It still has a few rough edges that need to be rounded out, (I would prefer a slightly more polished production for the metallic parts, for example), but these are relatively minor quibbles. As an underground doom release that combines raw doom metal with polished orchestral splendour, Anareta have made a good start to their existence.