Cantara Anachoreta

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This is a recording that appears to be filled with conflict and contrast. While generally incorporating elements of goth rock and black metal, there are occasional flashes of progressive rock here, especially during the many acoustic passages and the electric-guitar interludes. The lead vocals also comprise a disparate marriage; songwriter and instrumentalist Moonshadow provides the male vocals in a distorted, subterranean, and pained manner while his counterpart Willowcat delivers the female lead in a clear, engaging soprano voice. A battle between good and evil is ongoing throughout Cantara Anachoreta (or "The Chants of the Hermit"); in a disquieting "twist of faith" the villain is Jehovah (or the God of the Bible) whose teachings, promises, and total existence are called into question. The prevailing netherworldly force has claimed justice, tolerance, and truth as "Her" own. Eerie is a fitting description for the way that this album unfolds. The best song (yet the most uncharacteristic) of Cantara Anachoreta is "Goodbye to Jane" (not the Slade song), a dark and disturbing but tragically realistic account of incest and abuse performed in a mid-'80s Mekons style.

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