Taming the Cannibals

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The second full-length CD by Boston-based avant metal band Ehnahre is even more abstract and forbidding than their debut, which was plenty weird already. This time, the death metal growls and occasional passages of thrash/death aggression that gave their free jazz-influenced post-metal a somewhat conventional structure have been moved to minor roles, leaving behind lots of clatter and doomy drone. The slow, sludgy riff that underpins "Foehn (Lullaby)" seems Sabbathian on its surface, but the squealing and scraping (bowed cymbals and the like) that surround it, not to mention the unhinged, raw-throated vocals and the extremely free drumming, move the music out of the realm of metal and toward something else entirely. Occasionally, when he's singing clean, the singer's voice is reminiscent of Peter Hammill of Van der Graaf Generator, adding the darkest of early-'70s prog to Ehnahre's menu of sonic options. This is a strange but utterly compelling record by a band that sounds like no one else.

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