Genre: Technical Death Metal
Anata was formed in Varberg, Sweden in 1993 by Fredrik Schälin (lead guitar, vocals), Mattias Svensson (guitar), Robert Petersson (drums), and Martin Sjöstrand (bass). Their early music can best be described as a blend of different metal styles; incorporating mainly thrash, doom and death metal. The band proved to be an intense live outfit, performing with local talents but also bands such as Dissection, Lake Of Tears and Beseech. As the band grew as musicians and songwriters, the music shifted into a darker, more death metal direction, as heard on their first demo "Bury Forever the Garden of Lie" (1995). It proved that it was actually possible to create well-written music that was brutal and yet melodic at the same time. The recording was met with overwhelming success from the European press. Yet, even with an acclaimed demo behind them and increasing interest from press and labels, guitarist Mattias Svensson and bassist Martin Sjöstrand left the band in 1996. In the same year, Anata found a new bassist in Henrik Drake. Ready for battle once again, Anata recorded their second demo, "Vast Lands of My Infernal Dominion" in 1997. The demo signaled a continued drive to venture faster into the depths of death metal, using the blueprint drawn and re-drawn by their American counterparts as a guide. By year's end, the band found Andreas Allenmark to fill in as second guitarist, just in time to record the first Anata album.
The quality of "Vast Lands of My Infernal Dominion" landed in the hands of French label Season Of Mist, and only a year later Anata was in the studio recording their debut album. Titled "The Infernal Depths of Hatred" (1998), the album featured four songs from their second demo as well as four new tracks. Tracks like "Released When You Are Dead" and "Aim Not at the Kingdom High" ushered a move into thicker, bottom-heavy death metal while "Slain Upon His Altar" and "Dethrone the Hypocrites" maintained the band's yearning for harmonic structure, while including even some black metal elements. As evidence of the album's greatness, French magazine, Metallian, voted "The Infernal Depths of Hatred", "Album Of The Month". But before the release of this album, the band also recorded a split cd named WAR Vol. II (1999) with labelmates Bethzaida The mission included covering one of the other band's songs. Confused? Why this album? Nevermind! However, Anata covered a version of Morbid Angel's "Day of suffering".
The mounting praise from fans and critics alike didn't stop Anata. Never one to rest on their laurels, Anata started writing for a second full-length. "Dreams of Death and Dismay" (2001) harnesses Anata's punishing songwriting abilities into 10 explosive songs of uncompromising, punch-you-in-the-throat aggressive death metal. Anata's fierce, all-over-the-fretboard riffing, however, never compromised the band's solid sense for melody. Differences from the previous release to be noticed, were that the music started to move into the progressive, while leaving out previous black metal influences. The album was released on Relapse under license from Season Of Mist. Relapse wrote "The seamless combination of musical elements and culmination of many years of experience shows that Dreams of Death and Dismay isn't merely a death metal album with fantastic melodic purport, it's an album that shows where the genre has been and where it's headed. Anata is the future of intense, intricate metal." Again the critics agreed.
As the band were very satisfied with the sound on their previous albums, Anata decided to once again enter Studiomega. But as the studio was being moved to a new location and being rebuilt from scratch, the wait for recording time in the studio became longer than expected. In early February the recording session began. The drum tracks were recorded in less than ten hours and things were looking just fine - but little did the band know! As the members had decided to attend to their daytime jobs and studies, most of the recording was to take place during late evenings and nights. It was a very cruel winter, and it didn't take long for the members to catch bad colds. This along with the facts that guitarist Andreas suffered from an injury to his arm and that some equipment broke down, turned the recording session into a living hell. As guitarist/vocalist Fredrik put it: "When listening to the album, remember what we went through during the recording! It's a miracle that the album came out the way it did".
And it seems like the late nights of hard work finally is about to pay off. Months before the release, the album had received dozens of top-notch reviews from all over the world, including magazines such as Metal Hammer, Kerrang!, RockSound and Rock Hard. The band is giving interviews on a daily basis and Earache are scheduling tours to get the band on the road. And as it seems, this is just the beginning...
- The Infernal Depths of Hatred (1998)
- Dreams of Death and Dismay (2001)
- Under a Stone with No Inscription (2004)
- The Conductor's Departure (2006)
- Bury Forever the Garden of Lie (1995)
- Vast Lands of My Infernal Dominion (1997)
- War Vol. II (1999)
Fredrik Schälin - Guitars, Vocals (1993-present)
Henrik Drake - Bass (1996-present)
Conny Pettersson - Drums (2001-present)