photo by Bobby Bonesy
In writing about the music of the New Orleans ensemble Anareta we feel a gnawing sense of inadequacy (more than the usual). There’s an anxious conviction that to do it true justice would require more knowledge and learned appreciation for classical music, including the beautiful interplay of instrumental voices in chamber music, than we possess. On the other hand, we do know a thing or two about extreme metal music, and that turns out to be equally relevant.
Of course, Anareta aren’t the only band who have sought to integrate compositional and instrumental traditions of Western classical music with the harshness and aggression of heavy metal in some of its more extreme forms. But many other bands in that space use orchestral synths to weave in the classical elements. Even the more subdued sounds of string sections are usually the result of programmed samples.
Anareta, on the other hand, have a more authentic approach, with a line-up that includes performers on viola (Mackenzie Hamilton), cello (Sam Hollier), and violin (Louise Neal), along with the more familiar metal instrumentation of guitar (Carey Goforth), bass guitar (Sarah Jacques), and drums (Boyanna Trayanova). And it’s not just the instrumentation that’s so multi-faceted, because three of those performers (Jacques, Neal, and Hamilton) contribute to the vocals, and they’re varied too. Continue reading »