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There is flexing in every genre of music if you know where to look, even black metal. Take Anicon, for instance. The classically Norwegian riff that opens and closes their new song “In Shadow And Amber” may not have much to do the rest of the material that it bookends, but it serves as a warning shot to anyone who would doubt their credentials. The menace displayed in that opening salvo lurks behind the rest of the track, an otherwise stellar piece of melodic black metal.

Given that they’re based in New York City and feature drums from Lev Weinstein, I’m sure that they’ve been pegged with Krallice comparisons for sometime now. The shoe fits, especially once they start playing with the length of their phrases in the bridge (bonus points for some wonderful death metal English in the lyrics here: “Trapped are the helpless/waiting for their demise”) but Anicon are running a different race entirely. The song hits its stride with a beautiful guitar harmony that is more traditionally metal and melodically direct than many of their contemporaries in NYC’s artsy black metal scene.

Placing so much emphasis on such a well-worn trope is just as much of an act of showmanship as the vicious blast beat onslaught that closes out the song. Anicon have demonstrated that the tried-and-true methods will start work like gangbusters when in the hands of capable writers and performers, and Anicon themselves are more than capable.

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“In Shadow And Amber” is from the band’s forthcoming album Exegesses, which is set to be released by Gilead Media and Avantgarde in mid-July.

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