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The biggest weakness atmospheric black metal faces is thinness. I don't mean production thinness, I mean a feeling that the music itself is slight. Listening to too many of these bands feels like ordering stew at a restaurant but reviving a bowl of hot broth.

Austria's Anomalie know how to keep the soup hearty. The brainchild of live Harakiri for the Sky member Marrok, Anomalie mostly keep to the folksy side of the chilled black metal spectrum. You might think of them as gazpacho, soup to cool you down in the afternoon. At times, though, things get chunky, heavy and hot, thanks to some almost Heaven Shall Burn-ish melodic death metal riffage. Always every element is in balance, which makes their forthcoming third record, Visions, such a pleasant dish in a genre full of bland appetizers.

Marrok was kind enough to offer these liner notes to the record.

Vision I: Towards the Sun
This song is a very special one to me. It was written at an extremely powerful and energetic place up in the mountains of Austria and deals with the circle of life and death. When the time is right we will leave this world in flames and our physical shell will fly high before our ashes will turn into the source of new life! My friend Barth did some amazing guest-vocals here and I will never forget the recording session in the middle of the night at the temple of the Neudegg Alm – it was pure magic!

Vision II: The Wanderer
The most driving track of the record. It's about a mulitdimensional voyage and the higher forces around us. We need to explore not only our own layer of reality to reach a deeper level of existence... but this won't happen without any sacrifice!

Vision III: A Monument
It's actually based on a dream that I went through a couple of times. I tried to capture the feeling of speechlessness that takes you over when you realize that we are just very small fragments of a natural circle, too big to perceive in its full extent. I love the dynamics of the song and the intense atmosphere – it is definitely one of the most representing tracks of Anomalie so far!

Vision IV: Illumination
Illumination deals with the futility of our society and ways to create your own reality as a healthy alternate solution. It has a lot to do with our attitude and mental freedom, as many of us don't dare to build their own opinion. In this song a son prays to his dead father asking for answers, but he is able to find the truth within his own mind in the end by changing his perspective, something a lot of us have to do!

Vision V: Starless Nights
I love to spend some hours next to a campfire, losing myself in the endless depth of the universe above us, it's always something magical. Unfortunately this is only possible in the open countryside nowadays because the never-sleeping lights of big cities overruled the brightness of the night sky long time ago, so Starless Nights deals with the fact that many people can't even remember the beauty of a crystal clear firmament because they are trapped in the claws of their meaningless version of reality, aimless and numb, just blinded by neon lights and screens without being able to understand that they are not more than moths without any individual volition! It's on us to reach for the stars again!

Vision VI: White Forest
This song is probably the most melodic track of the record with some pretty dreamy parts here and there. It is about inner cleansing and the evanescence of our individual flaws. Like the snow covers all the stigmas and impurities at the end of the year, it is on us to accept our infirmities and mistakes that are always a part of who we are, to transform all our gained experience and wisdom into an inner fire to outshine the dark chapters of our past! Too many people are wasting their time by looking back all the time...

Vision VII: One With The Soil
A very dynamic and dramatic song, ennobled by the stunning voice of Heike Langhans. I love that she took over the final speech of the record, leaving the listener with his/her own thoughts. It is both a kind of spiritual but also very socio-critical track dealing with nowadays society. While nearly every culture all over the world constantly works on our global downfall day by day, people keep defining themselves via worthless material riches, but at the end of our journey all of us will become a part of mother nature again and no physical belongings remain of any value. It's the spirit and the memories that will stand the test of time and it lays in our very own hands to shape our legacy!

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Visions is out on March 17 via Art of Propaganda. Follow Anomalie on Facebook.

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