ANATA are an interesting, slightly confusing entity. They play what could be called technical Death Metal Thrash/Grind, or something to that effect, since there are elements of all those genres to be found on "Dreams...". There is even a hint of European melody and slight ambience in parts, especially in "Faith, Hope, Self-Deception", where the band does a full-on melodic breakdown, with interspersed sombre melodies throughout. Very memorable, very intriguing, I certainly dig those parts of this album. But something is amiss, something is not there that should be in order to make this really work, what is it?!?
I'm still confused after my fourth listen-through, it seems that every component of a killer Metal-album is here, the musicianship is superb, the cover is cool (hey I'm a sucker on that one!), the drumming is brutal, creative, and precise (sucker for it, again), and the guitar playing is top notch in every way (check), down to the exquisite leads, spiralling riffs and memorable harmonies (check, check, check). So WHERE DOES IT GO WRONG?
Well, my only guess is that there is just NO FOCUS to their sound! The influences are definitely there, the talent is there, the intentions are there, but the follow-through is just, well, it doesn't satisfy the palette...that IS what she said, after all. So yeah, this IS a good album, there are some parts where the musicianship is quite stunning and advanced, and at times I hear slight nuances of genius creeping through the mist, but they are just muddled by the...well, MUDDLITUDE! Do you see? My confusion drives me to invent words! And poor Alex has the task of translating this, woe unto him...
Let's be serious again, this album lacks focus, or wait, I said that already, well it should be said again. It doesn't really accomplish much with all of these influences that come into the equation. I do believe this is the band's debut, and it is definitely a strong one at that, but it simply will not turn many heads at this day in age. They need to round down the influences in their sound and pursue a more direct path in order to make the listener jump out of his or her seat. I will say that it IS much more interesting than 80% of the bands trying to accomplish this sort of thing nowadays (balancing melody/brutality), but that doesn't make up for the "forgetability factor" (quote copyright Gabe 2001).
At this point in time, this album remains "just good". I would recommend it for real collectors only. With some fine-tuning, though, this band could be the next big thing, time will tell. I will remain here, gun in mouth, inventing words, eternally confused and befuddled as to why exactly this album doesn't "fucking rule".