ANURA “Deluge” (Already Dead)

Oh, this one isn’t black metal? OK, Brendan Landis, you got me. The Anura logo, the black hoodie, the long hair obscuring your face (look man, it’s OK to cut it off if you’re losing it, take it from me), all of that just screamed (bellowed? barked? shrieked?) black metal to me. But with the blurring of lines between shoegaze and slowcore and black metal these days, I guess it’s not super surprising that this is, indeed, more in line with shoegaze and slowcore than black metal. Kindred spirits find kindred atmospheres, and some of the aesthetics – in this case visual ones – cross over as a result.

The surprise was a nice one. Yes, I had braced myself (not too much – I certainly love me some black metal!), but I was totally fine with what resulted. As Anura, Brendan Landis, one-dude band (with some guests!), melancholies his way through a shimmery, dreamy album of wistful melodies and downtrodden tempos, falling somewhere between the American Analog Set and Galaxie 500, but with the twinkling lights of Mazzy Star. The Deluge is feelings, perhaps, an onrushing of acknowledgment that what’s dammed up inside can succinctly and artfully be hinted at, but there’s gotta be a breaking point somewhere. Right? Anura trades in these glimpses and glimmers, slowly building monuments to heartbreak and regret.

And while much of this is done in singular expressive guitar tones, by the time the title track rolls around, Anura’s also affirmed a capability of dabbling in electronic flourishes with success. From here come the big, drawn-out moments, the lengthy tracks you can try to hold your breath to but probably shouldn’t (unless you can hold your breath for a minimum of four minutes and twenty-two seconds – the side B minimum anyway). So even though Deluge doesn’t indulge in the histrionics of a primal scream, the intense whisper will do just as nicely.