ANA KEFR – “The Burial Tree (II)” Progressively Extreme and Resists Metal Boundaries


ANA KEFRThe Burial Tree (II) is the follow up to Volume 1, Ana Kefr’s critically acclaimed full-length debut released back in 2009. Both of these albums have been handed off to the Metal world via their own imprint label: Muse Sick. With a May 3rd, 2011 release date solidified, Ana Kefr’s new album is already making more noise than a sold out Arena of Detroit Red Wings fans. Originating from Riverside, California, Ana Kefr combines Extreme Metal with with progressive elements aplenty.

With smart and philosophical lyrics, Ana Kefr may have very well created their own Metal genre, which I’ll call – Thinking Man’s Extreme Metal. Maybe an easier label to blanket Ana Kefr with is Progressive Extreme Metal, only that would be too academic. Making things easier for us all, I’ll take a line from Hard Rock warriors Tesla: Call it what you want. I’m calling Ana Kefr an open book Extreme Metal Band… Metal be thy name.

It’s very easy to get caught up in Metal genre labels, with that said, Ana Kefr is not going to punch out at the Extreme Metal time clock anytime soon. Time is on this band’s side. What Ana Kefr brings with their extremity is layers of sounds that are so intriguing, my captivation level had reached an all new high while listening to The Burial Tree (II)… and that was during my initial listen through. What Ana Kefr has convincingly conveyed to my ears, is musical influences do not have to stand out as a bulls-eye within the structures of their songs. Ana Kefr has a keen ability to make their musical mood evolve into a potpourri of tonal originality, regardless if they are not pioneers of Metal experimentalism. Musical influences I or anyone else hears within an album of songs, is undeniably subjective. Still, the fun begins once my perception of sound takes that daringly brave leap. I’ll continue onward…

Between the Metal linings of Ana Kefr’s music, I sense influences ranging from Queensryche to Savatage, with a possible yet legitimately subtle nod to Cradle Of Filth. Do I dare state that quite logically, a reference point may have once been The Electric Light Orchestra when it comes to the atmospheric elements to The Burial Tree (II)? Maybe and maybe not. The Trans Siberian Orchestra epic-like canvas of sound hurls itself straight upon my ears from the sensory presence of The Burial Tree (II). Only this band bestows a much darker, outwardly aggresivemainstream shattering and stormier presentation of music and this album’s non-conforming bark is as muscular as it’s Extreme laden bite. The Burial Tree (II) is a box of puzzle pieces that unloads in my brain, then gets put together fluidly as each song spills forth it’s uniqueness of musical character.

Rhiis D. Lopez creates the feelings and sounds that drive Ana Kefr’s music to such elegantly Extreme profoundness with his wizardry on the keys, not to mention his emotionally Extreme vocals, resulting in that open air journey of the mind I’ve signed on to, before I can even refuse. Around each bend, through the maniacal twists and turns, are those sounds and vibrations that may just go unnoticed after the first six or maybe seven listens of The Burial Tree (II), Ana Kefr is that enterprising of a band. Can Ana Kefr be too complex for their own good? In my Metal opinion, not in this post-Millennium decade.

A thinking man’s Metal will stop me in my tracks, making me realize that there is much more to know and explore about music and it’s infinite possibilities. With a clarinet and saxophone being introduced to the musical repertoire of The Burial Tree (II), Ana Kefr is careful enough to not overstep and become overly creative. Not to dissect apart a need for woodwinds in an already progressively driven atmosphere of Metal, the level of their use substantiates Ana Kefr’s belief in less is more when it comes to not over exploiting these ageless instruments. Devouring an album such as The Burial Tree (II) overnight or over the course of a two week period is absurd. This is an album and a band that just might become your Metal companion for your mind… the big and thick book you can’t push aside.

Expect Blackened Death vocals, searing guitar parts that boils over and gives way to melody, unexpected episodes of calm, with a bounty of synthetic fullness that engulfs the top and background of these 14 songs heard on The Burial Tree (II). All the while, the Extreme Metal direction that Ana Kefr travels never goes astray from it’s determined path of being the equalizer. To put it best, mainstream would walk on the other side of the street upon seeing Ana Kefr emerging from the darkened alley.

Ana Kefr does not present a cut and dry approach, nor do they administer a cut and dry sound to sum up in a tidy album review for Metal aficionado’s on the go. What I will say, is Ana Kefr remarkably joins the highs with the lows, impeccably balancing each song’s tempo and personality to eye popping approval. Those eyes popping are mine by the way. When a band can take me aboard their musical journey, regardless of how Extreme or mellow it may be and bring me to a place I’ve never been before, then that band deserves my Metal commendation. The Burial Tree (II) is a Metal album that encompasses musical elements of various Metal genres. These are intelligent musicians that have given thought to their music and lyric’s complexity and made a fearless album of songs along the way. Ana Kefr shook up my Metal soul with The Burial Tree (II), I’m quite certain they will try to eventually seize it altogether. Metal be thy name, I can’t let it go just yet.

* Album cover art for The Burial Tree (II) was created by the Dutch artist Bianca Van Der Werf and is aptly titled: The Watcher.

ANA KEFR:

Rhiis D. Lopez – lead vocals, keyboards & clarinet

Kyle Coughran – rhythm guitar & vocals

Brendan Moore – lead guitar, saxophone & vocals

Alphonso Jimenez – bass

Shane Dawson – drums & percussion

Track Listing For The Burial Tree (II):

Ash-Shahid

Emago

Monody

In The House Of Distorted Mirrors

Thaumatrope

Bathos And The Iconoclast

The Zephirus Circus

Jeremiad

Apoptosis

Parasites

Paedophilanthrope

Fragment

The Blackening

The Collector

LONG LIVE ANA KEFR.

Stone.

4 Responses to “ANA KEFR – “The Burial Tree (II)” Progressively Extreme and Resists Metal Boundaries”

  1. […] Go here to see the original: ANA KEFR – “The Burial Tree (II)” Progressively Extreme and … […]

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  3. […] ANA KEFR – “The Burial Tree (II)” Progressively Extreme and Resists Metal Boundaries […]

  4. Anonymous Says:

    great review…great band…love the humble tone…very talented young men.

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