Early last year Alex CF, vocalist of Light Bearer, formerly of Fall of Efrafa and a number of other bands, travelled to Oakland, CA and met with members of Monuments Collapse, setting a deadline of two weeks to write and record a demo together. It was both a success and a slight failure but what happened was the genesis of Anopheli.
In their self-imposed deadline, the new band managed to write a collection of affecting and enigmatic hardcore songs inflected with the grandeur that both Light Bearer and Monuments Collapse possess. Unfortunately they ran out of time and the songs were not recorded immediately, putting the project on the temporary backburner. That is until now as the project has fully manifested itself in A Hunger Rarely Sated.
The periodic nature of the album’s creation meant that ideas had lengthy breaks in which to flourish. So while the album may not have the total urgency that its creators had originally hoped for, A Hunger Rarely Sated feels like a very mature and honed record. Anopheli also enlisted the services of a cellist, named simply Nicole on the band’s Facebook page, to add new layers to the band’s self-described “emo crust” sound.
Musically, the project is soaked in the traits of the member’s respective bands. Alex CF’s vocals are unmistakable of course and the burning hardcore stylings paired with the lush cello playing really hark back to Fall of Efrafa’s first record Owsla. The opening passages of ‘The Embittered Living’ sets this tone with brooding guitars that give way to thick, enveloping cello before erupting into a blaze of crusty riffs and a vicious vocal one-two from Alex and bassist Jasmine, the latter’s style more in the vein of a jarring shriek.
The record meshes influences like Remains of the Day and more obvious inspirations like Swedish crust; it’s quite raw and bluntly aggressive but the production is rather glossy, giving the compositions plenty of room to breathe all the while a juddering rhythm section is held down with crunchy bass. ‘Forest of the Genocides’ exhibits that in spades. In perhaps predictable but thrilling fashion nonetheless, the song gallops to a heady crescendo typified by the dramatic cello and devastatingly emotive vocal harmonies from Alex and Jasmine.
Penultimate outing ‘Filia’ provides us with lush acoustics and a breather of sorts before seguing into the eight minute album closer ‘Rime’, a rich coalescing of all the record’s traits into one cluster that appropriately wraps up the record, though with a somewhat abrupt ending.
It feels like a “to be continued…” message and A Hunger Rarely Sated is indeed a rather short record, and coupled with the band’s side project nature and the Atlantic Ocean between them, it begs the question of what is next for Anopheli in the long run?