EHNAHRE (Taming The Cannibals) CD
If you're a fan of adventurous and challenging music, just listen to the new album from the Boston based band EHNAHRE. It's a genre-busting album that doesn't sit still, showing the influences of free jazz, death metal, free improvisation, and sludge. Due to this reason, 'Taming The Cannibals' is a very polarizing album. It's the kind of thing you're either open to or you'll hate. EHNAHRE were putting in a lot of effort to make the access to their music as difficult as possible. Every time you think you understood what they mean you immediately realize you are wrong. This heavyweight multi-genre freakout is so unbelievably eclectic that one has to wonder what on earth possessed EHNAHRE to create such a thing. The music switches direction drastically, but sometimes there are quieter moments. Nevertheless, be careful: the calm is deceptive.
In vain does one seek sweet melodies or sweeping rhythms. All of the six tracks are as abstract as possible and simultaneously very disturbing. Then, of course, one asks oneself if EHNAHRE is just another artsy-fartsy band or are they visionaries. I think, it's neither of the two. Except for the super-heavy riffs, their sonic guerrilla aesthetics reminds me very much of John Zorn's Naked City. And there is something architectural about EHNAHRE that is associated with Khanate's radical style. 'Animal' is a good example for this structural similarity. Maybe that explains why this album was mastered by James Plotkin.
Let us now turn to the artsy-fartsy issue. Of course, it is easy to allege that 'Taming The Cannibals' is not based on gut feeling, but why not? I think there's nothing artificial about their music. All of their musical influences are well encapsulated in the cacophonous song structures and even a violin doesn't bother. It just takes time for the whole thing to come together. EHNAHRE are willing (and capable) of expressing themselves in any form and that's exactly what they do. Perfect and merciless. It is also not wrong to read the lyrics which can be found in an eight page booklet that is part of the stylishly designed four-panel digipack. It sounds so cliché, but one must truly listen to this album for themselves to have any kind of understanding for how much ass it kicks.