alternative ambient dark ambient dark folk Metal prog rock ritual music shamanic

Anilah – Chrysalis Review

Shadow work with beams of light from Anilah.

Sounds like…

Tibetan monks channelling dark ambient.

The review

There is a certain duality to Anilah and her music. On one hand, her voice and vocal arrangements move between something you’d expect a Tibetan monk to chant to an arcane witch cry. Then on the other hand you have a malevolent, dangerous rumbling of ambience that threatens to break into a dark metal frenzy. It never does, although some breakout explosions into a tribalistic ritual do occur, but it’s that taut, tense fractious middle ground that Anilah holds dear.

‘Chrysalis’ is her new album and it showcases this mood beautifully. It’s about moving between light and shadow, connecting the two and realising how they interplay and heal. It might be through the healing hums of ‘Ouroboros’ or the post-rock drones and cries of ‘The Messenger’, they tackle the same question from different sides. Anilah then sonically mashes the two together in a way that Chelsea Wolfe or Wardruna would be proud of. It sounds like an odd middle ground but that’s exactly where Anilah’s music sits.

photo of Anilah
Anilah

Over the course of the album, the albums sound and haunting echoes change. ‘Sanctuary’ is a haunting vocal arrangement with wide spacious effects, distant echoing wind chimes and a low drone hum. You can feel and imagine the vast space and slowness of time. ‘The Loom’ is a huge percussive wheel of drums and chants with washed-out synths that power through like a swarm of brass wasps looking to strike. ‘Ineffable’ is more melodic and hanging as if the melody and thought are suspended in space. It is possibly the most accessible track on the album and has its dark ambient and shamanic synth at its finest. If you are looking for a more metal take on things, the wall of guitar noise from ‘Serpentine’ that descends into a soothing vocal numb will be your anthem for change.

‘Chrysalis’ is a superb album that shows healing music doesn’t have to be the traditional acoustic guitar and bongos route. The way how darkness and light collide and merge here is superb. It works really well with her previous album ‘Warrior’ too they feel like two pieces from the same puzzle. A superb follow up.

Recommended track: Ineffable

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Anilah - Chrysalis

8.5

8.5/10

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