By: Garviel Loken
Eighteen minutes may not seem like much when speaking in terms of music these days, considering that a lot of bands are writing single songs that are in the ten minute plus range, but Tucson's Anakim have forged an initial offering that makes every second count and more. The four tracks of "Waking Giants" showcase an impressive array of sounds that make it very difficult to place their music in any one area of the musical spectrum. In fact, after repeated listens, what they sound like is quite bewildering, albeit in a good way.
Opening song Baptized In Crude is a straight up rocker that channels the spirit of Kyuss, complete with a great guitar solo. This song also takes a couple of completely unexpected left turns and throws down some hardcore tinged passages and even a bit of death metal. Follow on track, Calling The Wind, is a slow building dirge that is heavy with a vibe and atmosphere that would make Led Zeppelin or Tool proud. This band simply nails it on this tune, which is without doubt the highlight of the whole EP. Stop reading this and listen to it now.
If slower, sludgy songs do not work for you, let us continue on to the next track, Eaters Of The Dead, where you will find some faster material. The song has a pulsing beat that propels it forward at a good clip while gang vocals and sharp, concise riffs fire off without abandon. The chorus is extremely memorable and worth banging your head to. Anakim prove here that while they can get spaced out in other songs, they can also coalesce into a battering ram and lay siege to your hearing.
The final song on this EP, which is entitled The Life You Lost, brings things full circle and provides a bookend. This track melds the dreamy, atmospheric mood which they play so well on Calling The Wind with the ferocity of the other material heard in Baptized In Crude and Eaters Of The Dead. The music starts out trippy and bluesy and continues for over two minutes before launching into a driving riff which itself morphs into several variations, all nicely played and heavier than a ton of refined uranium. The vocals are very sparse and only appear near the end of the song, guiding it to a conclusion.
Anakim truly are musical ninjas, they can change the game on your ears within song structures and seamlessly combine many disparate elements to create something that is hard to classify. At the end of the day, what genre you label a band as doesn't matter much, but when you come across something like "Waking Giants" and have to really wonder about what it might be, that is the mark of a good record. You know what phrase best applies to Anakim? Simple, epic, and full of feel. That is all there is to it, go listen and discover the great vibe and power that this band has to offer.
Final Score: 8/10