New Music

Behind the Symphonic Cabinet of Curiosities: ANARETA’s orchestral opus “Fear Not”

3 mins read

Anareta, hailing from the vibrant city of New Orleans, is an intriguing ensamble that produces an amalgamation of orchestral and cinematic metal, characterized by an unrelenting string section integrated with traditional metal instrumentation, and haunting, anguished vocals. Their music offers a unique and fresh take on heavy metal by blending layers of extreme harshness and delicate beauty. Drawing inspiration from dark, metal atmospheres, Western classical composition structures, and a punk ethos, Anareta has crafted a sound that is both innovative and captivating.

The band came into being in 2018 when longtime friends and bandmates, Carey Goforth on guitar, Mackenzie Hamilton on viola, Sam Hollier on cello, Sarah Jacques on lead vocals and bass, Louise Neal on violin, and Boyanna Trayanova on drums, came together to create music that fuses their diverse musical experiences and backgrounds. From Eastern European folk traditions, punk, traditional jazz and brass bands, extensive Western classical training, to second line parading, Anareta has built a symphonic equivalent of a cabinet of curiosities.

Despite each member having their own eclectic musical pasts, Anareta is only just beginning. With four years in the making, the band’s music has been thoroughly tested and refined in the vibrant New Orleans music scene, and now their debut album, “Fear Not,” is being unleashed upon the world!

Crafting an enlightening voyage through a meticulous, exclusive commentary on each track, Anareta invites you to delve into their music and explore the intricate layers of sound and meaning woven throughout Fear Not.

ANARETA by Bobby Bonesy
ANARETA by Bobby Bonesy

“Frozen Wasteland”

The futility of human efforts to resist the force of nature is a recurring theme in our music, as well as the repercussions of the constructs we have built to protect and support ourselves. Yet whether we are alone in a natural environment or in our human-made fortresses, we recognize how very fragile life is compared to the harsh brutality of nature. “Frozen Wasteland” is inspired by these themes and by works such as “Dead Fire” by Lu Xun and “To Build a Fire” by Jack London.

“Omnicide” is about the fear of total mutual-annihilation, a horror that we live with in the face of increased nuclear proliferation and global militarism.

“Unforgiving Sun” is inspired by the interminable summers of New Orleans; the air thickens, tourism slows to a trickle, storefronts shutter. The sun-soaked blacktop radiates heat long past dusk’s false promise of respite. As this song opens we lean into this sense of swimming through thick humidity and airless nights, every movement burdened by weather; but underneath this seasonal malaise there is tension building. The song swells to reveal a system under pressure, one that inevitably finds a release. Strangling vines, termite and mosquito swarms, tropical storms, crime rates; all these things escalate and explode outward with abandon in the face of this unrelenting force.

In “The Descent” we use call and response to create dialogue between the string section and the rhythm section. What started off as a conversation ended up sounding more like an argument, a dissent. The lyrics take this tension and speak of those moments when we are our worst selves, a personal descent into friction and chaos.

“’Locality” was the first song to coalesce when we began crafting our sound in early 2018, so it feels exciting and appropriate that it is also the first single announcing the release of our debut album ‘Fear Not.’ Through an evolving collaborative process, we combined our musical tastes to produce a sound both beautiful and harsh. The emotive qualities of this piece inspired us to draw lyric inspiration from Dante’s Inferno. Referencing a translation of this work, we present a perspective that questions his descriptions of the first layer of hell; what is the difference between this chaos and a mosh pit?

“Black Snake” is a recognition of the horrific and destructive forces of the oil industry and the commercial infrastructures that are imposed on our lands and across our waterways. The title stems from a Lakota prophecy of a black snake that would cross the land causing destruction and poisoning waters, and was widely used during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests to refer to the toxic contamination that oil pipelines produce across our land. These issues are not isolated, but global, as industry everywhere continues to contaminate and compromise our natural resources. This song is about water. Water is life, and through water everything is connected. With rage and grief we recognize what we have lost as water turns black.

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