The Vault: Ehnahre – Taming the Cannibals

There's very little you can say about Ehnahre to someone who hasn't heard them before.  Black metal free jazz, death jazz, Satanic jazz; terms like that sort of give an idea, but it's not really sufficient.  An earlier version of the band formed around 2000 and experimented with several different genres including grind, sludge, and even metalcore, but what eventually came out of it is virtually unfathomable by the usual metal fan.  This is next level stuff here, folks.  Sure, we like solos, we like sick riffs, we even like breakdowns, but something like this takes time to understand, and a head on your shoulders.  This was reviewed several years ago by the new editor here, just as a fledgling writer, but it still stands this test of time of a few years as one of the more interesting experimental albums we've ever received, released by the awesome one-man powerhouse label known as Crucial Blast.

 

I feel bad for these guys. First off, how in the hell do you pronounce the name and is it possible to correctly remember how it's spelled? Second, it's highly unlikely anyone will appreciate what they've done with metal for at least another decade. This stuff is way ahead of its time. I almost had a chance to see them live in Pittsburgh, but they apparently cut out because they weren't making enough money on tour. Probably because no one had a stinking clue what they were about and too many minds were blown, because this is most certainly not the usual metal.

 

Taming the Cannibals is a very odd-looking release. There's a scribbled drawing on the cover that's almost a human version of the ouroboros.  Inside you get plain white with very minimal suggestions of life in the form of scant, grass-like protrusions. It doesn't really seem to give any sort of feeling. But the music is where this one will really throw you for a loop.

  

Taming the Cannibals is pure musical artistry that's actually entered new territory. Rarely will you come across a release that breaks this much ground without running itself into the earth. There is simply no way to categorize what's going on here because it's never been done before [Editor's Note: We actually did review a band like this not so long ago, learn about them by clicking here.]. You can say there's metal, because there sort of is at times, but going with the band's own self-given tag of 'Satan jazz' is about as accurate as you can get. This stuff is mind-blowing. The drums rattle and bend, suddenly breaking tempo and cutting your sense of balance, the guitars shriek and occasionally find their way into chords, the singing goes from a post-hardcore wail to a sludged, effects-ridden mess of depression, the bass wraps around your neck, this album is just completely overwhelming. Persevering through its labyrinth of chaos is something no typical metal fan will be able to accomplish.

 

Taming the Cannibals opens with "The Clatterbones", a fitting title, because the drums manage to capture what would best be described as bones clacking together, coupled with disturbing riffs that slowly tug themselves from the mire.  Another, "Birth-Dues", runs into your body with an off-kilter, dissonant violation of musical arrangement, and the rest of the album keeps this general pattern moving. There's really no better way to put it, this is the most confrontational metal album you're ever going to encounter in all the best ways possible. To call these guys something like the AIDS Wolf of metal is an understatement, and further not really fair because said band never released much that was good, and there's a lot of substance to be found here. This is leagues beyond what we know of the scene today, and it probably will be for years to come.  Our only hope is they keep it going, and someone else learns to listen.

 

Ehnahre Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Ehnahre – Taming the Cannibals
Crucial Blast
4.5 / 5