Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tomahawk: Anonymous (4.5/5)

Year: 2007
Label: Ipecac
Genre: Experimental Tribal Rock
TRT: 43:30

This album didn’t really strike me as anything special when I listened to it in 2007. How I could pass over something so innovative and (paradoxically) original is beyond comprehension. But a few months in to 2008 a track came up on shuffle and I was mesmerized. Immediately I gave Anonymous another chance, and have been entranced ever since.

Like many, I initially laid all credit at the feet of Mike Patton, which I came to find out was wrong of me. Duane Denison is the mastermind behind this, the one who did the research and found the material. I say “found”, because every song here was written hundreds of years ago by Native Americans who’s bones have turned to dust along with their names (hence the title of the album). The one exception to this is the short closer Long, Long Weary Day, which is of the same time period, but not Indian in origin. While Patton’s vocal performance is one of his best, the musical interpretations and arrangements are all Denison.

Anonymous is dark and haunting, like an ominous thunderhead approaching. There are however enough rays of light shining through to keep it interesting and supply enough melatonin to stave off depression. Patton’s signature sound is present in full force, with most of his vocal acrobatics centering around tribal chants.

There is nothing else like this in the world of music. Truly a unique experience, one worth repeating time after time.

01 War Song
02 Mescal Rite 1
03 Ghost Dance
04 Red Fox
05 Cradle Song
06 Antelope Ceremony
07 Song of Victory
08 Omaha Dance
09 Sun Dance
10 Mescal Rite 2
11 Totem
12 Crow Dance
13 Long, Long Weary Day

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