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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Discovering the Underground - Michael Dorrian (Anatomy Of I)

Here we go again, this time with Michael Dorrian - a founder, guitarist and vocalist of progressive death metal trio Anatomy Of I. The line‐up is rounded out by longtime friends Steve Di Giorgio (Sadus, Death, Testament) on bass and Dirk Verbeuren (Scarve, Soilwork) on drums. Their 2011 debut album 'Substratum' consists of 10 unique songs of boundless energy and rage with many twists, never letting speed dominate the soundscape and leaving plenty of room for each instrumentalist to shine. Self‐released by the band's own label, Red Nautilus Records, 'Substratum' is an album with a strong personality and devastating power.

1. Can you give a quick update about what you guys are up to these days?

We're currently auditioning people for the 2nd guitarist spot. People from the US to Russia have been sending us mails about auditioning for us, which is flattering, but I'm really looking for a local guitarist in the proximity of Amsterdam who can rehearse on a regular basis, etc... We have a few good candidates at the moment and we actually have one over today !
The reason why we're looking for an additional guitarist is because we felt that we needed a fuller sound on stage and it will also allow me to try varying my vocals a little more. I don't intend on singing clean parts but I do want to put more of an emphasis on the vocals, rather than them being kind of an afterthought.
Aside from that, we're gearing up for shows in early 2013 with the live line-up, consisting of Melle Kramer (OBSIDIAN) on drums and Giuseppe Formisano (NAUSEAHTAKE) on fretless bass. I'm also busy working on new songs, which will probably be recorded in the summer of 2013.

2. Please name a few underground/unknown bands which have impressed you lately.

Pfft... I'm not sure if I'm the right person to answer this question as I'm not following the underground scene that much lately. I was heavily collecting demos from the early 90's back in the day, but have since not been that active in trying to find that new revolutionary band. I believe people should take the time to support their local bands although I might not be the best example of doing so, since I barely do so myself, but I do give everything a chance, whether it's a known band or not.
Who could I mention ? ... There are some rumors flying around that Shaun Kelly and Erik Rutan are trying to release and/or re-record the 2nd Ripping Corpse album that was never finished, but I don't know whether it's a concrete project at all. There's a Ripping Corpse demo flying around on youtube which they've done after 'Dreaming with the Dead', but that's about all there is.
An impressive up and coming death metal band is 'the Modern Age Slavery' from Italy. They're a solid live band which combines both old school influences with newer styles, time changes, diferent time signatures, but still brutal as hell.
What else is out there... I can't think of anything right now, I'm just eagerly awaiting new releases from Immolation and Suffocation, as both bands have recently been recording their next assaults, but they're not really unknown bands ...

3. Name a few new albums which you think everyone should check out.

I'd actually suggest to refer to the classic bands and their most important albums. Every kid that gets into death metal because of deathcore or the latest brutal metal trend should go back to the classics and get to know where it comes from ... and I'm not saying that because of some snobbish point of view that old stuff is always better and blablabla, but it's a fact that back in the days where the access to the media wasn't as instant as it is now, bands would put more time into writing songs, rehearsing them, trying them live, re-arrangeing them, etc... before they'd even go into the studio. Nowadays, bands are starting to rehearse the material after they recorded their albums, which is actually the moment where you realise that a song might not do very well in a live setting the way it's been arranged.
You might say that ANATOMY OF I is guilty of this same sin, as we didn't rehearse the material together before we recorded this album, but I've spent so much time working on these songs, and sending ideas back and forth while Dirk was recording... we re-arranged some stuff, then Steve came into my studio and did his parts, which also led to some changes in my guitar parts and vocals ... it was still a dynamic process where each musician had an impact on his counterparts.
To get back to your question, the new Testament record is definitely worth picking up. It actually sounds like what I had expected them to sound like on Demonic, when it was announced that Gene would be playing on that record. I assumed it'd be a natural progression from Low, with Gene's signature drumming, boy was I wrong, hahaha !
What else ... honestly, I've been dissappointed by a lot of new releases, as they simply did not reach my expectations. It could be linked to what I mentioned earlier about bands being pressured to put out material before they're actually ready, so I'm defintily not judging them or writing them off... it's just a hard time for music, these days...

4. Some old albums which u have been listening to lately?

As I was waiting for the new Testament to come out, I was listening to their stuff lately ... mostly Low and the Gathering. Nothing against Skolnick, but I've always preferred the records Murphy played on. What
What else ... I've listened to some Darkane records and Immolation, also due to the fact that they've been hyping the making of new releases.

5. Any other message for DMI readers? What is your opinion about DMI?

Check out our debut album, Substratum, you'll definitely dig it if you're into high speed death metal with a certain depth, variations and technicality. We've self-released it in a special packaging only available through our site (www.anatomyofi.com) or at our shows. Digital copies are available through itunes and amazon.
I think DMI is a great way of spreading the awareness about underground bands, and kinda brings back that whole vibe of tape trading. I browse through the site every now and then, and most of the bands that are mentioned are not THE trendy band that every site keeps talking about as they want to make sure they get their amount of hits and advertisement clicks... I might sound paradoxal to say that things have gotten too commercial after having promoted our own releases a couple of sentences back, but live music needs to be brought back to the basics... people need to feel fired up about seeing a band live again, buying the CDs to add to their collection and enjoy the artwork, the lyrics, and basically the whole experience. It's great to be able to check out bands on youtube when you've heard about an album but you don't know what it sounds like, but people need to be reminded what it was like to actually be at these gigs, and to support upcoming bands that are still hungry to perform.

Websites: www.facebook.com/pages/Anatomy-of-I

Originally uploaded by rot

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