Ana Never creates one of the most essential post-rock albums of the year. We will never forget the moment we have received the recording and start listening to it. When we heard the whole album, we knew how lucky we were. "We have listened to one of the greatest post-rock album of all the times."
On their new album "Small Years", Ana Never creates exciting and sensual atmosphere and waves of sounds in a lonely planet. We are landing this planet with 26 minutes and 34 seconds long track "Future Wife" where droning guitars slowly runs to climax. The special guest, Tijana Stankovic on violins has made a great contribution to the album and the violin lines of "Future Wife" make the song wear wings accordingly to to quietly plucked guitar notes and drum rolls. We continue traveling with "Half Way" which is the shortest track of the record. We find a coherent dark story here driven by piano / broken hearted guitars. The third track; "Gorgeous One" brings us to the most peaceful areas on this planet, there are lots of things picture here in the 16:14 run time. The last track To Live For is the longest track of the album which brings an energetic and dark conclusion to the album. It's not safe enough to listen while driving because the violent tornado may take you in, you should hide behind your inner shadows before it unfolds gently.
In short, we believe Ana Never has crafted a masterpiece in their four track, 75 mintues 34 seconds long album. Let's make reference to Joy Division here: They share a dream, no post-rock fan can step outside.
A Closer Listen / Zachary Corsa
“Half Way” is a ghostly little interlude, the ideal comedown to the massive tidal swell of what came before. Stirring little piano snippets over a bed of noise segue into the aptly-named “Gorgeous One”, another violin-led wander through heartbroken topographies that brings to mind Early Day Miners, Balmorhea and even Dirty Three before its eventual, blissfully inevitable climb skyward. Fact of the matter is, sometimes there’s great pleasure in the expectation of the usual crescendos in post rock. The final piece, “To Die For”, is slightly mathier, with brisk drumming and American Football clean guitars rushing in tandem between the giant swells of noise. The album ends in a whisper, disintegrating into a half-life of ash and meltdown, resigned, sated. The thing about indie rock is that the Dirty Projectors can’t make a trip to the local Kroger feel like battling a horde of Vikings for control of the earth.
“Post rock is boring.” Shut up. “Post rock is predictable.” Shut up again. “All post rock is the same.” Meet a fist. Enough. When post-rock is this good, all the self-serious dialogue and nose-in-the-air judgment doesn’t matter. This album destroys.
Fade To Yelow
Fluttery Records seem to have a knack of signing artists who release great albums. This latest album release by Serbian based Ana Never is more than great. This is epic post-rock, 4 tracks on this album, titled ‘Small Years’ spans over 75 minutes. The shortest track, Half Way is nearly 5 minutes long while the longest track, To Live For, is just slightly over 28 minutes long. The opening track Future Wife has a slow entrance, and equally slow exit, at just over 26 minutes in length, there is no real hurry to go anywhere. the song builds, almost drone like, then transforms into this long form post-rock sound that is patiently building and building before ebbing away. The last song, ‘To Live For’, moves along at a slightly different pace to the other three tracks on this release. Ana Never do have a history of long form songs and it works perfectly, it certainly never feels that long when you are listening to it. So, Fluttery Records triumph again with this release and their seemingly endless stream of signed artists from all over the globe who produce music of the highest calibre.
The album title may be a bit of a joke as these are giant songs. Ana Never knows how to create epically long, grandiose pieces. With two pieces clocking in at almost a half hour these are giant slabs of Post-Rock akin to Godspeed You Black Emperor’s work. Classical instruments such as violins contribute to this particular feel. Here the songs soar. Everything takes a long time to build yet when it does it becomes overwhelming. Pieces get rather loud and extremely busy. More than a few times it feels less like a band and more like an entire village is performing.
Aggression comes out in the first piece ‘Future Wife’. The violinist does a particularly lovely job of rising above the guitar-generated din. Musicians work together to keep relatively calm for the first half. However about halfway through Ana Never gets extremely aggressive, beyond that of regular Post-Rock. It sounds almost metal-influenced, akin to Mogwai’s approach. ‘Gorgeous One’ lives up to its name and remains calm. Little in the way of aggressive distortion can be found on this one as it has a much more positive, upbeat approach. It is an infinitely hopeful piece. ‘To Live For’ sounds like an endurance test for the band. Ana Never avoids an outright long build up. From the beginning the song is on the verge of explosion and get moving relatively quickly. In less than two minutes it is in full swing. This is kept up for much of the duration of the song, only catching its breath about halfway through the piece.
‘Small Years’ is giant in every sense of the word: scope, size, and execution.
William Henry Prince
To Live For is twenty eight minutes of swelling, moody brilliance. Like the movement of the sea, it is deep, powerful and constantly shifting, propelled by elemental, emotional forces.
Ana Never have been variously described as ‘instrumental’, ‘post-rock’ and ‘prog’. All of these labels are loosely correct – their music has no vocals and doesn’t follow standard song structures, but, to me, it is so much more. I love the sheer monumental scale of it, the layering, the moods, filled with waves, with ebb and flow – it is ‘ocean rock’. These tracks are tidal.
Future Wife has some passages that are reminiscent of Brian Eno’s ambient work – particularly the second half of ‘Before And After Science’. The synths, guitars, bass and drums are complimented by violins, to create a wide, glassy, gently flowing river of sound. Spikes of feedback and distortion are driftwood, reaching out like hands from the depths beneath. Twenty six and a half minutes of sonic majesty.
Gorgeous One is propelled by drum brushes, guitar rhythms and deep bass swells. The synths add a cool retro feel – suggesting the instrumental side of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ album. The staccato guitar work builds with weeping keys, reaching the crest of a gigantic wave, before rolling out to quiet stillness again. The long, moaning violin and lone medieval drum beat are hypnotic, balanced by short, echoing piano stabs and the occasional, percussive sound of a violin bow tapping the strings.
Everything is great, overwhelming and complete. Indeed, everything points to the fact that post-rock veterans from Serbia, Ana Never band is currently in the climax of their creation.
Just like on their first album, but here are a lot more powerful, these Suboticians layer by layer build orgy tonal trifle grandiose and emotional discharge. In all four compositions Ana Never transport their sound filled with strong feelings. All are invited. No matter what you like long instrumental pieces or not. These are the sort of symphony, whose basis is a harmonious play two guitars, bass, drums and keyboards that is not in the eye countless times proclaimed the death of the genre, but also the darkness of this world. "Small Years" from start to finish infused with the indomitable positive, which is also reflected among other things, with the names of compositions, "Future Wife", "Half Way", "Georgeus One" and "To Live For." These guys have obviously found what something is worth for living, to rejoice and cry, so it also passed on his new album. Epic, monolithic, silent and hidden world in free fall, and momentum to new heights - Over twenty minutes long compositions such as introductory "Future Wife" and the final "To Live For." These Suboticians not care much for the time and have no fear that it might have turned out boring, but all add up safe and sound mosaics in which and everything is in its place.
Echoes And Dust
It’s been a good year for post rock with luminaries MONO and Godspeed re-entering the fray, complemented by strong work from lesser know lights like Whale Fall, Rumour Cubes and sleepmakeswaves but let me tell you ladies and gentlemen, ‘Small Years’ is up there with the best of them. Staying true to the genre, the record is made up of just four tracks, of which two weigh in at nearly half an hour a piece and these top and tail the album magnificently. Many post rock bands make overlong tracks because they feel they have to, because that’s the template, Ana Never do it because that’s how long it takes them to say what they have to say. At no point in these monster epics, and this is especially true of the phenomenal closer ‘To Live For’, does one find one’s attention wandering. In fact, you barely notice the length of the tracks, such is the enthralling nature of the music.
Stinkweeds "Best of 2012" Book / Jesse Srogoncik
Formulaic though it may be, instrumental post-rock still has the ability to create moments of transcendental bliss at the proper volume. This sophomore effort from Ana Never stands as one of the finest post-rock recordings of this or any other year. Truly magnificent: the elongated, creeping crescendo of Godspeed You Black Emperor, the melancholy of Japan's Mono, and Mogwai's gale force, hammer of the gods. There is an undeniable stasis befitting their Serbian origins; like Thomas Koner or Stars Of The Lid, a tectonic shift that seems capable of bending time. You'll want your clock set to Daylight Savings Time and a stereo that goes to eleven.