Extreme Metal Fanzine est. 2012

Latest Updates

Filter by: band
[%] - [[0-9]] - [A] - [B] - [C] - [D] - [E] - [F] - [G] - [H] - [I] - [J] - [K] - [L] - [M] - [N] - [O] - [P] - [Q] - [R] - [S] - [T] - [U] - [V] - [W] - [X] - [Y] - [Z]
Filter by: label
[[0-9]] - [A] - [B] - [C] - [D] - [E] - [F] - [G] - [H] - [I] - [J] - [K] - [L] - [M] - [N] - [O] - [P] - [Q] - [R] - [S] - [T] - [U] - [V] - [W] - [X] - [Y] - [Z]
Filter by: style
[A] - [B] - [C] - [D] - [E] - [F] - [G] - [H] - [I] - [M] - [P] - [S] - [T] - [V]
Filter by: country
[A] - [B] - [C] - [D] - [E] - [F] - [G] - [I] - [L] - [M] - [N] - [P] - [R] - [S] - [T] - [U]
Filter by: vmu-author
[A] - [B] - [C] - [D] - [E] - [F] - [G] - [H] - [I] - [J] - [K] - [L] - [M] - [N] - [O] - [P] - [R] - [S] - [T] - [V] - [W] - [X] - [Y] - [Z]

Anatomia – “…we wrote letters, made lots of flyers, xerox copies, and made lots of dubbed tapes”

anatomia – “…we wrote letters, made lots of flyers, xerox copies, and made lots of dubbed tapes”


Ah, the cavernous depths of Japanese Death/Doom act Anatomia. For those familiar with their devastating ‘Corporeal Torment’ or are have one of their many splits in their possession, know they are always in for a treat of darkness and desolation. Takashi Tanaka (drums & vocals) was kind enough to answer some questions about Anatomia and their sonic horizon.

Hello Takashi! Thanks for your time in answering these questions. I had seen my editor write that VMU had never done an interview with the band, so I thought it’d be good to change that. We originally met in March 2020 at Total Death Over Mexico 3. That was quite a memorable experience, as Anatomia and Necrovation were the only bands that made it from outside of North or South America. Do you have any memories of the trip back home from Mexico, specifically? Was it a smooth journey, or was there concern you might get stuck there? Furthermore, what was it like in Japan once you got home? It must have been quite strange to play an international festival then be stuck at home for months.
Yes! March 2020 was really memorable time and one and only experience that we can never forget. We were surprised that there were almost no other people at Narita Airport on the day we left for Mexico, also we met the Japanese legendary heavy metal band Loudness there. They were on the same flight, and I heard later that they were playing at a bigger metal festival in Mexico City. Another surprise was that they were also flying back to Tokyo on the same day!

Well, do you remember we had pulque after we went out for Teotihuacan? We were very thirsty, you know we didn’t bring bottles of water that day, and as we could not found any place that had water, so when we came down from the pyramid, we had that cold pulque. But next day was terrible for me, when we arrived at airport, I had to go toilet many many times, haha.

But yeah, it all went smooth returning home, no checks, no test or getting stuck at anywhere at all. We just arrived back home safe as usual and we were all healthy, except for my diarrhea. My company started remote work at that time, and I didn’t have to go to the office, so everything was easy. It was like a miracle, and good timing. If that were a week later, the situation would be totally different.

I am curious to learn about the underground scene in Japan today – What styles are most common now? Any newer bands that have caught your attention? Which cities have the most shows and fans?
I think Metal Punk, Black Thrash, Grindcore are popular here. I see more people show up at those gigs. Death Metal, Doom Death are not really big. Stoner Rock or Doom Rock are big though. I’m talking about underground local bands here, when it comes to overseas tour bands we have more people of course. But yeah, Mortal Incarnation is pretty good young band here in Tokyo plays Doom Death. Evil is another good band, they play Death Thrash. I would say Tokyo holds the most shows, then Osaka is next big.

What was it like to play in a Death Metal band in Japan when Anatomia started? Would you say it was “controversial”, or did most people just not understand it? How have things changed since?
Well, when Anatomia started in 2003, Brutal Death Metal was popular, most bands played ultra-fast blast beat using trigger, technical guitar solos, with guttural vocals… we were the only band that played slow at our first gig in Tokyo. We got a good response but people looked surprised. I never used triggers but 8 inch tall snare, with no blast beat, just mid tempo songs. I think around in 2010-11, more bands played slower stuff, and that’s when things started to change. Then after Spectral Voice came out, we got many more Death Doom bands popping out now.

I’m interested in the first international performances of the band. So I’m wondering – where were the first countries Anatomia performed in outside of Japan? Are there any crazy stories from those days you’d like to share?
It was Denmark, at the first edition of Kill-Town Death Fest in 2010. We had so much fun there, people were all friendly and met a lot of cool friends. After the fest, we went out on a short tour with Undergang, we played two gigs in Germany which was all a memorable time for us. One of the venues we played was a squat, and it was very cool experience as we had never been to and played such a venue. We arrived there at around 10pm, we started playing from almost midnight then we were asked to play as much as we liked haha. Also, visiting Christiania Copenhagen was like a culture shock, and was a highlight for that trip.

You and Jun have been in the band from the start. What was the process of forming Anatomia like? Were you and he already friends before the band? How did you meet?
Yes we were already friends back then. Actually we formed this band when we met after 9 years. First time was in 1992-93, he was playing in a death thrash band called Sadondeth, and my band Trangressor played shows together couple of times. And I lived in the US for 3 years (from 1993-96) but after I resided back in Tokyo, I was reforming Trangressor with the guitarist Yoshio, and we were looking for bassist. One day, Jun contacted me through email as he saw my email printed on Trangressor discography CD ‘Recollected Limbs’ and that’s how we met and formed this band. We were talking to continue as Trangressor but we started off with a new name instead.

I saw the band performing at Killtown Deathfest in September last year. It’s not the first time you guys have played in Denmark, right? What has the experience of playing there been like for Anatomia?
Yes, it was our 4th time, and we’re totally excited about it. The fest is so much fun as always. We meet a lot of good friends there, old and new, always welcoming us. Great atmosphere, bands, foods, the fest is professionally organized with heartful hospitality. Also a special place for us because one of the reasons for launching the very first edition was having us to play there. It was in 2010, already 13 years ago, but was a memorable time as I said earlier it was our first country we played outside Japan.

You were active in the Japanese scene for a long time before Anatomia started. Could you talk about how you first got into Death Metal in the 90s? What was it like to communicate through letters and tape trading? Also, I remember you said that you had gone to Milwaukee Deathfest in the early 90s. What was that experience like? Any good stories to share?
At that time there was no border between Death and Thrash but we had Slayer’s ‘ Hell Awaits’, Sepultura’s  ‘Morbid Visions’, Possessed’s  ‘Seven Churches’, and those albums I believe were darker, slower, and heavier, and we necessarily got into it. When Death’s ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ came out, I was still a huge fan of Kreator, Sodom, and Destruction, but around the time when I got Death, Massacre, Morbid Angel demos, I started to dig underground stuff and started tape trading. Obviously not like communicating through Internet, but we wrote letters, made lots of flyers, xerox copies, and made lots of dubbed tapes. I was still a student playing in bands, so I was busy all the time doing band things, trading tapes beside studying.

Yes, I went to Milwaukee Metalfest two times, 1993 and 1994. I went with my friends in Michigan (Lucifers Hammer guys and Sandy, Michigan Deathfest organizer) in 1993, that was soon after I moved to the States. And next year, I went with Transgressor guys. Two Transgressor members Yoshio and Akihito visited me in the States and we went to that fest, then next day we played one-off show in Detroit.

A funny story at Milwaukee Metalfest in 1993 is, after the fest was over, I was driving to our hotel, 5 of us in a sedan style car, we were asked by Malicious Onslaught guys if they could fit in that car. They wanted us to take them to the nearby station. I said no, but we tried and we successfully fit 9 people, so we drove to the station with 9 people in a small car. That was funny, still cannot believe we did that.

Transgressor and Necrophile were bands you did before Anatomia. How did those bands start? When you were a teenager, did anything specific happen where you knew you wanted to be in a Death Metal band?
I started Transgressor after splitting up of Gamvetta, which was a Death/Thrash/Grind band I started with my brother in 1988. Transgressor broke up around in 1991, then I joined Necrophile while Transgressor was taking hiatus. I knew them through exchanging letters and tapes before I joined them. I was lucky enough that my parents never said bad things about playing in a band of such extreme music, rather that they always told me to enjoy doing things I like. I think of now, my life has been with music all the time and friends around it.

I think we covered a lot of ground and can conclude here. Is there anything you’d like to add in closing? Any future activities of the band you want to share?
Sure, we did a week long European tour last August. We toured with Druid Lord from Florida, playing 7 gigs in total 5 countries, then the final day was at Kill-Town Death Fest in Copenhagen! We were totally excited about playing Europe again!

Also our new 12″ split with Eternal Rot from UK was released on Behind the Mountain Records recently. We have three new songs on it, so check it out. We have started recording some more new splits, then hopefully working on a new full length album.

Arigato Takashi and I hope that our paths will cross again soon! Thanks for all you do.
Thanks to you Tormentor! It was all fun doing this interview. Yes, we just can’t wait to meet you again soon. Cheers and thanks again for this interview!

This interview is dedicated to the memory of Transgressor’s bassist Akihito Kikuchi, who passed away on 10 October 2023, after their last show in Denmark. Rest in eternal grace