posted on 1/2010 By:
So I reviewed the Crash Music re-release of this long running Polish band's fourth album VII Dogmata Of Mercy and it ended up being a pretty solid symphonic black metal affair a la Dimmu Borgir and Old Mans Child. So when I saw the re-issue of the band's cassette only 1992 debut up for grabs, I though I'd give it a crack, expecting more of the same. Man was I wrong.
What we have here is a killer display of classic early 90's death metal with some synths and doomy atmospheric sections that sounds a lot like Morgion and (very) early Edge of Sanity mixed with raw, lesser known demo sounding Stockholm death metal (Nihilist, Gorement, Nirvana 2002, God Macabre, etc.) and it’s a pretty awesome gem of (for me) undiscovered classic awesomeness. Armed with a primal Stockholm buzz, the album has a scrawling, raw and expectedly sloppy sound that I love. Throw in the atmospheric injections and acoustic tangents and you have an album that I’m very glad has been unearthed. Opening with some haunting cellos and then erupting into some mid paced macabre, echoing goodness, the opening title track soon delves into some killer synths that remind me of Morgion’s “Basking a Under the Black Sun Dawning” and a lengthy acoustic outro that sets the tone for the rest of the 6 lengthy songs (6-10 minutes).
There are so many throwback moods, textures and structures on Anathema, it’s almost hard to convey to anyone who wasn’t around listening to and trading tapes and vinyl records back in 1992. Needless to say, you simply don’t hear some of the moods, chord progressions, solos and even hokey keyboards nowadays, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t bring a grin to my face. “Live in Vinnless” is the most direct forgetful track missing keys and acoustics, but it has a classic early 90's death metal lope and lurch. The rest of the tracks are more moody and drawn out with some sort of outro or intro that’s pure 90's cheese and a more doomy, foreboding pace. The main riff from “Putrid Mutants” could be a Nihilst demo track while “Voice from the Deep” heaves and crawls with the assistance of a cello and has a sloppy spooky midsection that only old bastards like me might appreciate.
While some labels are reissuing crap from 2 years ago, I love that Redrum666 found this true gem, dusted it off, remastered it, and released it on CD so folks like me can get all nostalgic amid the breakdowns and triggered drums of today’s metal.
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