Annotations Of An Autopsy
Reign Of Darkness
posted on 3/2010 By:
The UK's Annotations of an Autopsy and their 2008 debut, Before the Throne of Infection was somewhat of a laughing stock of death metal/deathcore as the whole effort just seemed so forced (even the artwork) and almost ‘fake’ in its death metal throes, that it almost came across as utterly dishonest.
So with 2 members moving on to the respectable Ingested, who themselves delivered a solid debut in Surpassing the Boundaries of Human Suffering, how do Annotations fare with their follow up? Actually- pretty fucking well. Surprisingly so as a matter of fact, and those that dismissed them after the debut should check out this album as, like Ingested, it’s a very solid death metal record.
Like say, Job For A Cowboy, Carnifex and Suicide Silence, the band seems to have matured and dropped some of their core elements and of those bands Annotations seems to have fared the best. Also, the band and label enlisted some very heavy hitters for this album. Namely, Par Oloffson for the artwork (Severed Savior, Prostitute Disfigurement, Deeds of Flesh, etc) and the duo of Alan Douches and Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal) to mix/master the album. Rutan even lends a hand with some guest vocals on “Bone Crown.” Add the fact that vocalist Steve Regan seems to have toned down his over forced pig squeals and grunts in favor of a gnarly growl, the end result is very respectable.
Obviously, the album sounds great with a definite Morbid Angel/Hate Eternal tone to the guitars, though with a beefed up rhythm section. And right from the get go of “In Snakes I Bathe” it's apparent the band is going old school death metal without forcing too much. Rather than a simple mish mash of squealing blasts and telegraphed breakdowns, the songs seem far more structured and full of old school time changes, solos and riffs that are far more rooted in Floridian death metal. Though there are some nice grooves here and there, none of them seem rooted in hot topic core, but a more rumbling, seismic and menacing slowdowns befitting the term death metal and not deathcore. The aforementioned “Bone Crown” has a simply killer opening rumble, “Catastrophic Hybridization” has a nice melodic intro and the lumbering “Impale the Sun” has a very sweet, almost Grave sounding opening groove.
The album's last two excellent cuts “Cryogenica” and eight minute “Into the Black Slumber” are two, well structured tracks that are pure controlled death metal and “Into the Black Slumber” even features some atmospherics sprinkled about, further highlighting that Annotations of an Autopsy look to have gained some measure of respectability within death metal.
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