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Antropomorphia - Evangelivm Nekromantia Review

by Matt Hensch

Antropomorphia isn't a household name in the realm of death metal, yet there's quite the biography behind the Dutch trio. Born in 1989, Antropomorphia had gone through the tribulations and tortures of many death metal bands at the time, releasing only a handful of minor releases and a full-length album entitled "Pure" in 1998, which features a tattooed vagina on its cover, before falling away into obscurity. You're a goddamn loser if you just Googled that, by the by. "Evangelivm Nekromantia" comes ten-plus years after the last Antropomorphia offering, the band's first release on Metal Blade Records and pretty much the best chance Antropomorphia has to finally preach their perverted gospel of death metal to a whole new world and generation of potential followers. Are you as big on missed opportunities as I am?

"Evangelivm Nekromantia" is a confused and conflicted record that knows what it wants but executes its bold and ambitious ideas inadequately. The album is both unique and expected: seldom does Antropomorphia deviate from its genuine approach, which relies heavily on rapid, menacing death metal riffs husked over percussion sections that run a few paces slower than the guitar work. Growls are deep, guttural bellows spewing verses of sexual impurity, a vice Antropomorphia treasures based on the morbid, obscene artwork of "Evangelivm Nekromantia." Due to the slowed rate, the group hardly utilizes overused techniques that most modern death metal bands depend on like the blast beat; it fleshes out the essence of Antropomorphia wonderfully at times, making blast beats and up-tempo drum patterns incredibly effective when used. The general execution pays off inconsistently, however.

Anthems such as "Nekrophilian Mass" are brilliantly crafted, while others like "Impure Desecration" are completely spiritless and inert. It all comes down to the specific parts of each track, not the blueprint—the comprehensive structure is, as I said, excellent at times and at others a total melatonin avalanche. Specifically, dense cuts like "Nekrosophia" are completely devoid of absorbing riffs, and, because of the formula, the foundation feels unremarkable and monotonous. "Fleisch" cannot hold a single fraction of a shadow within my memory, as it's just too parched to do anything interesting. "Debauchery in Putrefaction" could've been a monster slab but Antropomorphia constantly circles around the same sections over and over again, running into a lot of trepidations often detected in modern death metal. It's hard to hook a fish without a hook, right?

To counter the overtly cynical lashing, "Evangelivm Nekromantia" shows glimmers of a slaughter machine in the making. "Psuchagogia" sums up the depraved elements of Antropomorphia with startling guitar work and ferocious violence; it's pretty much Antropomorphia's perfect storm. The title track ends the opus on a somber note, using an eerie clean guitar to slowly lead the listener out of Antropomorphia's macabre vulgarity. A handful of the remaining songs have their moments, but ultimately the core of "Evangelivm Nekromantia" bites like a toothless dog. "Evangelivm Nekromantia," an honest effort that just can't get its sh*t together, has the lyrical depravity of death metal nailed, but the rest is not entirely feasible, leaving just one question: are they about lesbian necrophilia, or mundane death metal? A question for the ages, no doubt.

Antropomorphia - Evangelivm Nekromantia


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