Some forgotten gems within the catacombs of obscure death metal have remerged and found the grace they had long ago deserved. Others, however, had been more concerned with sticking it in the rotting corpses around the graves, and thus failed to live up to expectations when excavations of a potential diamond in the filth had begun. One such example of this forlorn category of hidden releases is Antropomorphia’s “Necromantic Love Songs,” a small EP of death metal tunes that are, well, not romantic. The EP reeks of the early stages of a group that was trying to figure out what went where and what to do when it went where it belonged, if you know what I mean. (And I will shamelessly admit it took a long, long time before I got the pun.)
Antropomorphia sprouted from the influence of noteworthy death metal bands, such as Autopsy and Death; it is easy to see these influences brewing up in what is undeniably death metal with an old-fashioned edge. Sadly, the riffs suggesting influence from the aforementioned groups coughed up through fast and mid-paced medians are unable to captivate. They aren’t boring or flat, but they are basic death metal riffs that go through the motions, I guess. I haven’t been able to recall most of these songs without digging up the EP to give my memory a jumpstart, and death metal with forgettable, bland riffs sinks where it stands. However, pretty much every other component of “Necromantic Love Songs” nails it. The low, guttural vocals are sickening; the drum work is surprisingly vital; and the production is raw and sloppy, perfect for such filth.
But Antropomorphia was at least perceptive enough in its erotic serenading of the deceased to weave in impressive instrumental knacks. Bass lines are everywhere throughout the EP, most notably kicking off “The Carnal Pit” with a funky groove which the rest of the band casually enters before reaching their desired death metal directive. “Chunks of Meat” stitches up a jazzy Atheist-esque drum section during one of its decelerated sections, leading to an eventual eruption that is all the more intriguing due to an unfamiliar idea setting up the rest of the music. A few spiffy riffs introduce themselves here and there, but mostly Antropomorphia does the death metal thing with extra sickness.
The EP’s title, lyrics, and cover art reveal Antropomorphia’s fetishistic knack for the dead; Jeffery Dahmer was subtler, I’m sure. “Necromantic Love Songs” is not a bad release by any means, but it is stripped of execution and lacks significance that would have elevated it to a higher status. Then again, Antropomorphia sounds like the type of band that would rather crack open caskets and do the nasty than exercise its musical dominance, and that deserves respect. You be you, Antropomorphia.