Drummer Davide Billia dines out on the name ‘Brutal Dave’ and the title is well deserved when you listen to his explosion of fiery blastbeats on the eagerly anticipated new album from Antropofagus.
Brutal Dave – who also lands the blows with his sticks with similar savagery with the likes of Beheaded and Hour of Penance – drives Methods of Resurrection Through Evisceration (M.O.R.T.E.) forward with maniacal intensity.
These Italians have been keeping their powder dry for five years but we’ve now finally been rewarded with this thunderous release. M.O.R.T.E. is an uncompromising jawbreaker of an album, and certainly one the tightest death metal offerings of the year so far.
Antropofagus gained plenty of admirers with their 2012 offering Architect of Lust and M.O.R.T.E. is every bit as severe as it plunges into some of the darkest corners of our minds, and to places where most people would prefer not to venture.
But the Genovese grindsters don’t just peel back the covers, they rip it’s top layer off with a vengeance and then leap in and kick seven bells out of what they encounter.
It’s fair to say that this bunch aren’t the most prolific because Architect of Lust was released fully 13 years after their debut. At least it looks as though they’re now narrowing the gap between releases to more manageable levels!
Guitarist Francesco (Meatgrinder) is on record as saying: “this is the most old school and evil Antropofagus album to date.” You just know he’s not wrong, once the album takes off with ‘Spawn of Chaos’.
The Italians are now at a point in their career where their technical agility is a match for a Russian gymnast. Tya’s vocals are archetypal DM so don’t try to sing a long without checking a songsheet first.
‘Praise to a Hecatomb!’ slumbers misleadingly in places like a weary wilderbeast having crossed the Serengeti before climaxing with a stomping breakdown of such a frightening scale that it almost rips the soles off your shoes.
With Meatgrinder powering through the riffs you know they are going to be cooked to the bone but wave some of the charred smoke away and there’s plenty of melodies cooking nicely under the surface.
‘Chants for Abyzou’ keeps the fires burning and by the time we reach the serrated edge savagery of the album title track, and the machinegun rattler ‘Omnipotent Annihilation,’ the Antropofagus aggression levels are entering straightjacket territory.
The opening to ‘The Abyss’ is demonic. A lone church bell clangs as a muscular riff starts to flex before Tya’s tormented tongue imprints an even more sinister stamp as the whole track descends deeper into itself.
Signing off with ‘Deception of the Blood’ and then a crushing cover version of Malevolent Creation’s ‘Living in Fear’, Antropofagus leave us wanting more. Hopefully we won’t have to wait quite so long for the next Italian job.