Raw blood and ceremonies: talking Antropomorphia with Ferry Damen.

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The presence of Dutch death metallers AntropomorphiA comes in two parts, a successful period between 1990 and 1999 and second starting in 2009 when the band came back to life after a decade hiatus. Its return has led to acclaim and feverish appetites for the band’s uncompromising and imposingly bracing inventive sound. Just recently AntropomorphiA unleashed new album Rites ov Perversion, a wickedly accomplished and compelling slab of extreme savagery putting a potent spark back into death metal. Eager to learn more about the band, we had the pleasure to grab time with vocalist/guitarist Ferry Damen, exploring the birth and first era of the band, the new album, and connections between certain songs and their author…

Hi Ferry and thanks for sharing time to talk with us.

It is fair to say that the recent release of your new album Rites ov Perversion has drawn even more attention and awareness of AntropomorphiA than ever before; certainly it has been the release opening us up to your dark violently imposing world. How has reactions been for the release and have you felt an increased spotlight from it?

The overall reactions are very positive, from both media and fans. We certainly notice there is a lot more attention drawn towards the band since the release, which is again a positive thing for us!

It is the successor to the well-received Evangelivm Nekromantia of 2012, how and where do you see an evolution in sound between the two?

I think it’s becoming more comfortable within your own sound and songwriting. With Evangelivm Nekromantia we wanted to present an album that after such a long break was a good representation of where we stood musically and could define us. Evangelivm Nekromantia became more groove-based and atmospheric than all our previous work but still harboured those characteristics that defined us. That sound became the spine on which I wanted to grow this new entity. I wanted to refine that sound and draw from a big diverse palette while staying true to some old Death Metal traditions without becoming a copy of the genre. I think what the main difference in sound is the progression, which is an inevitable thing as an artist and I think

Before we look at the new album more closely can we briefly ask about the beginnings of AntropomorphiA way back in the mists of time, well 1990 to be specific. Was there a particular intent and inspiration to the band back then?

We started of inspired by the early Black Metal bands such as Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Bathory, but when I heard Scream Bloody Gore and Seven Churches the intent became to play raw and uncompromising Death Metal. We were inspired by all the upcoming DM bands that surrounded us, from Entomed, Grave, Asphyx, Death to Bolt Thrower, but not in the sense that we wanted to sound like them.

Has that force behind the band’s creation continued or evolved over time?

I would say it has evolved. When we started out our musical skills weren’t at the level they are now so our early work is more primitive. We evolved as artist and the hunger within this band has grown together with this progression.

Looking back, a relatively successful period for the band led to a decade hiatus, was there a prime reason for the dormancy of the band? antropomorphia_photo02

We were at a point where Death Metal had become a repetition and was bleeding out, we weren’t able to book any shows. We parted ways with our original guitar player, who was a very good friend, so that left its mark and our other musical projects got more interest from the outside world. Time became also an issue due to those projects. So we decided to put the band on hiatus.

…And the spark bringing AntropomorphiA back to life in 2009?

When we put the band on hiatus I never stopped writing for the band. So from time to time I would sit and record some of these songs together with Marco (Drums) at his studio. Months would pass and then Marc (Bass) would record his parts, Marco would mix the tracks and we would put some of them online on our MySpace page back then. Every time we’d record or made music together, we’d sometimes rent a rehearsal studio just to play some AntropomorphiA tunes; that spark started a small fire and when time became less of an issue we decided to really feed those flames.

Did you look at the band and the music brewing up inside her differently this second time around or was it simply picking up where the band left off?

The music we wrote within those years of our hiatus showed some progression in our style but when we started writing it was difficult to get back in our skin so to speak. We’ve recorded a whole album worth of material, which had elements of what was brewing inside AntropomorhpiA but it was until after those recordings that the fire started to really blaze.

What specifically consumed the band member’s experiences and careers in that intervening period?

Marco (Drums) and Marc (Bass) where part of a band called Flesh Made Sin and I got involved managing a major act here in the Netherlands.

Back to Rites ov Perversion, would you agree is probably your most vicious yet adventurous album yet?

Antropomorphia-RitesOvPerversionFor sure, I think with every listen you’ll hear it offers a more dangerous sonic ride. A sinister, brutal, violent and emotional ride, layered in a more multidimensional sound.

We also sensed looking back at previous releases that there is an element in its sound that is seeded back in the early music of the band. Is that something you hear and was this deliberate or simply an organic emergence?

These things emerge on a natural way; I think it comes from my style and approach of writing and playing this type of music.

Evangelivm Nekromantia found itself under scrutiny and dislike of the German authorities, leading to its banning I believe. Are you expecting similar attention and reactions with Antropomorphia in certain quarters?

I didn’t get completely banned, it’s an 18 or older type of thing if you want to buy the album. I think they will certainly have a closer look at this album since we became part of their list but we didn’t really think about it or take it into account writing this album. I’ll guess we’ll see how they react to certain things to come (our video for Nekrovaginal Secretions might rub them the wrong way) but until now we haven’t heard from them.

The last album had a continuing theme to its songs, but Rites ov Perversion feels like the songs, apart from a few are more individual and standalone in their narrative. What are some of the concepts and explorations running through the release?

The album is filled with the same thematic occult/gore, mostly consisting of a sinister, diabolic, misanthropic and sexual nature. Crowned in Smoldering Ash is an exception as this song addresses the depressions that have plagued me throughout my life. Inanimatus Absqui Anima is written by a good friend of ours Twan van Geel (Legion of the Damned, Soulburn) which is about the Greek mythological goddess Kore (Persephone) who gets raped by Hades. As a reference to our world where everything will end up getting raped in some sort of form, dies and will end up empty and rotten.

How long was the album in the making and how did the writing process work for its songs and in general with the band?

I started writing on and off from the second half of 2013. It’s a very intense and complicated process at times, so I’ll give you the short version; I write all the music and Marco is responsible for the arrangements. There are times also we co-write/arrange songs.

Jos van den Brand is a new addition to the band between albums, how did that change the dynamics and process of writing and recording Rites ov Perversion to say the previous album?

It didn’t, our writing process has been the same for several years.

Your songs appear to take inspiration from classical and literature bred themes as well as more modern issues. There also seems an intimacy to some of the lyrics, is there a stronger personal element to tracks than maybe initially perceived by us outsiders?

This is the first time I get this question, which means someone is paying attention ha-ha. I’d say it’s certainly the case on Rites ov Perversion, I mentioned the song Crowned in Smoldering Ash, this is the most personal song I’ve ever written but there are more tracks even on the previous album that hold something personal. Although Crowned… is the most outspoken, even though I think if I didn’t mention this, it would not be perceived as that.

Rites ov Perversion also includes a cover of Death’s Open Casket, why that particular song from their arsenal of songs?antropomorphia_photo01

Although we are an admirer of the whole Leprosy album, Open Casket is that one song that jumps out for each of us. When we started playing it in the rehearsal room it immediately felt like a perfect fit, since Death was one of the most important DM bands for us we said why not put it on the album.

You mentioned it earlier, the video for Nekrovaginal Secretions from the album; can you give us some hint and background to that?

Well the video is based on the lyrics of the song. We’ve had our second and last day of shooting last weekend and it will be an ode to lesbian necrophilia, and perverted masochistic sexual behaviour. We’re still in the editing process so I can’t say more about it than this.

What will the rest of 2014 going into the New Year have in store for and from AntropomorphiA?

Our bookings agency is focusing on club and festival shows. So we will be able to cast our Rites ov Perversion all over Europe.

Once again a big thanks to talking with us, any final thoughts you would like to share?

Thank you for the time! Check out the album.

‘Behold the Sway ov Death’

F

 

Ring our review of Rites ov Perversion @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/antropomorphia-rites-ov-perversion/

Rites ov Perversion is available now via Metal Blade Records @ http://www.emp.de/antropomorphia-rites-ov-perversion-cd/art_288907/

http://antropomorphia-official.com/

Pete Ringmaster

The Ringmaster Review 10/10/2014

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Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

Antropomorphia – Rites ov Perversion

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The return in 2009 of Dutch death metallers Antropomorphia brought with it a potent impact on the extreme metal scene especially through the band’s acclaimed 2012 second album Evangelivm Nekromantia. Now the Tilburg quartet unleash its successor Rites ov Perversion, another accomplished and compelling savaging to put a spark into the heart of death metal. It is not an encounter to reshape or offer new realms for the genre but over time certainly one to thrill and add another tasty flavour to its impressive year.

Formed in 1990, Antropomorphia embraced inspirations from the likes of Celtic Frost, Possessed, Death, Autopsy, and Venom as they honed their own uncompromising and honest sound. The demo Bowel Mutilation in 1992 gripped attention, subsequently becoming a long sought after encounter among underground metal fans. Its release led to the band signing with Swiss label Blackened Recordings and the unleashing of Necromantic Love Songs a year later. Its well-received release was followed by band member’s time being taken up by their other projects and Antropomorphia being put on indefinite hiatus from 1999. They did not restrain from writing songs though and in 2009 the band sprung back to life, going on to sign with Metal Blade Records and unleashing Evangelivm Nekromantia. Reawakening interest and drawing new attention to the band, as well as almost getting banned by German authorities because of its violent and occult themed topics, the album led to festival appearances for the band at Neurotic Deathfest and Extremefest. Now Rites ov Perversion is poised to stir things up with its vicious and raw intent, as well as easy to suspect a greater hunger for the band’s imposing presence.

There is no escaping the force and ferocity of the album as opener Temphioth Workings draws up to ears on a crest of rampage riffs and thumping rhythms, all orchestrated by the vocal roar and vehemence of Ferry Damen. Expelling Antropomorphia - Rites ov Perversioneven greater malevolence through the dark tones of Marc van Stiphout’s bass and the increasingly vindictive swipes of Marco Stubbe, the track proceeds to ravish and seduce the senses and imagination respectively. Grooves nag and thrill throughout as the sonic invention of Jos van den Brand and Damen persistently entangle thoughts and song. It is a great start with nastiness to its breath which is just as rich in the following Carved to Pieces, an openly contagious and irritable proposition. Grooves again steal attention and passions, veining the inhospitable climate and intensity of the thrilling offering for an irresistible persuasion.

The pestilential predation of Inanimatus Absqui Anima comes next; its body a crawling ruinous enticement which stalks ears and emotions yet expels a swing to its beats and grooves which belies the toxic animosity drenching its appealing heart. Its success is matched by Crowned in Smoldering Ash, another rapacious proposal from the band taking its time to size up its victim before spilling demonic and sonic toxicity through its hostile design. Neither track matches the heights of the first pair of songs yet bind ears and thoughts in a healthy dose of creative malevolence to keep appetite for the album greedy.

     Nekrovaginal Secretions is a romantic little number if being smothered in venomous riffs and salacious sonic causticity lights your fire. Grooves twist emotions around their acidic flame with ease, again seducing without reserve as a punishing and creative tsunami of rhythms from Stubbe shows little restraint to their precisely skilled animosity. It is a glorious violation of the senses swiftly matched by the ravenous presence of Gospel ov Perversion. The track is a maelstrom of enterprise and raw hostility, merging a twisted melodic radiance with blistering sonic endeavour and rancor.

Through the hellacious and addictive bad blood of Morbid Rites and the intriguing and riveting Tevfelskvnst, band and album reinforce their already virulent animus with compelling force and charm. One thing about the album is the familiarity between groove structures and at times sound, yet they are woven into the individual characters of songs with an imaginative touch which defuses any over familiarity as strongly shown by the second of the two. The track rumbles and snarls from start to finish, the bass of van Stiphout especially inescapable bait within a torrential and impressively evolving landscape.

Completed by a powerfully enticing cover of the Death track Open Casket, the album is a formidable and thoroughly exciting proposition. Certainly it is not venturing into realms unknown but for primal yet organically inventive death metal there have been few releases better this year.

Rites ov Perversion is available now via Metal Blade Records @ http://www.emp.de/antropomorphia-rites-ov-perversion-cd/art_288907/

http://antropomorphia-official.com/

Ringmaster 17/09/2014

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Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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AntropomorphiA: Evangelivm Nekromantia

Evangelivm Nekromantia, the new album from Dutch death/occult metallers AntropomorphiA, is a release which does everything right and you can easily admire for its craft and imagination. It is an album which leaves one satisfied in its company but ultimately just does not inspire any lingering passion or captivation for its accomplished and inventive sounds. Despite that it is still a release one can return to time and time again with a willing and keen enthusiasm.

Formed in 1989 (originally formed under the name Dethroned Empire) with the likes of Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Infernäl Mäjesty and Bathory heavily influencing their musical aims, AntropomorphiA spent their first years building up a strong fan base and respect through their live shows and the cult classic Necromantic Love Songs which appeared via  Swiss label Blackened Recordings. Through member departures the band was put on hold around the turn of the century, with original members vocalist/guitarist Ferry Damen, bassist  Marc van Stiphout, and drummer  Marco Stubbe getting back together from their individual projects in 2009. Last year saw the band recording Evangelivm Nekromantia as well as re-releasing Necromantic Love Songs through underground label The Crypt in a vinyl package which also combined their first demo Bowel Mutilation into its body.

The new album consists of nine tracks, divided into three chapters of each three songs, which are lyrically driven by ‘nekrophilae, murder, necromancy, and necrolesbian lust’. The band itself said about the release, “We’ve been working on this conception for almost a year. Dedicated to composing a new sort of disturbing death metal darkness which exceeds most of the one-dimensional releases that you hear most of these days!” A bold declaration which the album does not back up in originality or uniqueness and up against some of the impressive and inventive genre releases to be let loose the past year, their statement does flounder. All the same the Metal Blade Records released Evangelivm Nekromantia makes for an easily satisfying and robust slab of death and decay, with venom and malevolence certainly not short in supply.

After a lacklustre intro piece the first full track Nekrophilian Mass agitates and caresses the senses with a caustic breath and energy. It is a slowly consuming piece of malice complete with a precise infectious groove and a toxic sonic grazing upon the ear. The persistence caustic presence brings magnetism to the track though again it does not burst with startlingly compulsive life. That is soon amended with The Mourned and the Macabre, and it has to be said the further into the album one goes the stronger it becomes. This bestial onslaught twists and turns with enterprise and impressive skill, its ravenous intent to stir up synapses and festering shadows an easy consumption to engage with. From the intimidating drums and predatory snarling bass lines to the air splicing sonics and guitar malice the track is a formidable adversary. The vocals of Damen are as malevolent as the sounds but are at times as throughout the album, submerged within the oppressive weight of the intensity too fully leaving lyrical clarity a wish rather than a given.

Into its stride the album shows its strengths through songs like Debauchery in Putrefaction, Fleisch, and Impure Desecration to just pick three of what are all pleasing corruptions upon the ear. Though none manage to spark any blazing fires within neither do they leave without ensuring some degree of admiration and pleasure from their parasitic senses erosive qualities.

Evangelivm Nekromantia is a more than decent album which occasionally leaves one breathless as with the excellent Psuchagogia, a track which just chews up imagination and thought, sending them spiralling through a maelstrom of mordant and dehabilitating erosions. There are few flaws with the release and plenty to praise and be pleased by, sadly though it just does not hold or trigger any real sparks to make it something more impressive.

http://AntropomorphiA-official.com/

RingMaster 22/10/2012

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