Antropomorphia – Rites ov Perversion

AntropomorphiA - 2014PR#2

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 @

Ringmaster 17/09/2014

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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.

RingMaster 22/10/2012

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