Released: 2002, Stereo Recording Co.
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
This is a somewhat confusing package that I received from my last shipment from Evil G: a bland black and white album cover with a very Spartan promotional sheet that provided very little information about this Utah band. Thankfully, however, the music is far more interesting than the packaging (or lack of it), and we have a standard dose of death metal mixed with metalcore. Yup, I’m sure that I’ve alienated more than half of my readers with that statement, but let’s press onwards, shall we?
For those of you still reading, Anima Nera’s sound sounds much like today’s current death metal bands that have hardcore tendencies or leanings, namely Dead to Fall, Darkest Hour, Shadow’s Fall, some bits of Lamb of God, maybe even a little early Soilwork in some areas, and my home-state heroes, Summer Dying. Though Anima Nera bring little originality to the already full market, they have it where it counts; the ability to write solid coherent songs and play with integrity and emotion. What I enjoy about this band is that they do not fall back onto core-ish moshable breakdowns, shitty whined vocals, or just the overall incoherent sound of shit bands like the Black Dahlia Poseur Murder.
Each song on the album is tightly played and rather well-written. Personally, I would like to hear a bit more variety in the songs; even though they are structurally different from one another, they do tend to run together a bit as the album progresses. Still, the album has several good tracks, including the punchy “Beneath These Skies,” and “Somber Eyes,” as well as “Flatline,” which pushes a classic metal meets Gothenburg meldeath in your face and the fairly intricate “The Ashes of Innocence” (I love the melodic lead + chugging riff that sounds like gunfire from about 3:10 to 3:40 or so).
With 8 hard-hitting songs that are each well composed, why does this album only score 3.5/5? Well, it’s the little things that weigh the album down in places. Though the album is only 45 minutes in length, the songs do start to sound a little bit same-ish both in riffs and overall songwriting style; I could use a little more variety here. Additionally, I do not like some of the distortion that is used on the guitars; it makes them seem “modern” in a –core-ish sense that, to me, detracts from the guitarwork, which is actually rather technical and different. Closing out the album are 2 hidden tracks, “untitled,” which is literally just a bunch of shitty, useless noise, and an unusual interpretation of Motley Crue “Too Young To Fall in Love.”
I wish I could say that I look forward to hearing more from Anima Nera in the near future, but it seems like they are missing in action. They have not shown any activity of which I am aware since this 2002 album, and their website (http://www.stereorecordingco.com
) seems to be out of service. Still, if you enjoy some of the “modern metal” sound along the lines of Lamb of God, Shadow’s Fall, and the like, and you are able to come across this album, then this album may be for you. Anima Nera, are you still alive out there?