Reviewed: May, 2019
Released: 2019, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Pete Mutant
Antropomorphia are back and with an almighty bang with their latest offering ‘Merciless Savagery’, a nine track bulldozer of some fine death metal. The dutch band, hailing from Tilburg – the site of Netherlands Deathfest- reformed back in 2009 after a decade long hiatus and went down a road already quite familiar. I found their comeback album and following albums to be a bit too structurally similar to Behemoth’s music: blackened death and all very Luciferian of course. They haven’t fully dropped the latter but I feel they have come onto their own distinct flavour now.
There are blackened elements but they have definitely leaned more towards a purer form of death metal. There are hints of old school, some doom, some atmospheric and plenty of catching melodies that really give this album an edge. They hook you in from the beginning with the title track of the album opening up proceedings. The chorus is massive, as is the combination of the rhythm that blasts out. There are plenty of hooks throughout and some tracks that implement some industrial strength riffs. It can feel a little formulated at times but the power shines through and there are just heaps of great death metal.
Some of the individual aspects are what makes this album excel to the next level. The rhythmic catchiness of the cymbal work leading up to the chorus in ‘Womb Ov Thorns’, the breakaway riff in ‘Luciferian Tempest’, the previously mentioned chorus of the opener among many other instances that really capture your attention. The production works well to make these parts come alive and not just offer a subtle influence. The levels are excellently balanced in this way so that we get the near perfect symbiosis of all the essential elements in the mix. Altogether, we have a mighty fine album here.
The first half of the album steals it for me as it sets the precedent and, although I feel this is where the most quality lies, we really don’t lose any momentum throughout the second half. As a whole though, it’s sounding like one of the best death metal releases of 2019 so far; a worthy contender at least. Antropomorphia have really brought out the big guns here and set themselves up for a successful year. I’d love to get a live rendition of this album some point this year so will keep an eye out for any tour announcements. ‘Merciless Savagery’ is as merciless and savage as the name it bears. These Dutch dealers of death have crafted an album definitely worth your attention so don’t miss out on what could be one of the best of the year.