Antropomorphia – “Rites Ov Perversion” (Metal Blade Records)
These Tilburg terrors take their cue from the early black / death legends of Death, Autopsy and Hellhammer with dirty, whirring guitars that cut n slice at speed and chop n tear when set to a slower kill mode. Whilst clearly influenced by the old school Antropomorphia aren’t a retro band so the musicianship is a step up from those old pioneering days but rather a modern refinement of that style with a definite emphasis on taking the finer, catchier grooves and rolling them into the violent and occult material that Antropomorphia deal with. It’s something that has drawn the attention of the German authorities, who’ve tried to get their previous album “Evangelivm Nekromantia” banned – with no such luck ha! Even better is that “Rites Ov Perversion” pretty much follows on from that album in style with the only change being the addition of guitarist Jos van den Brand, obviously a Rick Rozz disciple of the neo classical inspired solo, and whose presence can be felt by the evil, heavy ten ton riffs that smash into you like a cascading wall ov death. Making the core sound are undoubtedly the bestial vocals of founder guitarist / composer Ferry Damen that definitely add to the morbid atmosphere of songs like ‘Carved To Pieces’ and ‘Crowned In Smoldering Ash’ whilst the driving bass rhythms of Marc van Stiphout are some of the best I’ve ever heard – put it together with song arranger Marco Stubbe’s possessed drumming and their cover of Death’s ‘Open Casket’ is the best I’ve ever heard, almost conjuring visions of Evil Chuck in his 50s standing before you – if only – which these Dutch shock rockers should be proud of.