Antropomorphia – Evangelivm Nekromantia (Metal Blade Records)

Wednesday, 27th March 2013
Rating: 6/10

2012 has seen many a band return from the dead for one reason or another. A season (or six) rich in nostalgia and trend whoring has brought about way too many groups more than happy to ply their trade and carve out whatever piece they can. While understandable, it doesn’t always make for quality listening, especially with the utter glut of old-school death metal bands that have poured out releases over the last two years. For Dutch group Antropormophia and their first release in 14 years Evangelivm Nekromantia time hasn’t made many alterations to a sound that found its peak in 1993. While there is plenty here for the old school aficionado, for the rest of us it’s a decidedly clean-sounding meat tornado.

An obligatory (if pointless) intro gives way to “Nekrophilian Mass” and sets the tone for what you’ll hear in every other song. Slower paced pummel/atmospheric lead sections give way to blast-happy burn-a-thons and finally fall back into riff-centric finishes. This particularly formulaic approach to most of the songs is at times reminiscent of the Goatwhore approach, but here dripping from beginning to end with that old school death metal vibe everybody and their mother seems to have a hard-on for nowadays. Doomier moments in “Impure Desecration” and the unnerving atmospherics of “Nekrosophia” stand out as rare highlights, charming enough on their own but not quite enough to save the rest of the album from the monotone that occasionally sets in.

That the album runs over 45 minutes is perhaps the biggest problem. A majority of the songs either border or cross the 5-minute mark and given their inherent similarities in structure and sound to one another, it causes inevitable lapses into white-out mode, everything blurring together without definition or distinction. For diehards however, this likely isn’t a problem, and it is to this demographic that Evangelivm Nekromantia is intended, but for someone (i.e. myself) neither well-versed or wanting for continuous indulgences in the cacophonous world of old school death metal, it leaves something to be desired. The cover is kind of fun, at least, in a charming kind of way that tells you exactly what you’re going to get. Skulls, robes, blood, and nude females, it’s all here. Everything you could expect and nothing you wouldn’t, it’s all here.

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