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Anti-Mortem: New Southern

Southern rockers put the pedal to the metal

There are bands like Blackberry Smoke who are firmly traditional Southern rockers. But then there are bands like Anti-Mortem, who are using the genre as a springboard to something more vehement. New Southern flavours some dirtied metal riffs with a cleaner Southern impact.

This becomes clear on opening song Words Of Wisdom. Just when you think it’s going to be draped solely in full-on metal regalia, the band throw in some Blackfoot stylings, giving it all a more Southern hue. In fact, this whole album is closer to an updating of the Blackfoot approach on their Marauder album, plus Down’s classic NOLA, than it is to anything else.

The title track is drenched in some apocalyptic guitar salvoes, while Black Heartbeat has a slightly more laidback, yet still crunching attitude. The high point comes with Truckstop Special and Jonesboro, both having sparse blues bellies saturated by a desert rock ambience. And so New Southern is a welcome, modern shot of Southern comfort.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.