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Antropomorphia: Evangelivm Nekromantia

Low-lying death metal squad stir the blood

Despite existing for over 20 years, this is only Antropomorphia’s second full-length album, which may explain why Evangelivm Nekromantia bristles with urgency. Faint traces of the band’s youthful obsession with Hellhammer and Celtic Frost remain, but the core of the Dutchmen’s sound is early 90s death metal at its most harrowing and demented.

Although mercilessly precise throughout, the blood-spattered spectre of Autopsy looms large over agonising epics like Psuchagogia and Anointment By Sin, while more uptempo material like Nekrosophia straddles the slender divide between Bolt Thrower and early Gorguts.

This is no lazy amalgam of old ideas, however; thanks to a deeply anti-melodic undertow and lyrics that revel in murderous squalor and notions of, believe it or not, ‘necrolesbian lust’, these scabrous hymns to the black exude an unholy vitality that should delight those who feel that modern extreme metal is often a bit too cuddly and polite. The closing title track even strays into fog-shrouded goth territory, replete with eerie thunderclaps and Nephilim-saluting bass licks. A compelling incentive to stride boldly forth into the shadows.