On August 14 Kaotoxin Records will release Æra Dementiæ, the second album by Antropofago from France. Last week we brought you the premiere of a new song named “Helter Skelter“, but today we’ve got for you a stream of the album in its entirety.
Antropofago score a rare hat trick on this new album. They’ve created a big shot of aural adrenaline, delivering the kind of vicious, jolting power that most death metal fans crave, but with the kind of intricate, inventive instrumental flair that will stimulate your higher faculties as well as the reptile part of your brain. And in addition to those achievements, they’ve made songs that are also heavy-grooved and very infectious.
Most of the songs pounce with blazing speed and feature rapidly veering tempos and rhythms, with a combination of drumming that erupts like automatic weapons fire and supremely nimble bass work that’s one of the album’s instrumental highlights.
The riffs and lead guitar parts are hard to pin down, and not just because they’re usually being performed at eye-watering speed. They move from jackhammering grooves to insectile swarming, from hyper-fast jabs to pile-driving hammer blows. There’s so much exuberance and so much impressive technical skill on display in these performances that you can’t help but smile — despite the fact that somehow the band also manage to create an atmosphere of monstrous evil.
The music is often alien, disorienting, grim, and ravenous in its ferocity, and that palpable sense of malice is magnified by the bestiality of the vocals — which thankfully never come across as monotonous, because they rise and fall, bark and roar, as if emanating from a man possessed by multiple demons.
There are very few breathers over the course of the album. They usually come in the form of brief horror-movie samples that appear at the end or the beginning of the songs. The title track is the only song that represents a noticeable change of pace — and it’s probably the album’s biggest surprise.
It begins slowly, with a beautiful reverberating lead guitar over an engrossing bass melody — and then the music gradually turns increasingly dismal and ominous, becoming a lurching stagger that casts an aura of doom and disease. (Eventually, the song does accelerate into the band’s comfort zone with a flurry of darting riffs and hyper-blasting percussion.)
There are other surprises in the album as well, such as the waltzing guitar solos that emerge within the maelstrom of decimation that goes under the name “Voices”.
In fact, if you don’t immediately have time for a full run-through of this album, and you want a good sense of the band’s skill and their creative direction, listen to “Gods Ov Fire” and “Voices” back-to-back. Those are two of the album’s best songs, and a showcase of their talents.
Æra Dementiæ is a rare beast — one with a highly evolved brain as well as a capacity for genuine savagery. It’s a brand of death metal that’s brutal, technical, atmospheric, progressive, and infectious all at once. Check it out below and let us know what you think.
Æra Dementiæ will be available for pre-order from Kaotoxin Records beginning today in a limited edition double digit-sleeve CD — which will include six bonus tracks. The album’s artwork was created by Mythrid Art (Kronos, Recueil Morbide) and the album includes a guest solo by Nicolas Alberny of Gorod, as well as guest vocals by, among others, Laurent Chambe (Nephren-Ka), Aara (ex-Savage Annihilation), and Benoit Jean (ex-Insain).