1.) Repulsive Papal Corpse.
2.) l’Aphrodisiaque Macabre.
3.) Le Vol Des Sorciéres.
4.) Aqua Tofana.
It’s another cold and grey Monday as my lifeless body glides across oceans to my new destination in search of some of the most extreme acts within the music industry. As I touch down in the city centre the architecture that surrounds me is very familiar. As the sights and smells engulf what little senses I have left, I realize in the back of my skull that I have been here before. As I sift through the distant memories it all comes flooding back. I stand here in Belgium, home of the French fry, award-winning beers, and Belgian waffles. Needless to say that this is not all Belgium is famous for and I’m not here to indulge myself in the delicacies of food. No, I’m here to whet my appetite with another Belgian offering. One of much greater interest. I am of course talking about Anéanti and their sophomore E.P. “Poison – Les Formules Diaboliques” which translates to Poison – Diabolical Formulas.
It’s clear to see that these entities hail from the more French region of the country, as Belgium has more than one language spoken. From Dutch to German to French. So I should get my thinking cap on when it comes to conversing with the locals. However, who is gonna converse with me? I’m a skull in dark robes? Anyway as I shuffle my way through the Ornate, stunning buildings I look for somewhere I can sit and conduct this review. Finding a secluded spot I perch and take parchment from my robes and set it aside with my ink and quill. As I roll myself a cigarette and press play on my faithful Walkman I delve skull first into this curiosity that is Anéanti.
Track one “Repulsive Papal Corpse” wastes no time in ripping through your senses. Opening with some thick, yet razor-sharp riffs. As the drums and bass rush in to back up this riff-fest of an opening. This mid-paced tone lends itself to some colossal sound. The guitars are beautifully layered between one another, giving room for each to shine through from the lead to the rhythm, the cold tremolo parts are kept to a minimum, yet find a beautiful home between verses when needed. The bass on this track is thick and a major driving force. It emphasizes the drumming and the pace that is set. Not quite a blast beat but has a more punk, thrash vibe going on. This is a definite huge contribution as by the mid to late part we are treated to a stunning little solo from the lead guitar. There are so many elements thrown into this opening track, the structure is a great mix of punk, thrash, and black n’ roll metal. However, this solo is just breath-taking and for it to break up the cold riffs the way it does is just purely amazing. As the track comes to a closes the sound of fire crackling, winds howling and the death bell tolling this track has put me on the edge of my seat from the outset.
Track two “l’Aphrodisiaque Macabre” which translates as “The Macabre Aphrodisiac” is a much slower affair in its opening, this is very reminiscent of Marduk’s “Le Grand Danse Macabre” with a slow dance procession to its sound. Some heavy doom infusion leaks into this track coupled with a slight regal sound. The vocals from the main entity have you gripped as the rasping yet almost storytelling way he spouts the lyrics is pure hypnotic, not to mention the heightened passionate levels he reaches in the midsection as he roars out before we lead into a crescendo of sound for the midsection. This track changes in dynamics from slight mid-paced sections to such slow yet thunderous sounds of other courses. This is a passionate yet disturbing and ominous track. The song fades into the night as it arose from the shadows with the sounds of being held in a forest, the sounds of grasshoppers chirping, and owls calling out the feeling of loneliness installed here.
Track three “Le Vol Des Sorciéres” translated as The Flight of Witches is another slow yet melodic track. Capturing the feeling of solace from the previous track this slow and grinding track is brutal. This is on the level of doom music like Electric wizard’s “Funeralopolis” the same beat and overdrive sound on the guitars have influenced this track. The only thing that slightly differs is the Vocal work. Whereas the Vocal work while clean but slightly distorted on the Electric Wizard track here on the Anéanti the vocals are much more venomous and harsh. That slight bluesy pop is still there but with the rhythm section playing those cold riffs, the track takes on that more black metal edge. The midsection of the track certainly brings that drama of the track into full swing again with a rush of sound and an almost Marduk feel to this sound backed by some heavy chants, it makes for a choking atmosphere. Whilst elevated moments creep through this brutal but slow track it just isn’t enough to break the feeling of impending doom from the witches circling above your head.
Track four Aqua Tofana is an adequate and provoking track title, named after a Poison containing arsenic that was used predominantly in the 17th century in both Naples and Rome this Poison was also named after its inventor Giulia Tofana. This fits with the title of the album and brings this E.P. Full circle. This track hits hard with an epic intro and almost battle-ready riffs. Its fast and furious pace takes us out of the album just the way we came in. Once again we are treated to some beautiful lead solo work on guitar which gives way to a beautiful acoustic piece, only to lead you right back into the sea of the disarray of climbing and epic riffs. This track moves in a constructive yet chaotic manner, a little like what the violent reaction would be after ingesting this said Poison.
I love the levels it takes you through. The climax at the end though is the sound of the wind howling and a dark ambient outro, this is the sound of the moment your soul leaves your body as the Poison takes its final hold of you, as your pupils widen and your breath subsides this is the very moment that the Poison is the Diabolical Formula.
As I get up from my little cold and the gloomy spot I chose to sit and pen this short yet incredibly detailed review I stare down at my black coffee wondering if I should take another sip, has my brew been tainted with this Poison or is it all in my mind after listening to this dark and brutal release? It would appear that once again Death Prayer holds all the keys to another brilliant and illusive band from across the globe. The two entities that are Anéanti are truly unknown and have made possibly one of the best E.P.s I’ve heard this year. After reading a tweet earlier in the year in which the writer described how he likes his black metal to grip him, I feel that this would not be far from his asks of a band. This is a strong E.P. and I look forward to anything this band puts forward. It’s raw enough that it hits the spot in those veins with the vocals, the riffs, and the moments of sheer ferocity. However, the elements of blues, doom, and thrash that flood this release give it a more three-dimensional sound. For an early E.P. the production is purely top-notch and crisp for an initial release.
I have been truly blown away by these four tracks and I feel if anyone doesn’t pick up on this incredible release/ band you will be doing yourself an incredible disservice. For now, as I pull my heavy hood over my skull, roll up my scroll and screw the cap onto my ink I wonder what more this band could bring to your ears and just what a full length they could drop in due time. This has been a memorable release and looks forward to hearing more about this incredible yet truly dark act.
Hails #Foras #LordOfTheShadows.
Poison – Les formules diaboliques is out now