On day two of Eindhoven Metal Meeting, a surprising amount of energy has been drained by the inevitable afterparties that spread through Eindhoven, but also to the neighbouring town of Tilburg. Metalheads simply cannot stop a party once they get going, and so the next day starts up a little slower. Thinking I may be able to skip the long line for the pat downs if I arrive a bit later, I’ve decided to arrive between the first and second band. Nope. There is still a line as many more of the partying metalheads had a similar idea, as did many of the day ticket holders. Thankfully the line is a fair bit quicker today though than it was yesterday, and I manage to get the first band of the day.
Every year as people around the world gather to celebrate their own midwinter celebrations, usually focussing around light and warmth, the Effenaar venue in Eindhoven instead celebrates the dark and heavy. Eindhoven Metal Meeting is seen by many as the Christmas party of the Benelux metal family. As in previous years, Ghost Cult Magazine sent me to report, and take some snaps.Continue reading →
With just over a month to go, the 2017 Eindhoven Metal Meeting approaches The lined up boasts the likes of Venom, Dark Tranquility, Coroner, Carpathian Forest, Master’s Hammer, Destroyer 666 and many more. The full lineup is listed below and tickets are still available but expected to sell out. As always, the “longest-running indoor extreme metal festival” in the Netherlands will take place Friday 15 & Saturday 16th of December 2017 at the Effenaar venue in Eindhoven. Continue reading →
Due to unforeseen personal circumstances, My Dying Bride has dropped out of this December’s Eindhoven Metal Meeting. Apparently, the cancellation was beyond the control of both the band and the festival. The good news is, Dark Tranquility has been added as an exclusive headliner on December 15th, the first night of the fest. More details, ticket links, and the full lineup so far are listed belowContinue reading →
Every once in a while, everyone just needs a dose of some Death Metal to get through a day. Antropomorphia once again returns with a devastating, Earth-shaking release entitled Sermon ov Wrath (Metal Blade)Continue reading →
Poppy, bit more symphonic than I was expecting. Went down a storm at Wembley with Within Temptation too.
DEVIN – Dark Matters
Aka Ziltoid 2. The heavier, more symphonic, more metally of the two parts of the double album. I like it, just a bit too much monkeying around at the expense of the songs, for me.
DRAGONFORCE – Maximum Overload
Not quite as good as ‘The Power Within’ but still proving they write better songs since changing vocalists. Some belters on here, tbf.
ENGEL – Raven Kings
Like In Flames, but heavier guitars and catchier choruses. I like this one (well, I like them all on here, or they wouldn’t be on here, but this surprised me). Wrote about it, too. https://ghostcultmag.com/engel-raven-kings/
Took me by surprise this one. Adding a large dose of Ulcerate to their sound, but all the better for it. Rather than rattle clattering through a load of sterile overly tight DM/core, they wrote some (very) heavy songs, too.
Interesting album, this one. Don’t think I’ve quite given it all the time it deserves, but another I’ve liked this year that doesn’t just sit in a box. It starts from Death Metal but doesn’t stay there.
OBITUARY – Inked In Blood
Really good comeback album. Big grooves. Big riffs. Great tunes. Well done. Best Obi’s album since ‘Cause of Death’ , for me.
ORIGIN – Omnipresent
This is a relentless fucker, this one. Love the aggression, love the riffing, love the technicality, love how much it just wants to punch you in the ear drums.
SLEEP OF MONSTERS – Produces Reason
Babylon Whores are one of my “hidden treasures”, probably the most underrated band of all time, always loved Ike’s vocals, too. He doesn’t quite hit it with his new outfit, but some cool gothy, dark/death rock going on. Grabbed this one for review as soon as it appeared in the inbox. https://ghostcultmag.com/sleep-of-monsters-produces-reason/
SLUGDGE – Gastronomicon
Only heard this once so far, but really impressed me on first go, will be getting a fair few listens going forward. Interesting modern melodic death metal.
With new album Rites ov Perversion(Metal Blade) making waves, and a controversial video steaming up the internet (links below), Antropomorphia’s driving force Ferry Damen (vocals/guitar) caught up with Ghost Cult to fill us in on their journey to date, vaginas, necrophilia and Death Metal …
“I believe art should provoke a reaction; good or bad” opines Antropomorphia main man Ferry Damen, whose latest creation Rites ov Perversion is doing its damnedest to provoke a good reaction all across the Death Metal scene. Not content with creating an album of hook-laden crushing riffs that throws back to the old school (you know, that classic time when Death Metal bands actually wrote songs, before the scene began a self-restricting and creatively redundant game of one-upmanship as to who could blast the fastest, or play the most complicated riff, most jarring time signature or biggest beat-down), Damen also wants to use his band to explore and discuss his perversions. “Maybe I’m just a little more perverted than the next person. But then again, there are ancient rites that have the sole purpose to possess a dead body and making the corpse hunger for the love and sexual satisfaction of the one who has cast the spell.
“You can call this sick or maybe even pathetic but it fascinates me and I would even call it romantic. Haha!”
Be he pervert or romantic, Damen admits to a fascination with not just sex and the dead, but predominantly with the feminine: “Most of these lyrics, old and new, are written from a female perspective. Because to me a woman is a beautiful being, which to some extent can be fragile and even innocent, the innocence represented in giving birth to a new fragile life. When darkness and perdition manifests itself through this being, a woman, it intrigues me. (As for) the necrophilia aspect of some lyrics…? I just like I like envisioning these acts.
“It’s not a vagina fetish” he asserts about the band whose debut album was adorned with a tattooed vagina and have recently released a new video to accompany the track ‘Nekrovaginal Secretions’. “Our artwork and videos also feature darkly feminine characters. The lyrics (to ‘Nekrovaginal Secretions’) are based around a macabre love story where the main figure keeps the corpse of her girlfriend around. You see her enter in a ritual where she tapes herself having ‘sex’ with the corpse on video. We will release a director’s cut in a few weeks, which focuses more on the story. “Our visuals are mostly shocking and controversial for people that don’t understand it.”
That said, Death Metal has always been an avenue for extremity in lyric and aesthetics, be it political, (anti) religious, macabre or through the common medium of dark storytelling, and long may that continue. “If you look at our lyrical tradition you’ll see it mostly consists of a sinister, occult, misanthropic and sexual necrophiliac nature.”
Yet, for a long while, Antropomorphia didn’t exist in the public conscience, and Damen’s aesthetic and cadaverous interests were, to all intents and purposes, consigned to being private, with the band spending 14 years in absentia after the release of their debut Pure (D.M.) in 1998. “We struggled with among other things, time, because other music projects gained more interest, record deals got signed, I myself got involved in management, this all taking up most of our time and turning the focus away from the band. A final blow came when one of our founding members had to leave the band. So, all in all, we were stuck. For us, the logical thing to do was to put the band on hiatus.”
A hiatus that lasted fourteen years between debut and Evangelivm Nekromantia, which followed sharply on the heels of the Death Metallers inking a deal with Metal Blade. “I never stopped writing music for the band though” and resurrecting the band had always a possibility, with sporadic rehearsals and song writing continuing and some tracks surfacing on myspace, even if matters weren’t progressed. “I would record some of these songs together with Marco (drums) at his Aftermath studio, our recording temple, and then Marc (bass) would record his parts. Every time we’d record or made music together there was a ‘spark’. We’d sometimes rent a rehearsal studio just to play some Antropomorphia tunes. At one point that spark started a small fire, so when the hunger grew we decided it was time to really feed those flames.”
But things seem different this time around. The band seems to be on the rise, both critically and commercially. “I think it’s because we’re matured. When we started out we didn’t have the focus. The hunger was there but we got distracted easily. This time around we didn’t lose sight of what and where we want to go and our first goal was to record the album we always wanted to make. So we recorded a two-track demo and send that out to labels,Metal Blade being one of them. A few months later we signed a deal with them and things kept rolling.
“We were very pleased with the outcome of Evangelivm Nekromantia, it exceeded our expectations, adding to the fire and hunger that drives this band.” continues the frontman, describing it as an album that “harboured the characteristics from our older work, but was more groove based and captured more atmosphere.” And this is an approach that has carried onto current album, Rites ov Perversion, an album which stands as the bands finest work to date; a celebration of old school Death metal but with a strong, modern sound. “Our aim was to follow the natural continuum of that sound and meanwhile refine and expand on it. We wanted Rites ov Perversion to have more layers, be violent but also catchy to a certain degree, while staying true and honour certain Death Metal traditions. Listening back I can say we achieved our goal. It is catchy, raw, uncompromising, diverse and perverted. It’s a sonic ride through depths full of hatred, violence and diabolic aggression”
It feels like we are just getting started. There is this hunger within the band. It feeds the flames to this uncontrollable fire, which we hope to spread all over the globe. Our main priority (now) is to play shows, which (we are) working on.”
The shock factor no longer makes an impact in Death Metal. It has been nigh on two decades since Desecration’s Gore and Perversion (Anoxic) was banned, and more than that since Cannibal Corpse first ripped entrails from the front bottom of a lady yet to engage in encounters of a sexual nature – indeed, it’s been fifteen years since AntropomorphiA displayed a tattooed, um, fanny – I’m using the UK version of the word – on the cover of their debut Pure (D.M.). Desensitization kicks in and kicks in hard, and while there is a certain childish glee from titles like ‘Nekrovaginal Secretions’, these hardened (!) Dutch perverts have been around long enough to know that in order to cut the corpse they need a lot more about them than some titillating words.
But any reservations are dispelled within seconds by the hurtling early Slayerisms of opener ‘Temphioth Workings’ as Antropormorphia are no pony, one-trick or otherwise. With a sound that owes much to Bolt Thrower, early Amon Amarth and the underground Death Metal of the mid 90’s that wasn’t afraid to groove, change tempo or to have melodic inflections (while eschewing an overly lead based approach), Rites ov Perversion (Metal Blade), the band’s second album since reforming and third overall, is gratifying and grinding in equal measures.
As the album progresses, AntropormorphiA show they have a knack for hitting an uptempo groove, ‘Morbid Rites’ is Canestan for the itch A Canorous Quintet never came close to scratching (I always had a soft spot for ACQ – The Only Pure Hate (No Fashion) is a decent album, I’ll have you know), ‘Gospel ov Perversion’ references At The Gates and Morbid Angel, while the neck muscle workout of the excellent hate machine that is ‘Inanimatus Absqui Anima’ is pure The Karelian Isthmus (Relapse) era Amorphis. Elsewhere, there are flashes of Dismember, Autopsy and Carcass, as well as the ubiquitous Bolt Thrower.
While AntropomorphiA haven’t created anything innovative, or issued a challenge to the order of khaos, they have released a very enjoyable album that showcases and pays tribute to many of the immortals while still sitting within a consistent and identifiable sound of their own. A worthwhile listen.