Aera Dementiae
(Kaotoxin Records)

France’s Antropofago manage to deliver exactly what we’d expect from a technical death metal album. There’s really no reason why tech-death fans won’t be satisfied, as the guitars are technical, the drums are technical and the approach is general is, well… technical. To most, it would probably seem like a solid tech-death release, but I stress the brutal aspect of the band far over some of the cleaner and more melodic acts like Obscura (depending on which era you’re talking about.) These guys obviously offer more bite than the classier acts, but they still manage to be a class act in themselves. It’s no Necrophagist, but it certainly seems to offer the same amount of speed as such an act. But most of all, the record doesn’t fall into the background for me, in the way that a lot of over-the-top technical death metal acts will. While the songs follow the same sense of style and composition, Aera Dementiae doesn’t offer me a mere ten tracks that all sound roundabout the same. These guys are experimenting with some clean leads, interesting solo efforts and somewhat unconventional drum offerings at times. It’s still technical death metal, but it’s nice to hear clean melodies brushing up the canvas a little, as “Voices” proudly displays. There’s an awful lot of kick drumming to be found here and nearly every song starts off with it, but there’s enough overall substance here to distract me from that as each song continues to further evolve. Nevertheless, I think I would have liked it more if every piece didn’t open in this fashion, as I feel that’s a bit boring and expectable. All in all, fans of brutal tech-death are going to find something to like here, or to at least acknowledge and I think that’s good enough. (Eric May)

Purchase Aera Dementiae here.

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