Sunday, August 22, 2010

Antraks - Spewing Wrath Blood (Pathologically Explicit Recordings; 2010)

Despite this being their second full length, I had only heard Antraks' material off of their split album with fellow Indonesians Septicemia that was released in 2008 (review). On that album I found Antraks to be the tamer of the two bands. I classified them as "standard" and said there was better raw sounding brutal death metal out there. I much prefer to give highly positive reviews on this blog, but Antraks just didn't quite deserve yet. Spewing Wrath Blood, I am happy to report, does deserve it.

The biggest improvement in my mind is in the originality department. I don't think an album needs to be original to be good (see most Devourment clones), but in my experience, especially with Asian bands, it seems to be a positive factor. Antraks pull off a lot of cool stuff on this record. Bizarre pinch harmonics, solos, and even an organ riff can be found melded in with sawing tremolo riffs and infectious, almost goregrindy grooves. In many ways it reminded me of a more energetic, less epic sounding Ancient Necropsy with better vocals. It's enough to keep the listener interested throughout, if only to hear what weird thing will come next. I don't mean to suggest that Antraks are weird for the sake of being weird like Unexpect or other similar bullshit metal bands. Rather, they just tweaked and changed the brutal death formula a little bit. As an avid listener to the genre, it's nice to hear an interesting and well thought out album that goes beyond what you normally hear.

Compared to the top albums of this year, Spewing Wrath Blood does fall a little short. To quote Andy from his review of Cerebral Effusion's recent album, "[it] comes straight out of the gates with brutality, doesn't give a shit about your fucking feelings, and leaves you for dead without any consideration." Spewing Wrath Blood feels more like tagging along with an insane serial killer as he shows you the various ways he kills his victims. Certainly well within brutal death metal's realm of aesthetics, but I prefer to be assaulted by my death metal rather than merely interested by it.

That said, Antraks have created a very interesting and original work. It's worth listening to you if you don't mind something different. If that's what you're looking for there aren't that many albums better than this.

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