Dule "Francus" Uvalic (voc), Milan "Vuja" Vujokov (git), Dragan "Radoja" Rádojcic (git), Mirko "Cvele" Zivkovic (bs), Miodrag "Stavra" Balaban (dr)

format: LP Side A:
  1. To Hell And Back
  2. Steel In My Breath
  3. Burn In A Flames
  4. Killer Machine
  5. Big Ferry Eyes

Side B:

  1. Loud, Proud And Deaf
  2. Matriarch
  3. Forever Survive
  4. Ramzes II
  5. Rough Sound
  6. Annathema
year: 1989
country: Yugoslavia
label: private
#: NL-00128
insert: no
edition: 500
rarity: 7/10


Yikes!! This album cover has "Metal Enterprises" written all over it! Uglier than Lemmy's mom and I think I've seen herpes-infected goat-genitalia with a tastier blend of colors than the ones that ANNATHEMA use on their 1st album (and don't say "it's not so bad" until you've had to work with it for a few hours in photoshop!). So much harder is it then to believe that this is one of Yugoslavia's finest and rarest 80's Metal releases. Their 2nd LP, "Empire Of Noise" is said to be Yugoslavia's rarest, only 120 copies made! From the scarce info I got before buying this LP I was expecting tedious bay-area/techno thrash a la TESTAMENT/ANTHRAX but luckily that description was way wrong. Being offered it for a good price I took a chance and once again my curiosity paid off. The production and songwriting is of a relatively high standard and I guess you could call ANNATHEMA a Slavic interpretation of classic German Metal standards like STEELER, GRAVE DIGGER, TYRANT etc. Their musical spectra is a bit wider though, from superb Speed/Power cuts like "To Hell and Back" and "Big Ferry Eyes" (bet you thought that was a ballad, right?) to solid, late-J PRIEST-style crushers like "Steel In My Breath", "Killer Machine" and "Forever Survive", of which the last one comes with a pretty nifty, anthemic Scanda-metal chorus. "Ramzes II" is a great classic style Metal instrumental worth mentioning, with plenty of classy riffing fit for both fist- and headbanging exercises. It took days for me to figure out who that vocalist reminded me of: The singer of Danish EVIL! .mixed with that guy from AIRWOLF. In other words not the most tonally secure guy in Metal history, but not so bad it drags down the music in any way. It actually suits ANNATHEMA's Meat-&-Potatoes Metal very well. If Eurometal is your thing you could do a lot worse than checking out this "beauty" .like buying an old FACT-record, or VECTOMS, or NOISEHUNTER, or.. (I'd better stop there or a bitter, German 45-year-old truck driver who's biggest moment in life was releasing an album on Hot Blood Records will be waiting outside my front door with a very large axe - and I don't mean the 6-stringed kind!)

Listen to this record here (provided by the Vibrations Of Doom webzine)

Discuss this album/comment on the review here
Take me to the top!