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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
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