without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Brutal death metal is a real love it or hate it genre, generally speaking. Detractors of the style are usually well justified in their arguments against the lack of thoughtful songwriting, void emotional engagement, and monotonous aesthetics that add up to form the rotting underbelly of the death metal world. For people like myself, just mustering up the motivation to further explore a genre that quickly shows little to offer besides face-value neck snapping and nasty pig squeals is a difficult commitment. Of course, as with almost any genre, there are shining examples of artists that can take a completely par-the-course sound to a level of refinement that cements it as an exemplary archetype of how it should be done. Analepsy are one such band, and Atrocities From Beyond is one such album.
Instrumentally speaking, Analepsy seem to underplay their abilities on much of this album. Numerous moments of pseudo-virtuosity rear their head in the form of thoughtful songwriting dynamics, unruly drum fills and flourishes of pleasant lead guitar work that break up the monotony of the relentlessly abusive chugging. Tracks like "Engorged Consumption" gradually degenerate and pulverize with increasing weight as the slams drop down to notes so low they barely register on a guitar tuner, all the while keeping enough composure to balance the skull crushing vitriol with waterboard splashes of machinegun blast beats and arpeggiated solos. Guttural spewage and indiscernible squeals emanate atop the sonic violence to an effective, albeit rather unexciting degree, and only really make themselves the focal point on the odd occasion. Make no mistake, the heart of this album is driven by riffs designed into implode the planets of our celestial enemies, and the songwriting is correspondingly and tactfully aware of this. Analepsy aren't offering you anything you haven't heard before, and indeed, their band name is far more exotic than the music itself. Honestly, you'd be hard pressed not to mistake them for one of the hundreds of bands that sound just like them at first glance, but Atrocities From Beyond shows Analepsy's triumphant confidence in the surgical quality of their work coming to the fore. In many ways, its a real breath of fresh air to see a band make something so generic yet full of life at the same time, playing with both the unbridled enthusiasm of a caveman having just discovered fire, and the doubtless poise of Hannibal Lecter himself.
Everything here sounds magnificently crisp and clean despite being mind-bendingly heavy. The guitar tone is tight but carries the density of a neutron star within it, punching with a visceral effectiveness that beckons you to headbang harder and harder. The bass is atypical, lurking in the shadowy presence of the guitars, and only really steps out from behind these flesh-churning sawblades during the plummeting slams. Subtle electronic accentuations, like the intro of the wholesome bookend, "Atrocity Deeds", work their way into the genetics of this album without coming across as forced or misplaced. Percussively, Analepsy again hit the production nail on the head with meaty drums that incessantly punch like receiving a good ole fashioned beat down by evil clowns wielding Christmas hams in burlap sacks. Production jobs this good often have the caveat of devouring the crusty, greasy skin that makes death metal so delicious but you won't find lifeless guitars and shamefully triggered kick drums here. Analepsy have exemplified that not all modern archetypical death metal production has to be chalky and flavourless. Conversely, this quality only bolsters the album's charming staying power, and the whole affair entices perpetual cranks of the volume knob in your Ford Fiesta without turning your ear drums into swiss cheese by the time the analogue dial hits thirty percent.
Pointing out inherent flaws in this album would mean pointing out the inherent flaws that blanket the entire genre of brutal/slam death metal. Analepsy do nothing wrong here besides sounding exactly what stereotypes about the style of music carry with them. While this band's debut LP is far from the most original undertaking death metal has ever seen it without a doubt serves as an amazingly satiating slab of destruction for anyone seeking a fresh fix of sonic BSDM. Atrocities From Beyond may be a rather generic affair, but it does what it does considerably better than the vast majority of their peers are doing, and for that, Analepsy is a very worthwhile band to keep on your radar.
(Originally published on http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/72827/Analepsy-Atrocities-from-Beyond)