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Italian death metal has really been on the rise the past few years, but Genoa's Antropofagus has been kicking around the underground since the late nineties. The band started out with a raw, brutal death metal sound, but after a decade-long period of dormancy Antropofagus has returned with a more modern technical style that's not too distant from fellow countrymen, Hour of Penance. Antropofagus' latest release, Architecture of Lust, continues the development of this sound.
While Antropofagus' updated style is not exactly unique, the band is certainly a shining example of technical brutality done right. Overall, Architecture of Lust is intense and nearly suffocating. At first the album feels like it might turn out to be a one-trick pony; constant blasting, blurs of technical riffing, and deep death grunts abound. Yet Architecture of Lust expands and progresses in sound as the album continues. Brief grooving moments pop up and offer respite from the blasting and the technicality. Dark, Behemoth-style melodies rear their ugly heads upon occasion and give the mind something to hold onto before the songs dive back into more blazing riffs. Sweep-picked fills and the occasional solo add even more spice to the recipe. The drums are a constant barrage of blasting, yet they have enough quick changes to keep even the most seasoned death metal listener's head spinning. This is an album that tends to grow on you rapidly with each listen. Songs quickly begin to distinguish themselves from each other and before you know it, they stick in your head. Architecture of Lust proves that Antropofagus can definitely hang with the best in the genre.
As an added bonus, the majority of Architecture of Lust's lyrics are based on Clive Barker's Hellraiser. The chains and the Lament Configuration (puzzle box) on the album cover should be a dead giveaway for any horror fiend. If you're a fan of Italian death metal and Hellraiser, you've just struck gold. Despite the fact that horror lyrics have been done to death, Architecture of Lust's focus on Hellraiser helps the band stand out from the pack somewhat.
Even though Antropofagus may not sound terribly original or noteworthy to the average listener, genre fans should take note. Architecture of Lust is highly recommended to brutal death metal die-hards and is sure to be one of the best brutal releases of the year. If you're a fan of Italian death metal, you need Architecture of Lust. If you also happen to be a fan of Hellraiser, this album is downright mandatory. If you like what you hear, work your way back through the Antropofagus catalog. There's also a five-way split from 2011 and a reissue of the band's first full-length available on Comatose; both are worthy of your attention.
Originally written for www.metalpsalter.com