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Meh deathcore - 56%

Lustmord56, September 23rd, 2008

Review originally published at http://www.teethofthedivine.com by Erik Thomas

Metal Blade is having a good year, even in the crowded metalcore/deathcore genre. They already have the likes of The Black Dahlia Murder, Job For a Cowboy and The Red Chord on their roster then, 2008 has also seen solid releases by Whitechapel and Fate as well as future releases by the likes of Rose Funeral, Woe of Tyrants and Unearth on the horizon.

So then why would Metal Blade release this album which contains a 2007 MCD which never got released and some new songs from this competent but completely average, unoriginal and uninspired German band?

Formerly known as Metmachines and Today Heaven’s Dying, Anima ply a typically German styled form of deathcore/ metalcore that’s not too far from label and country mates Neaera and Machinemade God with a huge dash of The Black Dahlia Murder (vocalist Robert Horn is a dead ringer for Trevor Strnad) with the expected ATG worship, dual vocals and breakdowns that are standard in the genre. It’s the same problem I have with Century Media/Media Skare’s recent release from Arizona’s A Breath Before Surfacing; it reeks of ‘strike while the iron is hot genre saturation before it dies’ mantra, that killed death metal in the mid 90’s.

I understand signing bands that play a popular style, music is a business after all, but why sign a band that essentially sounds like a cheap knock-off of your most popular and better bands? Not that there is anything wrong or bad with these German kids, but even when compared to the labels other recent deathcore played by kids offering, Fate, it sounds completely rehashed, and there comes a time where even a fan of the genre like me has to feel that enough is enough.

Superficially, Anima run their course with expected energy and genre requisite skill and high production values, and certainly if you like The Black Dahlia Murder or any of the current crop of similar sounding bands, tracks like “Behind the Mask”, “The Daily Grind” “Dismembered” and utter BDM rip-off “Isolated” deliver satisfying sharp stabs of the genre, but ultimately its beating the ever loving shit out of a very, very dead horse.