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Cadaver's Magnum Opus - 88%

UncleMeat, February 18th, 2009

I love this album. It’s filthy, it’s raw, and it’s vicious. In other words, it is perfect. Their second album, …In Pains, showed Cadaver at a more progressive black/death stage. This album however, showed the band at their most ripping and aggressive, which, in my opinion at least, was a better depiction of the spirit and fury that was once present in death metal. Hallucinating Anxiety achieves this with a combination of the album’s ugly production, primal musicianship and relentless brutality.

At this point, Cadaver still had a decent amount of Repulsion-like death/grind elements, which are very evident in both the faster sections and some of the mid-paced sections where they still use the simplistic style of Repulsion’s riffing but in a slowed down manner. Ole Bjerkebakke’s drumming on here is also reminiscent of Repulsion’s Dave Grave, especially during the blasting parts. Another obvious influence on this album is drawn from 80’s/early 90’s Swedish death metal signature sound. This comes out particularly in the down tuned, sludge infested low register riffs, but also in the overall execution of the songs by the entire band. These aspects alone may not be all that original, but the way Cadaver fuse them all together, plus adding in plenty of their own brutally mangled riffs and ideas, is what makes this album so great.

Some people complain about the production on here and I don’t really see why. Yes, it is raw and yes, it is pretty damn ugly, but I just simply cannot imagine anything more fitting for this rotten mess of an album. My one and only problem with the mixing is how far back the bass is in the mix. If it held a more prominent place in the sound, then it would be perfect. However, the thick and crunchy guitar tone works as decent compensation and does a good job at filling in the required low end for a heavier and more saturated sound.

The vocals are a mid range bark and stray away from the usual growling found in death metal, which of course goes without saying that they venture nowhere near the unbelievably retarded gurgles and pig squeals found in all that br00tal mosh-wigger garbage that all the scene queens seems to dig so much. This is just pure, old school, balls of steel death metal fury. The guitar has a great thick and meaty tone that really stands out throughout the whole album, especially during the slower sections. This is also where the Swedish death metal influence plays a big part in the sound. The drums alternate from Dave Grave blasting to Celtic Frost gallops flawlessly. Although he may not be the most technically proficient drummer in the world on here, he is still equally as effective as someone who is.

Cadaver’s Hallucinating Anxiety is a fantastic album, and most fans of filthy, old school death metal would back me up on that one. By all means, get a hold of this somehow if you haven’t already. It’s essential.