Promising brutality but too much of the same
Formed in 2005 after three members (guitarist Gerson Watanabe, drummer Johnny R.R. and bassist/vocalist Hernan Oliveira) of Brazilian death metal band Fornication gave the others the shaft (get it, comedy gold) and went out on their own. Keeping on the death metal path, but incorporating more brutal grind elements, the trio created new band Anmod and in 2007 recorded their debut album Monstrosity Per Defectum.
Immediate impressions of Anmod are tainted by the age old curse faced by many bands with small budgets, the mix. The drums are near on drum machine sounding (though Johnny R.R. is obviously a really good extreme drummer) with the kick drum sporting an awkward trigger sound along with the snare. The guitars and bass are often muddy, suffering lost clarity amid the chaos. Hernan's vocals however are pretty cool and he has a small, but demonic range of growls and snarls. After listening to the whole album a number of times I really think that with more riff hooks and death metal grooves, and obviously better production values, Anmod could evolve into a name to watch.
Opener Serpent-Legged wasn't really the best choice for first track as it's fairly forgettable. Strangely, second track Anmod is an intro-like breather that really should have been sequenced as the opener. Hung Up At The Pale and Wretchedness And Decay sport some interesting intricate riffing, but sound rather similar to each other. Highlight tracks Outwitted By Redeeming Features, Behold, Impending Loss, Thoughtlessness and Surcease all feature riffs with brief hooks, helping them stand out from the rest, but still suffer from a tendency to be repetitive in structure. Quite often you can predict what's coming up next and this wears a little thin as the album goes on, and although I found the tracks toward the latter end of the album to be better written, they were still predictable. Brutal for brutal sake I guess you could say. Enjoyable, just not memorable.
Anmod are good, but need to streamline and pepper their tunes with the hooks and big death metal grooves they keep threatening to drop during the album, but only tease us with. Brazil has had a number of bands vying for the limelight recently, many seemingly untainted by the changing trends of the metal world, and I honestly think Anmod can rise above the misgivings I pointed out here to be one of the ones to watch. Bring it on guys!
(Deity Down Records)