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Annihilationmancer - "The Involution Philosophy" (CD)

Annihilationmancer - "The Involution Philosophy" CD cover image

"The Involution Philosophy" track listing:

1. Antimateria — Intro
2. Etereo
3. The Involution Philosophy
4. Apolide
5. Impoverishment God Existence
6. Corner Of The Answers
7. Reflected In Her Life — Instrumental
8. Mind Surrounds, The Cavities Of Fear

Reviewed by on January 21, 2011

"f you're looking for thrash with the sound and attitude of the early 1980s, look no further than Annihilationmancer's 'The Involution Philosophy.' "

Listening to Annihilationmancer's "The Involution Philosophy," I found myself remembering the early days of thrash. Those were the days when Metallica's Kirk Hammett and Dave Mustaine were blowing our minds with speedy solos, while Anthrax's Scott Ian and Danny Spitz and Slayer's Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King were setting riff speed records. Every song seemed to be a gauntlet thrown down with a challenge to other bands to match both the technicality and sheer ferocity of what was just played.

I'm happy to say Annihilationmancer is continuing that tradition, with songs that not only rock your socks off, but leave you asking the immortal metal question, "How the hell did they do that?" This trio may have been spawned in Italy, but they'd have been right at home in the thrash scene of the early 1980s.

Particularly impressive is bassist Luca Coppola, whose fleet-fingered fat-string fretwork is given plenty of room to rock, starting with "Antimateria" and "Etereo." Audible bass guitar in thrash is rare enough, but for it to be elevated to a level of near-parity with Bruno Masulli's guitar is almost a revelation.

That's not to say that Masulli, who also sings, is any slacker on the six-string. His solo on "Apolide" especially stands out when it comes to flashy lead guitar work. His dedication to rhythm also stands out, with the many speed shifts in tracks like "Corner Of The Answers" handled deftly.

Andrea Cannata's drumming is especially strong in the slower portions of tracks like "The Involution Philosophy," adding a nice groove to the thrash elements. When the band makes the jump to light speed, he handles the shift well, without clouding things with unnecessary flourishes.

There's not much negative to say about the album, other than the fact that the sound sometimes feels a touch on the tinny side. Then again, that seems in keeping with the old-school thrash feel of the album, so it isn't exactly the worst problem. Also, a little bit of editing on the longer tracks like "Corner Of The Answers" and "Apolide" would've probably done a bit of good — but, again, excess was a hallmark of the early thrash sound as well.

In short, this is an album that blends savage riffs with technical flourishes, and does it far better than most. If you're looking for thrash with the sound and attitude of the early 1980s, look no further than Annihilationmancer's "The Involution Philosophy."

Highs: Luca Coppola's bass work on "Antimateria" and "Etereo," guitars on "Apolide"

Lows: Sounds a little tinny in places.

Bottom line: An excellent thrash record blending speed, savagery and skill.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)