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Virulency - The Anthropodermic Manuscript of Retribution

The Anthropodermic Manuscript of Retribution
by Lauren Fonto at 28 July 2016, 7:54 AM

I’ll admit that Slam Death Metal isn’t a subgenre I usually listen to. After some reading, I had a better idea of what VIRULENCY is about. This brutal crew from Basque Country, Spain, released a well-received EP (“Unbearable Martyrdom Landscapes”), and “The Anthropodermic Manuscript of Retribution” is their first full-length. I learned that the album title is inspired by an old practice known as “anthropodermic bibliopegy”, which involved binding books in human skin. With a concept like that, I wouldn’t mind getting hold of the lyrics out of curiosity.

Throughout the album, the production has a natural sound. This is music that’s meant to be loud, but all the instruments are really clear. I was especially pleased to be able to hear DisJorge’s fretless bass work in the mix, since it adds “meatiness” to the overall sound. “Mephistophelian Æsthetic Eroticism” had me thinking, “Damn, that bass!” The guitars and vocals are well-placed in the mix as well, and the drums sound crisp.

J.’s vocals have a unique sound; something inhuman, something sinister. He gives a diverse vocal performance, and adds in pig squeals here and there, but not to the point of overuse. His guttural vocals were consistently strong. Asier Badiola’s guitar work is consistently strong, as well. He plays some catchy slams throughout, and serve well breaking up the “sections” of the song, which prevents the different songs from sounding like one long song. “…From Putrescible To Perpetual” is a notable headbanger, which also has interesting transitions, thanks to the guitar riffs.

A highlight of the album was Fabio Ramirez’s drumming. His work is both precise and pummeling. From “Concupiscent Succubus Disturbance” onwards, I couldn’t help but tap my foot and headbang a bit; the drum beats were that catchy. The drum fills help to add diversity to the tracks, and work well in aiding transitions within a track.

It’s clear that the VIRULENCY (wrecking) crew has put effort into making an album that their fans will enjoy. After multiple listens, the details of the songwriting emerged. I may not know much about Slam Death Metal, but I know that VIRULENCY is putting their own unique spin on this subgenre. I’d go and see these guys live; I’m sure the pits would be almost as entertaining as the band themselves!

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Myriapod Constructology – Part I – The Inception
2. Myriapod Constructology – Part II – Absolute Zenith
3. Immeasurable Gigantomastic Phenomenology
4. Concupiscent Succubus Disturbance
5. …From Putrescible To Perpetual
6. Mephistophelian Æsthetic Eroticism
7. Beyond The Ablated Clitoral Organs
8. Sculptered Didelphic Uterus
DisJorge - Fretless Bass and Guitars
J. - Vocals
Fabio "Dr. Grinder" Ramirez - Drums
Asier Badiola - Guitars
Record Label: New Standard Elite


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